It's surprising it wasn't like this before.
GMC continues to hold a unique position with the General Motors family. Not only does it place significant focus on its outdoor lifestyle branding, but also on luxury. It holds a comfortable position between Chevrolet and Cadillac. Its Denali trim line receives additional attention to help further separate it from less expensive variants. Take the GMC Terrain, for example.
The sister ship of the Chevrolet Equinox has its own sheet metal and personality. Stepping up to the Denali trim augments this. And now GM Authority has learned the 2022 Terrain Denali is getting something standard that, quite frankly, we're surprised wasn't done before. All-wheel drive will be added to the range-topper for the upcoming model year as part of an effort to simplify the compact crossover's trim levels.
Buyers could previously get a Terrain Denali with front-wheel drive, but we wouldn't be surprised if the take rate was too low to justify its continued existence. The automaker doesn't publish that specific data. Also new is the AT4 off-road trim which, like the Denali, is AWD only on the Terrain.
AWD has increasingly grown popular with crossover buyers because it typically has good enough off-roading capabilities and can handle a variety of weather situations. It's ideal to have in regions of the country that face harsh winters. The only downside is that it comes at the expense of fuel economy, usually dropping one or two MPGs compared to FWD.
Many see this as a very small price to pay. The Terrain lineup was given a mid-life refresh for the 2021 model year but, unfortunately, that rollout has been delayed because of the pandemic. The base SL trim has been deleted. Some new features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a head-up display. Styling-wise, the front and rear fascias have received some attention as has the interior.
Production for the 2022 Terrain is already underway but those hoping to snag an AT4 will have to wait until next month to buy one, assuming there are no delays. The newly AWD-only Denali trim won't begin production until September.