We usually like to make an adventure of the First Drive of the Year. Last year was a tour around Lake Washington for the sunrise and sunsets of the first day. This year, we decided to take a tour of small north cascade towns in a 2016 GMC Terrain Denali.

See, the Terrain Denali makes cruising is a dream.

2016 GMC Terrain Denali_11The stylish looks were definitely good enough for cruising and included a newly redesigned front and rear fascia, chromed trim accentuating the Terrain’s chrome grille and other chrome highlight along the body. We had stylish Denali 19-inch wheels and strong, muscular looking wheel arches leading toward the rear.

While old Arlington elicited ‘awws’, the interior and ride of the 2016 GMC Terrain Denali elicited ‘oohs’ from us.

2016 GMC Terrain Denali_01The cabin had minimal road or traffic noise. Our 8-way driver and front-passenger seats included lumbar adjustability, offered heated functionality, and were sublimely comfortable. With the tilt and telescopic steering column, finding the perfect position for ultimate driving comfort was a breeze.

Main Street drifted by outside, but inside we had GMC’s standard Intellilink Audio system accessible through the 7-inch touchscreen display. It featured AM, FM and XM radio (with 3-months of XM free), USB and AUX connectivity, and Bluetooth Audio Streaming. Pandora streamed through Intellilink’s 8-speaker Pioneer sound system, including an amp and subwoofer, and sounded like … well, music to my ears. Obviously.

Also music to my ears was the 3.6L direct injection V6 engine (standard is a 2.4L DOHC 4-cylinder) notes streaming out through the dual exhaust tips, putting out 301 horsepower at 6500 rpm and offering 272 lb.ft. of torque. If we had a trailer, we would have been able to tow up to 3,500 lbs with the trailer package our test vehicle came with, but we don’t, so we didn’t. But you can! The 2016 Terrain Denali comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission to manage that beast, and it was responsive upon demand.

With all that, it still achieves an EPA-estimated 16 miles per gallon city and 23 highway in the stable all-wheel drive SUV.

2016 GMC Terrain Denali_13While Rob fiddled with the radio, we fiddled with the leather-wrapped steering wheel and real mahogany inlay. My passenger did not approve of my use of the volume controls within finger’s reach, but we did. we could also access phone and cruise controls from the steering wheel, too.

If we’d had more occupants, they would have luxuriated in the roomy, leather-appointed and 3-position recline-able rear seats. They also split 60/40 and fold flat to ensure extra cargo capacity.

While on the road or at the worksite, use the 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, however, we didn’t use it much – preferring casual conversation to a nose in the tablet or computer. We did connect to it to see how easy it would be and it was as simple as connecting to your home WiFi; merely open your device to find WiFi, select your vehicle, and insert the password!

2016 GMC Terrain Denali_16The day waned and we headed north on Old Pacific Highway, stopping to watch a field become free of the snow-like coverage of swans. Even though the Terrain has bulky, it was easy to safely back-out onto the highway from the one-way dirt road I’d pulled into.

We met up with Mount Vernon and Burlington as the sun truly set behind the horizon and, still, we traveled on. Even though the end of it was closed, we headed east on Highway 20 toward Concrete.

Once again cruising around in the night-quiet, the 2016 GMC Terrain Denali held out against the very icy conditions of the small, mountain town. GMC’s StabiliTrak stability and traction control system easily compensated for the slick black ice beneath the all-season tires. Other safety systems included a slew of air bags, forward collision alerts and lane departure warnings, blind zone alerts, and more!

2016 GMC Terrain Denali_09

All in all, the 2016 GMC Terrain Denali offered the kind of pomp and luxury for the cruise, and comfort and practicality enough for any daily drive. Starting at $35,725 MSRP ($41,315 as driven), the 2016 brings you all you need in a stylish SUV package. We loved cruising around the north-western Washington in the Terrain Denali and we know you’ll love using this capable and plush GMC SUV in your day to day life!