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William Maley

2018 GMC Terrain Becomes Less Boxy, Offers Three Engines: Comments

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The GMC Terrain has become one of the most important models for the brand. It is the second-best selling model - one of out six models sold is a Terrain. How do you a second act while trying to retain it as one of the best-selling models? Tonight at an event before the Detroit Auto Show, GMC gave the answer.

GMC used the template of the Acadia crossover when designing the Terrain. But GMC also added some unique touches as well. The most apparent is the floating roofline that has been used on the Nissan Murano. There is also a large hexagonal grille and c-shaped head and taillights. Like the Chevrolet Equinox revealed last year, the Terrain has gone down in size. It is 3.2-inches shorter and rides on a wheelbase that has been cut by 5.2-inches. On the plus side, GMC was able to drop a few hundred pounds from the new model.

The interior follows the Acadia's design with the same dash layout. It appears the Terrain will be getting a new version of GMC's Intellilink infotainment system along with a push-button transmission selector. The downsizing does mean a decrease in cargo space. With the rear seats up, the Terrain offers 29.6 cubic feet of space (down 2 cubic feet from the current model) Fold the rear seats and space measures out to 63.3 cubic feet (down 0.4 cubic feet).

The big news are the engines. There will be three turbocharged engines on offer,

  • 1.5L four-cylinder: 170 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque
  • 2.0L four-cylinder: 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque
  • 1.6L four-cylinder diesel: 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque

Both gas engines will come with a nine-speed automatic, while the diesel retains a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive comes standard and all-wheel drive will be optional.

The 2018 GMC Terrain will hit dealers this summer.

Source: GMC
Press Release is on Page 2


GMC Introduces Modern, Bold Design on 2018 Terrain

  • Confident appearance, accommodating interior and turbo engines elevate new premium compact SUV

DETROIT — GMC today introduced the all-new 2018 Terrain and unveiled the next chapter of GMC design via a boldly styled and intelligently engineered successor to the brand’s popular compact SUV. The Terrain offers greater refinement and versatility to adapt to customers’ unique needs, and it’s packed with more available advanced safety technologies than ever before.

GMC offers customers the widest range of choices yet, with three all-new available turbocharged propulsion systems, including a new turbo-diesel. Two new efficiency-enhancing nine-speed automatic transmissions are matched with the gas engines — a first application for the GMC lineup.

Continuing the momentum of owning 25 percent of GMC’s overall retail sales, Denali returns to the Terrain with greater exclusivity than ever, offering a distinctive range-topping design and uniquely refined features.

“GMC’s strong growth over the past decade is due in large part to Terrain,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of global GMC Sales and Marketing. “The all-new Terrain builds on that success, leveraging GMC’s proven premium SUV experience to shake up the largest vehicle segment, with a strong blend of design, functionality and engineering excellence.” 

The 2018 Terrain goes on sale this summer in SL, SLE, SLT and Denali models, maintaining the momentum created by the first-generation model, of which more than 700,000 have been sold in North America since it went on sale in 2009.  

Bold, modern design

The new Terrain’s bold exterior signals the next chapter of GMC’s design language, evolving the brand’s signature cues with stronger, sharper and more sculpted elements such as the grille and lighting features. Its shape was refined in the wind tunnel to help ensure the distinctive profile cuts through the air with optimal efficiency and quietness.

“It is a striking design with functional beauty,” said Helen Emsley, executive director, Global GMC Design. “There’s confidence and optimism in its stance, with exceptional attention to detail that speaks to GMC’s rise as a premium brand.”

Elevating GMC’s new design, the all-new Terrain Denali will feature its signature chrome grille along with Denali-specific accents including body-color fascias and lower trim, plus chrome roof rails, door handles, side mirror caps and body-side molding. Additionally, LED headlamps and 19-inch ultra-bright machined aluminum wheels are standard on Denali.

All other models feature signature LED daytime running lamps and tail lamps. Bi-functional HID headlamps are standard on SL, SLE and SLT. Additionally, 17-inch wheels are standard on SL and SLE, with 18-inch wheels available on SL and SLE, and standard on SLT.

