Something I dislike in a cars and truck is incongruous style. If something appears like it does not belong in the cars and truck or runs out action with the cars and truck’s style visual, it bugs the OCD part of me. Although there was plenty to do not like about the Ford EcoSport in basic, its glossy-cased touchscreen screen protruded from its black matte environments like an aching thumb, truly grating on me.

The GMC Surface, on the other hand, corresponds. Whatever from the all-black outside (consisting of black wheels and black trim) to the well-thought-out interior works cohesively as a whole. For a mainstream compact SUV, this is a good idea.

Developed on the very same GM Theta platform as the Chevy Equinox and the late Saturn Vue, the Surface begins at $25,000 for the base SL design. As is typically the case with evaluation cars, the design I drove can be found in at a much greater rate point, in this case, $40,500 for the four-wheel drive SLT. The SLT cut itself gets you 18- inch aluminum wheels, leather-trimmed seats (warmed in the front), an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, roofing system rails, and remote start. Include about $1,200 for 2 Chauffeur Alert plans, another $1,500 to update from a 1.5 L four-cylinder engine to a 2.0 L turbo, $1,150 for the infotainment bundle, another $1,250 for different interior upgrades, $795 for the Black Edition, a couple of more modest upgrades, and the outcome is a well specced car. The Denali trim is likewise offered if you desire all the high-end GMC needs to use.

The default engine setup is the abovementioned 1.5 L DOHC 16- valve, four-cylinder turbo efficient in 170 hp (127 kW) and 203 lb-ft (275 Nm) of torque. Diesel lovers [ooh, this is going to draw the flames—Ed.] can spring for a 1.6 L turbodiesel, which cranks out 137 hp (102 kW) and 240 lb-ft (325 Nm) of torque. Our Surface included the 2.0 L power plant, which produces 252 hp (188 kW) and 260 lb-ft (353 Nm) of torque. Both of the gas engines are coupled with a nine-speed Hydra-Matic automated transmission; the diesel includes a six-speed. It was likewise AWD, which is not basic however a $4,800 upgrade.

How’s it look?

From the outdoors, the Surface is clearly GMC. It’s appropriately rugged looking and has the enormous truck-like grille on the front with the substantial, red GMC badge. I am typically not a fan of monochromatic automobiles, however I need to confess that the all-black Surface cut a sharp profile versus the gray Chicago winter season skies. At 182.3 inches (4.63 m) long, it’s similar in size to the Jeep Cherokee and about midway in between the Ford Escape and Edge.

GMC’s strong style rollovers to the Surface’s interior. It’s all black there, too, however with some chrome and carbon-fiber-looking trim on the doors. It’s not truly a positive style, however it’s one that handles to feel both comfy and high end. I valued the back assistance used by the six-way powered seats, however the seats themselves were too shallow for my tastes. I would have valued slide-out thigh supports à la the Volvo XC40 At 29.6 cubic feet (838 L), there’s lots of freight space, however a few of that comes at the cost of taller back-seat travelers. With the rear seats folded down, there’s a tremendous 63.3 cubic feet (1,792 L) of freight area.

The view from the motorist’s seat is great, although the truck-style front end had me thinking where the real front of the cars and truck was throughout my time with the Surface. Exposure out the back windows is jeopardized somewhat by a sloping roofline and big C pillars. GMC has actually done a great task putting whatever within simple reach of the motorist. Guiding wheel controls are well considered, with motorist help functions left wing, cockpit console and voice control on the right, and radio controls on the back. My only grievance is that the rubberized buttons on the guiding wheel felt inexpensive and out of location compared to the remainder of the interior trim.

A GM infotainment system I do not dislike?

My only direct exposure to GM infotainment has actually originated from the Buicks I examined previously this year and a Cadillac leasing back in January, and I was not at pleased. By contrast, the IntelliLink infotainment system in the Surface is minimalist however well considered. There’s a basic touch user interface for radio, phone, and GPS, and the user interface is tidy and uncluttered. Straight under the 8-inch touchscreen are some fundamental audio controls. The environment manages reside on the next level down, and environment modifications appear briefly on the screen as you’re making them. Android Vehicle and CarPlay assistance are basic.

Rather of an equipment lever, there is a row of buttons on the center console listed below the environment controls. That conserves area in the center for a set of cup holders, drive selector, and a number of other controls. The total impact provides the Surface an open and uncluttered feel, which is a welcome modification of speed from makers that pack buttons into every last nook and cranny.

On the roadway, the Surface flights really perfectly. The suspension cushions travelers from nasty little bits of pavement, and velocity is what I would call “quick sufficient”– you’re not going to set any speed records, however you’ll get enough zest from the engine to make a fast combine into traffic. GMC’s active sound cancellation locks out a great deal of the roadway sound, leaving a trip that was quieter than I anticipated. I discovered the Surface to be remarkably maneuverable in tight quarters, something I constantly value offered the tight develop into my garage from the street. At greater speeds, the Surface feels more SUV-like, and I discovered myself approaching curves on winding back road with some care.

GM’s driver-assist innovation works as anticipated. Unlike other most other automobiles with adaptive cruise control, there is simply one button for cruise control. If you desire adaptive cruise control, you’ll be triggered to push the cancel cruise control button to turn it on, which is an odd style option. Lane-keep help will push you back in your lane if you wander onto the shoulder, however it will not keep you focused. There is a row of traffic signals that predicts onto the windscreen like a heads-up screen to caution you of impending accidents and so forth. Rather of bothersome caution beeps, GM provides the alternative of having your seat vibrate, which I valued.

The Surface is ranked at 23 mpg by the EPA: 26 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in the city. In my typical mix of long and brief drives, I balanced 20.9 mpg.

My only grievances about the Surface are little potatoes. The LED interior lights are dim on dark nights, the storage locations in the doors are shallow, and, as I discussed above, the front seats are too shallow for my tastes. On the other hand, the Surface provides a lots of freight area, a peaceful trip, and a wisely developed interior. The primary sticking point here is rate: at $40,000, the Surface is priced a couple of thousand dollars more than a likewise geared up Honda CR-V or Subaru Forrester. I truly delighted in driving the Surface and believe it’s a well-thought-out take on the compact SUV. I do not understand that I like it $5,000 more than the competitors, nevertheless.

Noting image by Eric Bangeman