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2012 GMC Terrain

Overview
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2012 GMC Terrain Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

The 2012 GMC Terrain crossover SUV straddles the fence between a compact and mid-size SUV. Although it does not offer a third-row seat, the 2012 GMC Terrain is intended to lure away customers looking at the RAV4, as well as the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe and Ford Escape. Riding on the same platform as the Chevy Equinox, the Terrain displays a decidedly more truck-like appearance, an important link to its GMC heritage. The oversized wheel arches and massive grille make the 2012 GMC Terrain appear much larger in photos than it is in person. Yet, despite its compact SUV size, the Terrain offers an impressively large interior, as well as the best highway fuel economy in the segment (rated at 32 mpg for front-drive, 4-cylinder models). If the GMC Terrain SUV's strong styling and narrow windows don't offend your visual senses, there is a lot to fall in love with in this compact crossover SUV.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're thinking you'd like a reasonably sized crossover SUV that gets great gas mileage, has room for five but also has a bit of an attitude, the 2012 GMC Terrain compact SUV deserves a spot on your shopping list.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a powerful V6 engine option and capable all-wheel-drive (AWD) setup, the 2012 GMC Terrain may meet only half your criteria. While its V6 is a strong engine, the only terrain the Terrain is designed to tackle is that of the paved nature. Mild off-road adventures might be better served in a vehicle such as the Subaru Outback wagon or Jeep Patriot.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 GMC Terrain receives an updated 2.4-liter engine that is now E85-compatible. Later in the model year GMC will make available IntelliLink, a service that allows customers to customize the touch-screen radio and use voice commands to operate various functions. IntelliLink uses USB and Bluetooth to connect the user's smart phone to the radio, making it possible to stream apps such as Pandora and Stitcher.

Driving the Terrain

Driving Impressions With the proliferation of Bluetooth-enabled devices becoming increasingly more commonplace, the 2012 GMC Terrain SUV's impressively quiet cab is an unexpected bonus. 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. Powering the 2012 GMC Terrain SUV is a competent 4-cylinder engine admittedly better at impressing with its fuel economy than its passing prowess. For those more appreciative of power, a 3.0-liter V6 is available, delivering 264 horsepower yet still earning fuel-economy ratings in the mid 20s.

Heated Cloth Seats
Heated seats aren't often seen without a leather interior. The seats in the 2012 GMC Terrain 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.

2012 GMC Terrain Details
Interior

If there is a place where the Terrain's Chevy roots are exposed, it's the nearly identical interior it shares with the Equinox. To differentiate the two models, GMC employs more high-quality materials and soft-touch areas, as well as satin metal trim. Compared to the Equinox, the Terrain offers more standard features, but retains the same available interior color schemes of black, gray and brown/black. GMC's signature glowing red instrument panel looks particularly fetching in the Terrain, with backlighting for just about every conceivable switch or button. Even the USB port features a lighted surround making it easier to locate in the dark. There's also a new touch-screen radio that uses smart-phone-like icons to operate the screen functions. Cool features we thought were above what most in this segment offer include an available power rear liftgate and a standard rearview camera.

Exterior

The 2012 GMC Terrain compact SUV shuns the rounded, wavy look so popular among small crossover SUVS today, opting instead for a rugged, almost Hummer-like profile. Strong angular wheel arches and a huge 3-bar grille with block GMC lettering and chrome cap are the first things that will catch your eye, but definitely not the last. Optional 19-inch wheels make a bold statement, as do the sturdy roof rail racks perfect for holding kayaks, bikes, skis, surfboards or a cargo carrier. The 2012 GMC Terrain isn't terribly tall off the ground, making it easy to get in and out of, as well as to reach the roof. The long 112-inch wheelbase creates a more stable and comfortable ride, as well as opens up the interior for superior legroom both front and rear.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base 2012 GMC Terrain compact SUV comes equipped with features like a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with 6-speed transmission, 17-inch wheels, rearview 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 7-inch touch-screen navigation system, a 10-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 2012 GMC Terrain is either a 182-horsepower in-line 4-cylinder or a 264-horsepower V6. Both benefit from direct injection and are mated to 6-speed automatic transmissions, and see excellent fuel-economy numbers.

2.4-liter in-line 4
182 horsepower @ 6,700 rpm
172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 (front-wheel drive), 15/22 (E85, front-wheel drive), 20/29 (AWD), 14/20 (E85, AWD)

3.0-liter V6
264 horsepower @ 6,950 rpm
222 lb-ft of torque @ 5,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (front-wheel drive, gasoline), 12/18 (front-wheel drive, E85), 16/22 (AWD, gasoline), 12/17 (AWD, E85)

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2012 GMC Terrain Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 243 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    8.0/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Worst way to spend 27gs

By on Thursday, January 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

Don't Waste your Money!!!

By on Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
1/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Style"

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

CHEAP JUNK

By on Sunday, January 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
2/10

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

great comfort but the gas milege not as advertised

By on Saturday, January 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,900

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

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

Good looks, good fit and finish, very good handlin

By on Friday, January 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

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

Great but not

By on Saturday, January 03, 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
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

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

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?