Turbocharged propulsion choices

A range of three all-new turbocharged engines, including an all-new 1.6L turbo-diesel, provides more choices when it comes to performance, efficiency and capability in the all-new 2018 GMC Terrain. New 1.5L and 2.0L turbocharged gas engines are matched with two unique new nine-speed automatic transmissions, with the 2.0L turbo engine offering stronger acceleration and a higher degree of performance than its 1.5L counterpart.

GMC’s new Electronic Precision Shift enables more storage room in the center console by replacing the conventional transmission shifter with electronically controlled gear selection consisting of intuitive push buttons and pull triggers.

The Terrain comes standard with GMC’s driver-controllable Traction Select system, which has choices for different driving conditions. Elements such as the throttle responses are optimized for the selected driving mode. AWD models include a FWD mode that disconnects the AWD system to minimize drag and optimize fuel economy, while the AWD mode offers all the benefits of an active AWD system.

Refined, versatile and purposeful interior

Like the exterior, the new Terrain’s interior makes a statement and serves as a fundamental component of the vehicle’s heightened emphasis on refinement and functionality. Elements such as authentic aluminum trim, soft-touch materials on the instrument panel and doors and standard active noise cancellation are premium features seamlessly integrated into the interior design for a luxurious customer experience.

The Terrain Denali heightens the GMC experience throughout the new interior with a unique trim tint color and Denali-specific logos and piping on the front seats. Denali customers will benefit from additional standard features including a heated steering wheel, navigation, Bose premium 7-speaker sound system and a hands-free programmable power liftgate.

An expanded center console with pass-through storage underneath and side-by-side cupholders adds to the Terrain’s functionality. A new fold-flat front passenger seat and flat-folding rear seat help Terrain offer greater versatility for stowing longer items and make it easier to load cargo. There are also new under-floor compartments in the cargo area for more secure storage.

GMC keeps passengers connected with 7- and available 8-inch-diagonal infotainment systems, featuring compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality and a standard OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot (data plan purchase required after limited trial period) that can accommodate up to seven mobile devices. Owners can also manage their vehicles remotely with the industry-leading myGMC mobile app via their compatible smartphones. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, and require a compatible smartphone.

Every new Terrain comes standard with five years of the OnStar Basic Plan[1] at no additional cost. Among other benefits, this connectivity plan features OnStar Smart Driver, an opt-in service designed to help GMC owners maximize their vehicle’s overall performance, reduce wear and tear, monitor fuel efficiency and become better drivers — all factors that add to the overall ownership experience.

Expanded range of safety features

An expanded range of available active safety technologies is designed to enhance driver awareness and even help make it easier to park and maneuver in low-speed situations. The features include radar- and camera-based adaptive technologies that can provide alerts to potential crash threats, allowing the driver to react and make changes to potentially avoid them, including:

  • New Surround Vision
  • New Forward Collision Alert with Following Distance Indicator
  • New Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking
  • New Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert 
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • New Safety Alert Seat

The new Terrain also features GMC’s new Rear Seat Reminder[2] and Teen Driver[3]. Rear Seat Reminder alerts drivers to check the back seat as they exit their vehicles under certain circumstances, while Teen Driver allows parents to set controls and review an in-vehicle report card in order to help encourage better driving habits, even when adults are not in the vehicle.


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Totally shockingly new.  Wicked.  Cool.  My jaw dropped.  Would be proud to own one.  Not at all sure about that transmission shift set-up though.

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Looks good but cargo room is very low for class, smaller than the Tucson with seats up??

 

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Another CUV w/ the blackout C-pillar trim like the Murano, RX, etc..isn't that played out yet?  Kind of a 2015 thing...  Definite family resemblance to the Acadia in the front...

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58 minutes ago, ocnblu said:

Totally shockingly new.  Wicked.  Cool.  My jaw dropped.  Would be proud to own one.  Not at all sure about that transmission shift set-up though.

 

Agree. It actually caught me off guard. I like it! 

 

Yeah, looks like GM will be going by the dial shifter too....not so sure how I feel about that...

