By KBB.com Editors
With GM's latest division shuffling, the GMC brand takes on a new role by filling a need for high-end trucks, SUV s and crossovers. To this end, the 2011 GMC Terrain takes the company down a path it's never traversed: That of the compact crossover utility vehicle. Based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Equinox, the Terrain shares no visual similarities with its Chevrolet cousin. This is another important milestone for GMC, a division that was once seen as a clone of Chevrolet (at one point, the two even shared the Suburban nameplate.) In the Terrain, GMC has created a rugged looking compact, deceiving in size and with impressively good fuel economy. Loaded with features and priced to compete with segment leader such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the Terrain is an appealing choice for those who like their trucks to look like trucks, even when they're not really trucks.
If you're looking for five-passenger CUV that gets great gas mileage yet has the rugged look and feel of a mid-size GMC truck, the Terrain deserves a long test drive.
The 2011 GMC Terrain's four-cylinder engine probably won't impress many GMC loyalists who will likely opt for the 3.0-liter V6. The Subaru Outback 3.6R has similar horsepower and fuel economy numbers, but offers a much more robust all-wheel drive system as well as more ground clearance.
The 2011 GMC Terrain's optional 3.0-liter v6 engine is now E85 compatible, and the standard OnStar 9.0 receives improved voice recognition technology.
Driving Impressions Quiet is the name of the game inside the 2011 GMC Terrain, and quiet it is. Extensive use of acoustic laminated glass, active noise cancellation technology, and triple-sealed doors culminate...to create an interior that is nearly Lexus like at highway speed. Power for the Terrain is supplied by a robust in-line four cylinder engine that is more about fuel efficiency than power and speed; if the later is important, the 3.0-liter V6 has power to spare yet still returns fuel economy figures in the mid-20s.
Heated Cloth Seats
Heated seats aren't often seen without a leather interior. These seats can be programmed to begin warming when the vehicle is turned on via remote start, which always makes for a more comfortable start to the day on a cold winter morning.
Moveable Second Row
The entire second row can be moved forward or back eight inches, allowing for taller passengers to gain more legroom and for parents to pull kids in car seats significantly closer.
Although the 2011 GMC Terrain is vastly different than the Equinox on the outside, the two share a nearly identical interior layout. GMC uses more high-end materials, with more soft touch surfaces and satin metal trim; the Terrain also boasts a larger standard equipment roster. GMC's signature glowing red dash lighting is particularly handsome and illuminates just about every conceivable switch or button, making it easy to find and operate even the simplest functions when darkness falls. Clever features abound, such as the white surround ring for the USB port (it makes it easier to see and use) and the programmable power rear hatch. The standard rear-vision camera is a great help when backing up prompting us to wonder why it is not standard on all cars and trucks.Exterior
The 2011 GMC Terrain is the antithesis of the rounded, cutesy CUV. Sharp angular shapes and a massive chrome grille unashamedly declare the Terrain's GMC roots. Square-ish bulging wheels wells mimic those found on the Silverado pickup truck, and look fitting when filled with the Terrain's optional 19-inch wheels. The Terrain's 112-inch wheel base is significantly longer than most competitors, providing more rear seat room and a smoother ride. Despite its truck-like appearance, the Terrain is not much higher off the ground than a standard car, making entry and exit almost effortless. Sturdy roof rails supply a perch for bikes, kayaks or a cargo shell, and the large rear hatch is tall and wide making short work of loading large, bulky items.
The base 2011 GMC Terrain comes equipped with features like a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with six speed transmission, 17-inch wheels, rear-vision camera, a USB port, six airbags, XM Satellite Radio, OnStar, and a sliding rear seat that can move fore/aft nearly eight inches. Inside, ambient lighting sets the interior's mood, and Active Noise Cancellation – the usage of sound waves through the car's speakers to counteract loud exterior noises – means that the car is also quiet.
Want a little more oomph under the hood? Add a 264-horsepower 3.0-liter V6. Want larger wheels in those bold wheel wells? Upgrade to the 19-inchers. Looking to keep the kids quiet on a long trip or just while out running errands? Add the rear entertainment system with two independent screens. Also available is a seven-inch touch-screen navigation system, a ten gigabyte music storage hard drive, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, and a programmable rear liftgate that can be set to open to a lower height.
