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 Claire on Thursday, March 26, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Cons: "scratches easily"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I started leasing my terrain 1 month ago. So far I love it and don't have many complaints! The only thing that bothers me is I feel like it scratches easily. I went to the dealerships car wash and it made little scratches all over the vehicle. (non visible, only when looking at specific spots a certain way.)"
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By tvakeover on Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 109,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive great looking car great mileage"
Cons: "had electrical problems"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Love this Car, smooth drive and amazing interior it gets great millage. Took it on many road trips and very comfortable and spacious. Only problems I had was electrical and it kept draining my car battery but after I fixed it no problems awesome car"
14 people out of 22 found this review helpful
By Sewgirl on Sunday, February 22, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort, quiet, heated leather seats, reliable,"
Cons: "no rear vents,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I leased the 2012 Terrain and loved it. It was a 4 cyl. model, SLT 2, and it never had a problem or let me down. This time I went for the 6 cyl. SLT model, simply because I wanted more power. The 2015 is quieter than the 2012, and is just a better version of the same vehicle. My only 2 complaints are that it has no rear A/C vents. Hard to believe; it's just not offered...period. And secondly, the V-6 has 19 inch wheels and tires, nice to look at and ride on, but it makes the turning radius not nearly as tight as the 4 cylinder. This will take some time to adjust to. I guess the answer is don't sit in the back seat, which I seldom do, and try to anticipate those u turns, because some of them will not be possible with the bigger wheels. But I love the rest of it and recommend the Terrain highly."
14 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By wb6bma on Monday, February 16, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "everything good!!!!"
Cons: "NOTHING BAD!!!!!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"this is by far the best vehicle I have ever had. 18mpg around town,32mpg on highway-this is the 306 v6.I got better mileage than the 4cly. Has every accessory that GM has--love it."
14 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By Joe Cal on Saturday, February 07, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,200overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fairly priced, great gas mileage, nice looking."
Cons: "Check engine light came on and lurching at a light"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought this new in March of 2014. I bought the SLE, which is the lowest price one with no options because I felt it was loaded enough to begin with. It gets very good gas mileage, better on the highway obviously, it showed 35 mpg. The 4 cylinder seems peppy enough and I tow a small 1,500lb. boat with it. I bought the boat afterwards, or I may have gone with the 6 cylinder. It rides nice and handles well too. It handles pretty well in snow, I'm sure the AWD would handle better, but for 3 months out of the year I can deal with it. My check engine light did come on for a day but went out, I'm not sure why. I did notice at times too it felt like it was lurching at stop lights when my foot was on the brake. I'm thinking that may have been the gas I was using, I used a lower octane, but now I use a higher or middle range one, and it's been fine. I've only owned it for about 10 months or so but so far I do like it and it's styling. The interior is nice too, and I do like the back up camera, it is helpful. I always liked GMC products and hopefully this one won't be a disappointment."
26 people out of 42 found this review helpful
By Smoke and Ice on Tuesday, February 03, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,046overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Cons: "The torque at take-off pulls you back and forth."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Purchased 5/29/2013, 20+K miles, Black, Leather, SLT1. Test drove the 4 cylinder car 1st. It was very GUTLESS. In many parts of Southern CA, you need something quicker to get you on the freeway. We tried the V-6. My wife test drove it. I sat in back. She liked it so we got it with the V-6 Camaro motor, but it pulls you left and right at takeoff. THERE IS NO CURE for this issue, (PER GMC), at this time. They are aware of it, and say the cause is due to the engine is installed sideways."
10 people out of 27 found this review helpful