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Just now, daves87rs said:

 

Agree. It actually caught me off guard. I like it! 

 

Yeah, looks like GM will be going by the dial shifter too....not so sure how I feel about that...

Yeah the Terrain's appears to be a row of differently shaped buttons that you push or pull.  It's going to be awkward getting used to it.  One word of caution to GMC:  please give customers a wider color selection than you offer with the new Acadia, which has like 5 exterior color choices, seems like.

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Just now, ocnblu said:

Yeah the Terrain's appears to be a row of differently shaped buttons that you push or pull.  It's going to be awkward getting used to it.  One word of caution to GMC:  please give customers a wider color selection than you offer with the new Acadia, which has like 5 exterior color choices, seems like.

Agreed! 

  • Upvote 1

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RIP Terrain, I will miss your boxy self. This is nice and I am sure I will come to like it, but right now, I really miss the butch Terrain, this is more Feminine.

Dial transmission based on the photo, Hmmmmmmm Not sure how I like that but I do realize that technology is there for a reason and no reason to not embrace an electric transmission shifter.

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Looks awesome.. and we should have seen this coming. The Terrain is selling predominately to women.. and they love rounded edges. This is a nice compromise. This is gorgeous.. and nice fit for the 1-2-3-4 punch that GMC has in this market. The odd man out right now is the ACADIA Limited. I still believe that the Limited's SIZE should be retained with a simple pull from the mothballs and updated Hummer H3 and H3T with the GMC stamp on the front

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The design is exactly what they needed to do with this model. It actually looks a class above the Equinox for once. The push-button transmission on the other hand... Who actually wants that? It seems like a huge miscalculation with its unergonomic design. Seriously... there are plus and minus buttons for gear selection. WTF.

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They made this and the new Acadia to appeal more to the center making one a little softer and one a little more truck like.  But yet both are still very much different. 

I so far like this better than the Nox that appears more as a soft version but I need to see it in person for a final take. Photos have not really conveyed  the new designs well. 

Now we need to know the real important stuff. Did they fix the vents for the back seat? The old one has poor heat and AC ventilation. My son complains all the time it is too hot or too cold. 

The seat while not flat is more flat with a folding front seat which is good. 

The shifter while not my choice is not all that big of a deal. The R and D are well defined. That is one problem many electric shifters lack and it has been causing issues with older drivers.

The plus and minus is so if you are stuck you can shift the transmission to start in third or second gear. It used to be on the shift handle. That is not really a good move and paddles on the steering wheel would have been a better option. Not for performance driving but winter driving. I just used them on the Malibu the other day as it was so slippery that starting in third gear was needed.

They did also well here offering a brown interior. I worried as too often GM offers several really dark colors and nothing else. This is what may make me buy a Canyon as the Colorado as of last time I looked did not offer a lighter interior. The Z71 was black only.  

What this comes down to is if you like the Nox you should not like this and if you like this you should not like the Nox. If GM accomplished this then they should be fine. 

Either way both will do really well in the market as even old and with nagging issues they still did very well. If not the Acadia will pick up the rest. Look for a LWB version of it now the Transverse is out. 

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I am kinda torn.  it certainly looks more modern and updated than the current one, but I am not feeling that upward kink in the rear appealing at all. 

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For me, GMC design has jumped the shark. I was on the fence about the front end on the new Acadia, but this is just completely off the wall. I don't know what GMC's design language is supposed to be anymore. I will say that I love the interior, though.

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I'm not 100% on it yet.. Like @dfelt said, I kind of liked the butch-ness of the last one. I wish they would have modernized that look instead.

However, I absolutely LOVE that they offer a small diesel option! Of course, I wish it were a little more powerful as the numbers seem a little on the low side but it's for economy, not speed, and I understand that. I wish they would have combined the hp from the 1.5(170) and the torque of the 2.0t(260).

Edited by ccap41
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Gotta say that after viewing the cnet video on this auto, I like it much better and I see no problem with the push button transmission.

https://www.cnet.com/au/videos/2018-gmc-terrain-gets-acadia-like-looks-and-available-diesel-power/

Over all, this video drives home the upper luxury of the new 2018 Terrain compared to the Nox. I really am liking this more and more now.

