Road Tested: The 2016 GMC Denali Terrain meets a road warrior’s needs

From first glance, the crossover SUV is simple and attractive with its GMC-marked grille, chrome accents and 18-inch wheels to match.

2016 GMC Terrain Denali

LOS ANGELES, November 9, 2015 – There are two things a woman needs when preparing for an exciting getaway: luggage big enough for endless wardrobe changes and a smooth set of wheels to match.

The 2016 GMC Denali Terrain stepped up to answer the call of duty during my stay in Atlanta for a fashion & beauty event.

From first glance, the crossover SUV is simple and attractive with its GMC-marked grille, chrome accents and 18-inch wheels to match. The beauty of the GMC Denali Terrain is that it may look like a mid-sized tank for the strongest army but it’s not to be judged on looks alone.


The Denali Terrain is a fierce, yet quiet mid-size SUV with the help of its 3.6L V-6 engine and the 301 horsepower at 6500 RPM that propelled me from 0-60 mph in a little more than six seconds. Its combination of speed, style and agility is great for city driving.

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This SUV commands the respect of any onlookers with its bold and superior styling featuring the “boxy” design highlighted with crisp lines and chrome-lined details. It screams “masculinity” with its assertive shape, but it’s not overpowering or less flattering for a woman.

However, the 2016 model is very similar to its predecessors and could enhance its style to compete with the edginess of newer-modeled crossover SUVs on the market.

By no means does the exterior design detract from the interior gems of the Denali Terrain. For starters, the quietness of this SUV is extremely notable. The triple sealed doors and acoustic-laminated windshield the Denali Terrain clearly has one goal in mind—to keep you far away from the distractions of the world. I didn’t experience any intense vibrations while cruising to my favorite tunes on Pandora radio, nor did I have any windy background music.

2016 GMC Terrain Denali
2016 GMC Terrain Denali

Once inside, the bright and simplistic interface of the 7-inch touch infotainment system has a customizable interface to help manage your driving experience. It can be programmed to meet all of your navigation, Bluetooth and smartphone needs. The audio, phone and Bluetooth controls are also included on the steering wheel and the natural-language voice recognition made it easy to get to my destination while conducting business.

My favorite interior component is the center console, which is big enough to stash my laptop, journals or perhaps a clutch purse or makeup bag. Also included are a pushbutton start and multiple USB ports for your aftermarket devices.

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As for space, the Denali Terrain is a roomy five-seater. Although I didn’t share the SUV with any passengers, I did note how the 60/40 split and fold second row seats gave me plenty of room to comfortably store my shopping bags full of clothes and beauty products. However, when I tried to store some of the boxes of promotional materials from the event, I noticed that the seats didn’t fold completely flat. This is a drawback if you need a leveled surface to maneuver or store cargo.

A positive feature is the automatic liftgate which makes it easy to access the cargo area without having to drop my bags, purse and other essential belongings in order to open the hatch.

The SUV impressed my wallet as well — seeing as this gentle tank gets 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway with ethanol fuel or regular gasoline. In terms of safety, the Denali Terrain received a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS and the NHTSA gave it four stars overall.

Safety features include blind side and forward collision alert, which allowed me to effortlessly maneuver through Atlanta’s traffic.

Atlanta is a city that never sleeps and I am a branding executive who has to keep up with the trends. The 2016 GMC Denali Terrain is a stylish and practical pick for city driving with SUV style. I’d recommend this vehicle due to its quiet ride, sharp but manageable maneuverability and simple yet alluring design.

2016 GMC Terrain Denali
2016 GMC Terrain Denali

It’s spacious and fully-equipped with technology integrations and convenient upgrades to the things we take for granted such as center console space and glove compartment storage. Test drive this SUV to see if it meets your needs as much as it met mine.

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