The Denali started with the Yukon back in 1998 as an upgraded trim level, but has since migrated to nearly every model in the GMC lineup, including the Sierra 1500 and HD, the Acadia, and now on GMC's entry-level crossover (until the Granite makes its official debut), the Terrain.

As part of the uptown makeover, the Terrain gets the same electric shaver/cheese grater grille design as the rest of the Denali family, which, depending on your view of the Terrain's somewhat controversial styling, could be considered a subjective improvement over the chunky grille design of regular Terrain models. But one of the big news items lies behind that grille, with GM's 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 replacing the somewhat underpowered (mostly under-torqued) 3.0-liter as the optional V-6 across the Terrain line. In this application the engine produces 301 horsepower and 272 lb-ft of torque. Despite the substantial increase in power and torque, the bigger V-6 is expected to return the same fuel economy as the 3.0-liter V-6.

If you like your luxury with some frugality on the side, the Denali trim will also be available with the standard 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder. Although the four-pot gives up a not-insubstantial 119 horsepower and 100 lb-ft to the bent six, the reward is a gain of 8 mpg in highway, and 5 mpg in city driving on the front-drive model. Decisions, decisions.

The only major ways to distinguish the four-cylinder versus the V-6 model from the outside are 18-inch wheels on the four-cylinder, and 19-inch wheels on the V-6, and dual exhaust outlets on the V-6 model, compared to the four cylinder's single exhaust.

On the inside, the Denali trim is manifested in Jet Black leather on the seats and door-panel inserts, with contrast stitching on the dashboard, embossed Denali logos on the seatbacks, smoked mahogany wood accents, and illuminated front door sill plates. Although not specifically mentioned in the release, we're presuming a memory function for the driver's seat and outside mirrors is optional, if not standard, considering it's offered on the SLT2 trim. Navigation and a rear-seat entertainment system are optional. A programmable power rear tailgate is standard on the Denali trim.

Carrying over from 2012 is the IntelliLink multimedia interface that includes Bluetooth smartphone integration with Pandora and Stitcher, and iPod controls with Gracenote music database.

Sales of the updated 3.6-liter V-6 model are expected in third-quarter 2012, and pricing will be announced closer to the projected on-sale date.