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the Terrain will be more popular than the Envision no matter what and seeing this new Terrain now helps me to understand that making the Envision in lower numbers in China can make sense.

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I liked GMC's boxy styling more, like how the Envoy was.  The back of this looks like a Nissan, I don't think it has a GMC look to it, it has the GMC grille, but the headlights are a bit odd. The inside is fine for the segment, sort of gives off a Jeep vibe, in a good way though, people should like the look of it.  Doesn't look luxurious, but nice enough to compete with a Rogue, Cherokee or Escape/Edge.

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Well you have to look at the people they have to sell to. The goal is to reach the widest number of people as possible and not lose anyone you had. I think they have done that here as it is still more square and male oriented but a little softer to take off that edge that hurt it with female buyers as they do buy over half of these things today. 

To me it is soft enough for a woman and tough enough so a man does not feel like he looks like his balls are in her purse. It is diverse enough to be set apart from the others in the GM line. 

Also you have to consider too that most of today's cars are not as good in photos as they are in person. I reserve final call till we see the in sheet metal. 

I expect this to sell in the same numbers the past one did and GM will do fine. Nothing else out there looks like it and it is less polarizing so they will be fine in the end. 

Lets face it the Jeep stuff in my opinion is not the most stylish and a coupe are just plain weird but yet they sell decent even with all the quality issues. 

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Oh boy!!!

giphy.gif

 

About this

large.5872e3c9168a9_2018GMCTerrainDenali

The back window!

Its an SUV....

Arent SUVs supposed to have a space and visibility advantage over its sedan counterpart?

That is one small slit of a window back there...

Unless of  course there is Cadillac CT6's rear view mirror camera available for this thing, I aint too impressed.

 

1245227615_colin_farrel.gif

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the feminization of this thing was expected and it actually will probably spur some new interest as this is where more of the crossover market it.  The owners of the current boxy style may actually see better resale because of this.

that said, it looks fine and they didn't screw the pooch on it.  The floating roof is something they could risk with low volume GMC that they could not probably risk on the Equinox.

And its still more butch than the Equinox or the Envision, so in the GM love triangle it still wears the pants.

I guess this whole softening of GMC look will probably pay off.  All GMC really needs to be is the GM brand you buy if you don't want to be caught dead in a Chevy around your freinds but you still like GM and can't afford Caddies.

Interior is really nice, probably nicer than the Acadia.  On that alone, this thing will sell well.

Love the fold flat front seats, had them in two of my Fords, really really helps smaller vehicles like this become way more useful at ladder, 2x4, and Christmas tree time.

Really do like the diesel choice but to be honest either this or the Equinox could have had a Malibu style hybrid choice as well IMO (hey did you hear gas will be back up in price soon)

I'm sure GM thinks this new smaller Terrain can sell for 20,000 more than a comparable Kia Sportage.........

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Oh I just noticed the shifting setup.....why would they do that just for 1 vehicle?

From the way GM hardware finds itself in a Cadillac and Buick and a Chevy (the new electronic shifter), I'm convinced this might end up maybe in the upcoming Enclave...

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Really wanted the Terrain or Equinox to be in the running for wife... but it is still bigger than the competition.. Larger than crv and rav4, whioe offering a smaller cargo area than Tucson and Sportage, a full 10 cubic ft less than the Honda and Toyota, and less than the VW Sportwagen as well.   So the new CX5 or CRV are still her preference.

 

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15 hours ago, oldshurst442 said:

Oh boy!!!

giphy.gif

 

About this

large.5872e3c9168a9_2018GMCTerrainDenali

The back window!

Its an SUV....

Arent SUVs supposed to have a space and visibility advantage over its sedan counterpart?

That is one small slit of a window back there...

Unless of  course there is Cadillac CT6's rear view mirror camera available for this thing, I aint too impressed.

