MILL RUN, PA – After nearly a decade in the same set of clothing, the ’18 GMC Terrain gets outfitted with a fresh set of duds almost certain to elevate its appeal in the popular midsize CUV segment in the U.S.

The 5-passenger light truck arriving at dealers also receives a host of new comfort and convenience items, heightened connectivity and three capable, fuel-efficient engines. Base models also get about $2,000 more expensive and the sticker for top-trim Denali models now surpasses $40,000. But the price hike seems justifiable given the added content and red-hot demand for CUVs.

The redesigned exterior alone moves the San Luis Potosi, Mexico-built Terrain further up among its long list of peers, such as decked-out versions of the Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue and Hyundai Santa Fe. The previous model certainly was expressive but perhaps a bit too much. The polarizing look goes out the window, supplanted by sleek styling with small details that emerge from each angle.

Up front, three different grille treatments are available and each is wider and shallower than on the previous model to give the Terrain greater road presence. Jewel-like LED lighting and efficient HID lamps bookend the grilles, while decorative chrome frames the lower fascia.

The hood is muscular, with subtle character lines, and in a bit of design sleight of hand the roof appears to float above the greenhouse and tapers elegantly rearward to punctuate its sleekness. Powerful rear quarters receive short overhangs and rear LED lamps wrap the back end together nicely. Available 19-in., ultra-bright machined aluminum wheels on Denali models add a little flash to the outfit. Standard wheels are 17-in. aluminum and an 18-in. set also is available.

Bottom line: The Terrain looks more like an SUV than CUV, especially compared with its predecessor, and basic trim models starting at $25,970 could be mistaken as costing much more.

Inside, the Terrain has a premium look and feel. All trim levels use authentic aluminum for pieces such as door pulls and to frame the center console, HVAC vents and the interior of the steering wheel. Other interior parts are soft to the touch. His-and-her cupholders eliminate any confusion over which drink belongs to whom, and mechanical door-lock pulls have been removed to create a comfy nook for your elbow in the armrest.

The Terrain marks the first application of General Motors’ Electronic Precision Shift technology, which eliminates a mechanical transmission-gear shifter for a by-wire system that uses a combination of buttons and triggers on the center stack just below the HVAC controls. It’s a nifty setup that is easily adapted using two fingers with your eyes on the road and frees up a lot of valuable center-console storage space.

An available Bose 7-speaker audio system kicks out the jams, while Bose noise-cancellation technology mostly suppresses occasional powertrain noise. There’s a choice of either 7- or 8-in. (18- or 20-cm) diagonal infotainment screens compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A standard OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot never fails during the test drive here, although data fees apply after a free trial period. Smartphones link up with the car quickly and owners can manage vehicle settings from their mobile device with a GMC app.

Seats are comfortable in both rows and fold-flat, front-passenger and second-row seats open up a maximum 81 cu. ft. (2,293 L) of storage space, which puts Terrain among the most flexible in its segment.