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 Monica on Wednesday, April 09, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Transmission showing signs of problems
Pros: "Nice features"
Cons: "Powertrain doesn't last long"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I loved the features on our Terrain (heated seats, sunroof, push button open hatch and leather seats) but thats abaout it. When I took my Terrain recently to get brakes done and suspension (after a bad winter in the tristate and all the bad roads) I was informed that my transmission was starting to show signs that it was going bad. Now this is only after having it a year and a half as i traded in my Chevy Equinox for this vehicle for almost the same reason. Since GM only gives a 3-5 yr 36,000 mile warranty on their vehicles, i was left with the choice of going to a dealer and trading in my vehicle. After many discussions I was able to finally get my husband away from GM vehicles (after 3 falied attempts at their SUV line) and get a Kia/Hyundai which have the best warrantee on the market. GM will need to invest some money into their powertrain and warrantees before i would consider going back."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By sonlop on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Cons: "Back seats need ventilation."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I absolutely love my terrain, as long as there is less than 4 people in the car or it is not hot. I purchased my terrain because I wanted a bigger vehicle than a car and absolutely love it, but 90% of the time I am the only person in the vehicle. It is reliable and I have never felt unsafe in this vehicle. If you are a mother purchasing this car please consider that there is no ventilation in the rear seats and when you are sitting in the front two seats you would never feel how hot it gets in the back of the car until you ride back there yourself. Also the middle seat in the back seat is not meant for trips longer than 30 minutes, it is very uncomfortable. We took a 5 hour trip in the car and we were suffocating and when we turned up the AC so it could reach those in the back seat, those in the front were extremely cold. For 2 or less people in regular temperatures the car is wonderful!"
8 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Roberto on Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "room, functionality, mileage"
Cons: "engine a little rough"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Roomy with a comfortable ride. Four cylinder is a little rough but returns good mileage and has been reliable."
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By htl on Saturday, March 01, 2014
I own this car
Reason: Uncomfortable ride and wind noise - My approximate mileage is 8,500
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Purchased this vehicle new. Only has 8500 miles on it and I'm tired of it already. The ride is far too stiff, the 4 cylinder feels too underpowered, the radio is too complicated and all the buttons are too close together and similarly shaped. I have to take my eyes off the road if i want to do anything besides temperature, fan speed, or volume. It is a well designed and beautiful interior, however it isn't functional."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Txt on Wednesday, February 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great all-around vehicle"
Cons: "Lacks a rear-seat vent"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this vehicle. I've never had any problems with it. It drives nicely and has lots of space in the back seat. It's very comfortable, looks nice, and has great amenities! I can take the whole family, including two large dogs and there is space for all the kids' equipment. My one suggestion would be to add a vent to the back seat for faster heating/cooling of that space, but since the heat and a/c both work so well, it's not a major concern."
12 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By T-bird on Wednesday, February 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "It's good on the highway."
Cons: "Bad turn radius. Awkward key design. Hate it."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Car simply does not live up to standards. I don't like it. I know it's a small thing, but the key design is awful. It is too thick to fit well on a standard key ring, even more difficult if you have a few other keys that need to be in the same place; an awkward design. The turn radius on the car is terrible. We test drove it on highways near the Dealer. Dealership happens to be located away from town. Don't know what I was thinking!! I have driven numerous vehicles in tests. My husband was with me and I didn't take the time to truly run it through my usual test criteria. I should have. I'm too practical to lose a ton of money by trading out of a nearly new car, but this one makes me consider it strongly. I just hate it."
9 people out of 15 found this review helpful