 

1245227615_colin_farrel.gif

With that picture I honestly could have mistaken that for a Nissan Murano.. funky tail lights and"hovering" roof

3 hours ago, frogger said:

Really wanted the Terrain or Equinox to be in the running for wife... but it is still bigger than the competition.. Larger than crv and rav4, whioe offering a smaller cargo area than Tucson and Sportage, a full 10 cubic ft less than the Honda and Toyota, and less than the VW Sportwagen as well.   So the new CX5 or CRV are still her preference.

 

The CX5 is slick. I drove a '16 a couple weeks ago test driving things and I really liked their infotainment setup with the "dial" to scroll through things when you're driving. I was also pleasantly surprised with the power the 2.5 put out. it wasn't blistering fast or anything but it didn't feel near as weak as I expected at 184hp(likely a similar amount of tq) coming from my Escape's 240hp/270tq. I also think it looks best in class by a good margin.

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@ccap41

Image result for 2016 nissan murano

 

I could see that...

I do prefer the Murano over the Terrain.

Front view, side profile, 3/4 profile. All better looking than the Terrain when compared to the Murano.

The floating area is better done in the Murano as well.

The Murano's back window also looks a tad larger than it. Not by much though...

I prefer the Ford Edge over all of them myself.

I just don't get it...why the trend to have small back windows...in cars and in SUVs...WTF???!!!

@dfelt

Yeah...the guvment conspiracy to protect us...

Trump will do a fine job doing that Ill tell ya.

He will tweet our enemies to death blasting them they are over rated terrorists!

And no...unfortunately I don't remember Time Cop for some reason....

Edited by oldshurst442

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      Sonata offers one of the widest range of powertrains in the segment with three gas engines, a hybrid, and plug-in hybrid. Our Sonata Limited came with the base 2.4L inline-four producing 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic routing power to the front wheels. The engine provides adequate power for around town and rural driving. You will need to step on it when making a pass or merging onto a freeway as torque resides higher in the rev band. The six-speed automatic goes about its business smoothly and always knows what gear it needs to be in. Hyundai does offer an eight-speed automatic, but only if you opt for the turbocharged 2.0L.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the 2018 Sonata Limited are 25 City/35 Highway/28 Combined (SE models see a one mpg increase in highway and combined figures). My average for the week landed around 28.5 mpg.
      Hyundai did make some tweaks to the 2018 Sonata’s suspension including a revised rear suspension setup with thicker trailing arms and revised steering system. The end result is a Sonata that handles much better than the previous car. Body motion has noticeably decreased and the steering provides decent weight when turning. Thankfully, the tweaks made to the suspension haven’t affected the Sonata’s ride quality. Bumps and other road imperfections are soaked up before reaching passengers. Some of the credit has to go to Hyundai not going crazy on offering large wheels - the Limited seen here rides on 17-inch wheels. Road and wind noise are kept to near silent levels.
      My first impression seeing the 2018 Sonata was that Hyundai had improved it, but was still a bit short when compared to the work done by other automakers. Spending a week with the Sonata caused me to change my train of thought; It surprised me how much work Hyundai put into this mid-cycle refresh and brings the Sonata up to the point where I would say it is fighting for best-in-class honors. 
      While the 2018 Sonata may lack most of the pizzazz found in the sixth-generation model, it does show that Hyundai has learned from its mistake and worked to reclaim some of the magic.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Sonata, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 2.4L GDI DOHC D-CVVT Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic. Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 185 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 178 @ 4,000 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/35/28
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, AL
      Base Price: $27,400
      As Tested Price: $31,310 (Includes $885.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Ultimate Package - $2,900.00
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00
    • By William Maley
      When we last reported on the date change of the Detroit Auto Show, organizers had made the final decision on what month it would be held beginning in 2020 - either October or June. A new report from The Detroit News says June will be month that will be announced at a press conference on July 24th.
      Sources tell the paper that back in January that the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA), organizers of the show sat down and started discussions as to moving the show. Originally, DADA had October as the month as it would move the show from the harshness of winter and give some breathing room from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
      But plans changed after The Detroit News interviewed General Motors' senior vice president of global communications, Tony Cervone. He said a move to June had the potential to create a "massive festival of automotive" for consumers. The hope is that this event would draw people into visiting the various venues and concerts in Detroit. Organizers released a teaser video late last month showing outdoor test tracks and vehicle displays.
      This brings us to a new twist. Ford is urging DADA to pull elements from the Goodwood Festival of Speed for this reimagined show. The Festival of Speed, being held this weekend, features a hill climb with a variety of racing and production cars, and a moving auto show that allows the press and would-be buyer to experience new vehicles. It should be noted that Ford has been a sponsor of the Festival of Speed for 23 years.
      Source: The Detroit News

