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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 Significant About This Car?

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 286 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

LOVE this car!!

By on Friday, February 05, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great gas mileage, roomy and comfortable."

Cons: "The mirrors-blind spots on passenger side"

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

"Bought this new. 2013 FWD, 4 cyl. Drove it cross country and back and it got fabulous gas mileage and was very comfortable. Husband uses it for work and is always loading furniture into it and it has been very useful. I just would have liked the floor to be flat when the seats are folded down. We have put 82000 on it in two years, and other than oil changes, the car has been perfect. NO problems at all. We live in Massachusetts and it has been fine in the winter. Sadly, two days ago, another driver smashed head on into my husband, totaling the car. He walked away with a small bruise on his ankle. If you saw the picture, you would think the driver would have been killed. The cabin held together just fine. The doors even open and close! We are hoping to replace it with the same or newer model."

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.)"

Do not buy a GMC Terrain

By on Monday, January 04, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "too many recalls and repairs"

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

"We purchased this car 2 years ago, used and have had nothing but problems with it. It has had many recalls and I found that it is burning oil. The latest repair is the Throttle body, which through research with different car repair websites, I find this is a common problem with GMC and Chevy's built from 08-11. The car gives a warning that it is reducing power and makes you pull over so you can't drive it. We had it towed to a dealer and they repaired it. Said it wasn't covered under the warranty. Very disappointed in GM."

11 people out of 11 found this review helpful

love it

By on Friday, December 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good Mileage, Comfortable, reliable"

Cons: "Could use a little more power"

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

"I have had this vehicle for nearly 3 years. It is dependable and efficient. I have averaged about 23 mpg which I think is decent for an AWD vehicle being run in a hilly environment."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great AWD Vehicle

By on Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good profile, without feeling like driving a semi"

Cons: "A lot of chrome!"

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

"This was my in-laws car, and when they were no longer able to drive, they gave to us. I was in need of an AWD vehicle to handle mountainous winter driving. While I haven't had much opportunity to test it out under these conditions yet, my normal day-to-day driving has been great. Prior to this I drove a Mini-Cooper and would always comment how "invisible" I was to other drivers. The Terrain has a much bigger profile, but not so big I feel like I'm driving a Hummer. I feel very safe and really like the features such as remote start, auto lights, and blue tooth capability. While I may not have chosen this car (had I bought it), but for a free car it has been great and I would definitely purchase another one in the future."

16 people out of 29 found this review helpful

Great for long trips

By on Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Nice design, comfortable interior, good stereo"

Cons: "Bad steering/cornering, no rear A/C, blind spots"

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

"I purchased my 2010 Terrain SLE-2 with FWD in 2014 as a certified pre-owned vehicle (the first owner leased the car for 3 years). I've put about 30,000 miles on it since then. I was nervous to read the Carfax report since it had a long history of repairs, but it has been mostly problem-free for me. I had to replace a brake rotor in the front tire after 8 months of owning it, and the A/C had a leak after a year, a $500 fix. I make several 10+ hour trips a year (mostly interstate driving) and the Terrain is perfect for that, I never even turn on Cruise control. The interior, it feels like someone put you in a comfy chair and designed the dashboard around you. Tall people fit comfortably inside. The door armrest, center console, and gearshift are perfectly placed for a comfortable seating position. The cabin uses cheap materials (lots of hard plastic) but was definitely designed for comfort and everyday use. The cupholders are at a comfortable spot & the storage under the dashboard is the perfect place to store your wallet or phone, the center console is huge inside. Love the red interior lighting and the silver/black color scheme on the interior. I also love the steering wheel controls. The triple-flash lane change signal (Tapping the turn signal stalk halfway blinks 3 times) is a nice feature. The soundproofing is quiet, almost Lexus-like. I don't have the Nav system, but when I use Google Maps navigation on my phone, it syncs with bluetooth and the voice directions are broadcast over the speakers. Driving dynamics are just OK. It's painfully slow accelerating (4 cylinder) but once up to speed, is comfortable to drive. The steering comes up short, the turning radius is worse than some pickup trucks and the steering feels disconnected, like playing an arcade racing game. Gas mileage isn't as good as advertised but is still pretty good, especially if you stick to highway driving."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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