BASE PRICE: $28,995
PRICE AS TESTED: $29,255
The strength of the two-door Typhoon is its speed—this is the Corvette of sport utilities. The Typhoon’s turbocharged 4.3-liter V-6 engine generates 280 horsepower at 4,400 rpm and 350 ft lbs of torque at 3,600 rpm. The vehicle’s 4-speed automatic transmission (no manual is available) matches up well with the turbocharger to create acceleration that would be impressive in a car and is stunning in a truck. There is every reason to believe GMC’s claim that the Typhoon will cover 0-to-60 mph in six seconds. This is one fast truck.
The Typhoon has full-time four-wheel drive, with the power split between the front and rear wheels in a 35- 65 ratio. While most sport utilities have a four-wheel-drive “low” setting for traction in really nasty stuff, the Typhoon does not. That’s because GMC says the Typhoon, with its relatively low ground clearance and high-performance tires, is not designed for off-road use. Well, there are lots of definitions of “off roads” but the Typhoon is able to handle muddy, sandy roads with ease, assuming the driver uses some caution on the rougher stuff.
On smooth dirt the truck was enormous fun. Where it ran into trouble was on some sandy hills, where its high-performance tires were out of their element. One also suspects the Typhoon’s high-performance tires may not handle snow very well.
On pavement, the Typhoon handles remarkably well, far better than other sport utilities. Within limits, it is the exception to the rule of not driving sport utilities as if they are sports cars.
The major downside to the Typhoon is that it is extreme1y noisy; there’s a lot of wind noise, tire noise, and engine noise. The 4.3-liter V-6 engine also has a well-deserved reputation for vibration. Powerful, yes. Smooth and refined, no.
The vehicle’s leather-lined interior offers reasonable room for four adults and some luggage. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are standard equipment. One driver commented that the brake pedal on the test vehicle had a soft feel.