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      When we last reported on the date change of the Detroit Auto Show, organizers had made the final decision on what month it would be held beginning in 2020 - either October or June. A new report from The Detroit News says June will be month that will be announced at a press conference on July 24th.
      Sources tell the paper that back in January that the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA), organizers of the show sat down and started discussions as to moving the show. Originally, DADA had October as the month as it would move the show from the harshness of winter and give some breathing room from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
      But plans changed after The Detroit News interviewed General Motors' senior vice president of global communications, Tony Cervone. He said a move to June had the potential to create a "massive festival of automotive" for consumers. The hope is that this event would draw people into visiting the various venues and concerts in Detroit. Organizers released a teaser video late last month showing outdoor test tracks and vehicle displays.
      This brings us to a new twist. Ford is urging DADA to pull elements from the Goodwood Festival of Speed for this reimagined show. The Festival of Speed, being held this weekend, features a hill climb with a variety of racing and production cars, and a moving auto show that allows the press and would-be buyer to experience new vehicles. It should be noted that Ford has been a sponsor of the Festival of Speed for 23 years.
      Source: The Detroit News
    • By William Maley
      I found myself in a bit of quandary when it came to writing the review for the 2018 Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio. Both of these models have been redesigned recently and despite the different exteriors, under the skin they share a number of key parts such as the engine and suspension. As I was going through my notes, I realized the answer was right in front of me; talk about the differences between the two and see which one does it better. 
      Exterior
      Between the two vehicles, the Rio stands out considerably. Like the previous model, the new Rio has a fair amount of European influence with neatly proportioned body and clean lines. The front end is quite low and features a narrow top grille and deep slits in the bumper for a set of fog lights. 15-inch alloy wheels come standard on EX. Unlike the Accent, the Rio is still available in as a hatchback.
      The Accent goes for the safe approach with a simple three-box sedan design. This isn’t helped by the silver color on my test vehicle which makes it become somewhat anonymous. The only real design traits are in the front with a new grille shape that is appearing on new Hyundai models and cutouts in the bumper for accent trim on our base SE tester or foglights on higher trims. One way the Accent SE stands out from the Rio LX is painted door handles and mirror caps.
      Interior
      There are no frills to be found in the Accent’s interior. Like the outside, Hyundai went for a simple and honest design. Material quality is what you expect in the class - hard plastics on most surfaces. But the plastics have a solid feel. All Accents feature basic front seat adjustments - fore/aft, height (driver only), and recline. I was able to find a position that worked for me quite quickly. One item to be aware of is the SE doesn’t come with a telescoping adjustment for the steering wheel; SEL models and above get that feature. Space in the back is average for the class with a decent amount of headroom, but a limited amount of legroom.
      Kia added some style to the Rio’s interior with a sculpted dash featuring two-tone plastics. Hard plastics make up the majority of interior surfaces with a grain texture pattern. Like the Accent, the plastics have a very solid feel. The layout is simple with most controls in easy reach. Finding a comfortable position took no time with a basic set of seat adjustments and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. However, I found the seats in the Rio to not be as supportive on long trips. The back seat mirrors the Accent; ok headroom and a small amount of legroom.
      Infotainment
      The Rio EX comes with a 7-inch infotainment system with Kia’s UVO infotainment system. No navigation system is offered, but you won’t need it as support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is standard. It will not take long to familiarize yourself with UVO thanks to a well-thought out interface and dedicated buttons for various features. Performance is impressive with the system responding very quickly to inputs.
      Over at the Accent SE, it comes with a 5-inch touchscreen radio. For the most part, the system was simple to use with redundant buttons for various functions, simple interface, and large touchscreen buttons. I only wished that the screen was slightly larger when I was scrolling through my iPod. One surprise was the SE getting Bluetooth as standard. Kia doesn’t offer Bluetooth on the base Rio LX.
