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 LovelyEmma2012 on Thursday, January 22, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Spacious for a family of 3 and great stereo"
Cons: "Gas Hustler and Engine issues"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"It was a great vehicle and super cute when we first bought it, but exactly a year into our buy all the noises from the engine began almost as if i was driving a 80s beat up. 2010 v6 that's not worth the money... Used for ocassional camping trips and work ride of about 14miles a day both ways. Oil change needs to be done every 2 months or less if you want the rattling and shaking of vehicle to go away. What a disappointment"
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Dragonfly on Tuesday, January 20, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Cons: "Motor problems, stabilitrak issues common theme"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought this car for affordability and style. The style is nice interior and exterior. This car overall has been a nightmare. If you buy the 4 cylinder expect nothing but problems from it! Motor has been torn apart twice, once was a total rebuild. The Stabilitrak will go off and power motor down, no one can seem to figure it out. The more they work on it the more my value decreases due to carfax history. Spare yourself the pain, from my understanding this is a common problem with the 4 cylinders."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Fred on Sunday, January 18, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "heated seats, remote start"
Cons: "no backseat vents, loud rough ride, cheap, breaks"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Reliability questionable at best....total engine rebuild @ 45,000 miles...a problem with this model & the Equinox, service rep at dealer admitted this model has a major issue..google "problems with GMC Terrain" before you buy this vehicle. Can't understand the good reviews for comfort, quiet Quality....drive a Traverse first then drive the Terrain...worlds apart. I loved my Traverse, I hate the Terrain a.k.a. "the drain" doors are thin and "tinny", seats are hard, engine & road noise is awfull...my milage is ok @ 26mpg avg. I can't wait to get rid of this. It's downright horrendous in the snow/ice."
4 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By richnj on Saturday, January 10, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,900overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfort, looks, very quiet inside. love the infota"
Cons: "poor gas milege even 4 cylinder we have."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"my wife loves this car. she says its as nice as our old volvo.beautiful looks inside and out.the only complaint is the gas milege. were getting less than 20 mpg city."
7 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By corvette johnnie on Friday, January 09, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good price, good handling, roomy, good mileage."
Cons: "Slow shifting, underpowered with 2.4 liter engine."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Love the looks of this SUV. Seems big but small car mileage. Very nice handling. With 61,000 miles has never been in the shop except for oil changes and routine maintenance. The standard sound system is OK but not great as far as sound quality. Love the Onstar system. Still have good tread on the original Michelins with 61,000 miles on them. Only two minor irritations: slow to shift, and underpowered for hills or passing with the 2.4 liter engine."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Jimbo on Saturday, January 03, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Drive great, lots of room"
Cons: "pain in the butt"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I love to hate this car. Why? It drives nice, it handles nice, it looks nice and is very reliable. But I hate that GMC plays games with with people that walk in and hand them $25,000 cash for a new car and expect it to get the mileage they advertise. We were told it got 32 MPG, nope not even close more like 25. We took it back when we found it burned oil right from the start but it too 4 1/2 years for them to acknowledge there was a problem and fix it. There has been 3 recalls that they fixed but each time it put us out for days and I expect new cars to be problem free for years."
16 people out of 29 found this review helpful