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2011 GMC Terrain

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2011 GMC Terrain Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2011

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 the Terrain
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.

2011 GMC Terrain Details
2011 GMC Terrain photo Interior

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
2011 GMC Terrain photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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)

3.0-liter V6
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)

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2011 GMC Terrain Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 290 Ratings for the 2010 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Great Small SUV

By on Thursday, May 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 250

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Rugged but confortable to drive over long distance"

Cons: "Takes time to learn all the features"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We like the size. The 6 cyl engine seems powerful. But less than the 5.9L 8 cyl in our old 2001 Durango. I purchased the maintenance plans so I expect that keeping this vehicle operating will be fine. I like the safe driving alerts. I was surprised that I made 24 mpg in local driving. I do advise purchasing the cargo net. The automatic rear gate leaves little flexibility to controlling grocery items rolling out the back."

9 people out of 17 found this review helpful

don't buy this vehicle

By on Friday, May 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 107,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Cons: "lack of quality...no air vents in the back seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I bought this car new in 2012. For the past 2 years i have had to take the car into the shop every 6 months for some kind of issue. about 6 months ago the dealer ended up rebuilding the engine, no cost to me as it was still under warranty. Now i noticed a coolant leak. took it in and they said that there is a crack in the engine block and i need to replace the engine. Now that my car has just crossed over the 100k mileage mark it is no longer covered by the warranty..how convenient. Learned my lesson and will never buy a GM product again."

13 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Great Vehicle - No Problems of Any Kind

By on Friday, April 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 119,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Body style, quiet ride, great interior design."

Cons: "Limited cargo space, learning information panel"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Love this vehicle. with 119000 miles on it, the leather seats and the interior show no wear at all. Everything on the vehicle is still in perfect working order. We have had to do no major repairs of any kind ... just tires, brakes and normal fluid changes. The engine is as quiet as can be and the transmission has had no problems of any kind. The EPA mileage says 22 city and 32 highway. Everyone should realize those numbers are always slightly higher than the actual fuel mileage you should expect. I get 29 highway and 19 city. I'm happy with that. I can go well over 500 miles on one tank of gas on the highway. For folks who get bad fuel mileage, it could have a lot to do with your driving habits and the types of roads you drive on. Also, everyone should realize that the fuel mileage on the sticker (22/32 in this case) is provided by the EPA, not the dealer. Dealers are required to use EPA figures ... don't blame the dealer! The only thing that I would call a minor issue is that learning how to set all the options on the information panel is quite a challenge at first. It took me several weeks to figure everything out. Also, it would be nice if the rear seat area had its own A/C vents. Fortunately, we rarely have anyone riding in the rear seats. Love the vehicle@!"

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Turn Radius Horrible

By on Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I don't own this car

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything .... EXCEPT ....."

Cons: "Horrible Turn Radius !!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"My family rented this SUV while on vacation in Florida. Loved the way it looks, comfortable, roomy, quiet, great radio, etc. BUT .... the turn radius was HORRIBLE !!! You cannot do a U-turn without having to back up and reposition. It's hard to make any kind of sharp turn in this SUV. My family is actually in the market for a new SUV, and we had to cross this one off our list. Other than that, it's a great SUV."

7 people out of 16 found this review helpful

4 separate engine issues

By on Wednesday, April 06, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "none"

Cons: "power and engine issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"The 2010 GMC Terrain has been the worst vehicle I have ever purchased. I have had it in the shop at least 4 times for issues relating to the engine. In fact the entire engine was pulled to be worked on at 60 thousand miles. GMC made no efforts to take care of my problems and explain clearly what was going on with my vehicle. Clearly there are some defects with my engine if no others, and to this day no steps have been taken by the company to figure out what the problem is. My car payment was over $500 for a vehicle that has left me stranded several times including the dead of winter."

3 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Good, With issues

By on Monday, February 01, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great for daily driving"

Cons: "No Rear A/C. Front air vents difficult to direct."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"2013 Terrain Denali FWD 2.4L Flex Fuel . We live in Oklahoma. Hot summers cold winters. (anywhere between 8*f-110*f) I have two major complaints about my Denali. 1. No rear air vents AT ALL. So pre-heating/Cooling is definitely needed. Always keep a car blanket for kids in the winter, and kick that A/C on full blast at least 15-20 before putting kids in car. 2. The sticker MPG are completely fictional. (22/32 sticker) my average is much closer to 20/25, NEVER getting better than 26. 98% of my daily commute is full highway. We only use 100% gasoline. Even though our Denali is flex fuel, using E85 will put your MPG in the 15/20 Range. Other than those issues, there really isn't much to complain about, LOVE the Denali features. great sound, excellent red stitched leather. Touch screen Nav and easy to use Onstar/Sirius XM. Bluetooth Speaker loud and clear! EXCELLENT backup (HD!) camera, lane departure and collision alert, all so very handy. Some times collision alert will go off for no reasons. BUT better to be too efficient than not enough. Sunroof doesn't make too much noise when open and driving. Pretty Chrome, easy to maintain. Easy to drive in the snow/rain. Denali vehicle usually has dual chrome tip exhaust, terrain had single exhaust. but far more "pretty" than the standard terrain exhaust. (Only the V6 will get the dual tips while four cylinder models will only sport one.)"

9 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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