      Powertrain
      Both the Accent and Rio use the same 1.6L inline-four engine producing 130 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque. What differs between the two is the transmission; the Accent SE comes with a six-speed manual while the Rio EX makes do with a six-speed automatic. Between the two, the Accent is noticeably quicker. The manual transmission allows the engine to flex what little muscle it has to get the vehicle up to speed. In the Rio, the automatic’s programming smothers the small amount of power to improve fuel economy. There is a Sport mode that holds onto gears longer, but it doesn’t make much of a difference. Neither of the transmissions can help the 1.6L on the freeway as the engine struggles to get up to speed at a decent rate.
      Fuel Economy
      EPA fuel economy figures are almost identical for the two models. Both return 28 mpg in the city and 37 on the highway. The difference is in the combined figure; the Rio returns 32, while the Accent returns 31. I got an average of 34 in the Rio and 33 in the Accent.
      Ride and Handling
      There are more similarities between the Rio and Accent when it comes to the driving experience. Both still employ struts in the front and a torsion-beam rear axle. But the body has been stiffened which helps with ride quality. Both models exhibited excellent isolation of most road imperfections. Handling is another place where the two surprised me. While not exhibiting the sporty characteristics of a Ford Fiesta, both the Accent and Rio show little body roll and feel quite nimble. The steering is light, but provides a decent amount of feedback when pushed. 
      Pricing
      The 2018 Hyundai Accent begins at $14,995 for the base SE with manual transmission and climbs to $18,895 for the Limited. Our test SE with optional floor mats came to an as-tested price of $16,005. While it does cost $1,095 more than the base Rio LX, the Accent SE comes with more features such as Bluetooth, full power accessories, and a rear USB port.
      The 2018 Kia Rio kicks off at $13,900 for the LX sedan and climbs to $18,700 for the EX hatchback. The EX sedan tester came to an as-tested price of $19,425 with carpeted floor mats and destination. It is a bit hard to stomach the price tag when you can into some decently equipped compact sedans such as the Hyundai Elantra and Chevrolet Cruze for similar money. Even after you factor in the EX getting forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, it’s still a tough sell.
      Verdict
      Trying to decide which of the two subcompacts was the winner in this piece was very difficult as they share so much. Beginning with the Rio EX, it is a very sharp looking subcompact with a fair amount of European influence and it is available as a hatchback. But the automatic transmission suffocates what little performance is on offer from the 1.6L engine. Plus the price tag of the EX is very difficult to swallow when you can step up into a compact for similar money. If it was the midlevel S, this would have been a closer fight.
      This brings us to the Accent SE. It's styling inside and out is a bit plain when pitted against the Rio. The lack of hatchback also makes the Accent a bit of hard sell to some buyers. But the list of standard features on the base model is very surprising. Plus, the manual transmission allows the engine to have some flexibility in most driving situations. 
      Both models are towards the top in the subcompact class. But in this comparison, the base Accent SE nips the top-line Rio EX by a hair.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai and Kia Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Accent
      Trim: SE
      Engine: 1.6L DOHC 16-valve GDI Inline-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Front-wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 130 @ 6,300
      Torque @ RPM: 119 @ 4,850
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/37/31
      Curb Weight: 2,502 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Nuevo Leon, Mexico
      Base Price: $14,995
      As Tested Price: $16,005 (Includes $885.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats: $125.00
      Year: 2018
      Make: Kia
      Model: Rio
      Trim: EX
      Engine: 1.6L 16-valve GDI Inline-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 130 @ 6,300
      Torque @ RPM: 119 @ 4,850
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/37/32
      Curb Weight: 2,714 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Pesqueria, NL, Mexico
      Base Price: $18,400
      As Tested Price: $19,425 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $130.00

      View full article
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