Motivating the 2011 GMC Terrain is either a 182-horsepower in-line four-cylinder or a 264-horsepower V6. Both benefit from direct injection and are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions, and see excellent fuel economy numbers.
2.4-liter in-line 4
182 horsepower @ 6700 rpm
172 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 (FWD), 20/29 (AWD)
264 horsepower @ 6950 rpm
222 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD, gasoline), 12/18 (FWD, E85), 16/22 (AWD, gasoline), 12/17 (AWD, E85)
By kevfell on Saturday, October 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Perfect size for 5 or fewer."
Cons: "Factory tires are terrible. Need to replace."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"After replacing the factory tires with better tires, this car rides great! It's the perfect size for those that want a 5-seat, medium size SUV. The Denali version has everything one could want. I drive this much more than our expensive European car. It has decent fuel economy, handles very nice and is comfortable."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Dana on Monday, October 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Beautiful, fun, classy looking"
Cons: "The A/C.Back doesn't cool down.Vents only up front"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I am absolutely in love with my Terrain! It's got an amazing body style, inside is beautiful! The only down side I have is there is no air or heat in the back! I live in California where the temperature gets 110 + degrees in the summer. With no AC vents anywhere but the front, it makes it awful for anyone who is in the back seat. For my son to ride I have to remote start it a few times in order for it to be cool enough for him to not be drenched in sweat within a few minutes of getting in. If this Terrain had air vents in the back it would be absolutely perfect! It doesn't snow here so heat isn't much of an issue."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By ruth on Monday, October 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,543overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great all around"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I am tall and I like the additional height of the vehicle (compared to a car)and ease with getting in/out. Handles great. Great fuel mileage around town and long distance."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By LadyGC on Tuesday, September 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Isn't top heavy, smooth drive"
Cons: "No back seat a/c adjuster"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"It was the style and 22/32 miles per gallon that sold me on the Terrain, but it is the performance and how well it handles the road is why I'll purchase the Terrain again. I do a lot of highway driving (60K miles in less than 18mons) so I wanted something that was comfortable on the road with decent gas mileage. The Terrain has more than met my expectations...it also doesn't hurt that it looks fabulous with the chrome front design. Great mid-size SUV!"
13 people out of 23 found this review helpful
By Rhino on Thursday, September 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,500overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Pros: "Interior and comfort"
Cons: "Countless Mechanical issues"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought by 2010 Terrain in Oct 2009. It has been a love hate relationship since. I love the interior and the room and the amenities however have had nothing but mechanical problems- timing chains replaced 2X's, Water Pump, New Engine at 60,000, manifold and now after 28,000 miles on the new engine the transmission is shot. I have been stranded out of state 2 times due to a broke down car. Have had to travel back and forth to retrieve the car. Was stranded extra days out of town while waiting for parts. The Terrain is not a reliable vehicle mechanically."
12 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By sbair77 on Friday, September 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks great, good MPG, nice interior"
Cons: "Lacks a little power, drivers seat uncomfortable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Purchased my 2010 GMC Terrain as a certified pre-owned vehicle. All I can say is I love the vehicle overall. Looks great, rides great, pretty good MPG for a 6 cyl AWD SUV. The drivers seat is a little uncomfortable for me, and I do wish there was more power under the hood. Those are the only 2 things I can say that I do not like, but then I am sure the MGP (I get over 21 mpg on average) would be drastically lower if there was much more power. I am not a big fan of leather - so that may be why the seat is not very comfortable for me, but it is easier to clean and lasts much longer than cloth. I do not have any issues with getting around in the snow (thank you AWD) and use the bluetooth all the time - great feature as well. Sound system is very good and the placement of all the controls is perfect too. Backseat folds down 100% or 60/40 split when I need to haul something around and I also have the tow package for small trailers. Overall - Awesome vehicle!"
9 people out of 11 found this review helpful