Will GMC enter the subcompact crossover segment after all?

Ronan Glon
·2 mins read

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GMC last year categorically ruled out launching a subcompact crossover positioned below the Terrain, but the decade-old rumor refuses to die. The on-again, off-again model is back on track for production, according to a recent report.

Citing anonymous sources, enthusiast website GM Authority claims the soft-roader is closer than ever to receiving the proverbial green light for production. It hasn't been approved yet, so development work hasn't started. What it will look like if it receives a thumbs-up from executives is up in the air, but GMC can take several paths into this lucrative (and increasingly popular) segment of America's new-car market.

Chevrolet has two fighters in the ring: the Trailblazer and the Trax. GMC could feasibly choose one, put it in a brand-specific wrapper, and call it a day. It could also design its entry from scratch, though this option would take longer and cost significantly more. Either way, the model will allegedly be called Granite or Graphyte, and it will be positioned below the Terrain in terms of size and price, meaning it would likely start above $20,000.

In 2019, GMC explained it ruled out expanding its range towards the bottom to position itself as a premium brand. It wanted to focus on high-profit models, like the Sierra and the Canyon, but the crossover's ever-increasing popularity may have proven too alluring to resist. Besides, small and premium aren't mutually exclusive, and downsizing would help the brand increase its annual sales.

If you're experiencing déjà vu, it's likely because we've heard murmurs about a city-friendly GMC since the Granite concept (pictured) made its debut during the 2010 edition of the Detroit Auto Show. It was approved for production that year, approved again in 2011 (tentatively on a Cruze platform), and abruptly canceled in 2012.

GMC hasn't commented on the report, so we'll need to be patient to find out if it's accurate — and how it would differentiate its entry-level crossover from Buick's. In the meantime, the company is putting the final touches on the electric Hummer, which will be offered as a pickup and as an SUV, and it's about to unveil the 2022 Sierra.

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