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2012 GMC Terrain

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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
7.9
Out of 10

Based on 269 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.1/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

well built,smooth riding and very roomy

By on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "all round beautiful vehicle,with all your needs"

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

"very nice vehicle, smooth riding on the road, comfortable, good gas mileage, no issues, electronically or mechanically.very roomy and all around fantastic suv"

Worst

By on Friday, July 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

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
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "cheap to buy"

Cons: "cheaply made"

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

"I have hated this things for 4 years now. It drives like a tank but with worse gas mileage and no cargo room... :("

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Good car with early rust problem

By on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "My 4 cyl. is slow on the take off"

Cons: "No garage door opener"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I purchased this 2011 certified used car 6 months ago but just noticed that the bottom of the doors have surface rust. GM will fix them free if under 36,000 miles or 36 months or if there are rust holes. I was told it will cost me $200 per door."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

This is my SECOND Terrain!

By on Saturday, July 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

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: "Roomy and economical, I get 25-30 mpg."

Cons: "Visibility not so good, rear view camera a plus"

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

"I lease my cars, and this is the 2nd Terrain for me. I love this car - it looks like a little truck, and can hold an amazing amount of "stuff". I can put the seats down and get lumber into it, ladders, etc. In addition, I can put the seats up, move the back seat back, and take my friends out to dinner. In short, it is a very versatile car - I am deciding whether or not to lease my THIRD one!"

9 people out of 21 found this review helpful

WAY more GAS than the advertised

By on Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"You would like it:- It's really great vehicle i like it comparing with others in the same price range. It has on star, 4G LTE wifi, wide interior, good exterior, muscles and more. You wouldn't like it:- The advertise for (4 cylinder) 22MPG CITY & 32MPG HIGHWAY it's way different from the actual use which is average of 20.3MPG more than most of other 4 cylinder vehicles. Also Bluetooth only for making phone calls if you want any other option for your phone you have to connect it via AUX!"

22 people out of 39 found this review helpful

This is a great ride!

By on Friday, June 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfort, great appointments in the cab, reliable."

Cons: "Pretty expensive fully loaded."

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

"We only ever owned imports (Honda, Subaru) prior to purchasing this GMC Terrain new off the lot in 2013. I just loved the design of the car, and once I drove one I was sold. It has been a joy to drive, reliable as all get out, and we really do enjoy this vehicle. It is uber comfortable for driving our guests (ideal load is 4 adults total, so it is definitely not a huge SUV) and has been great on the open road. While I still love my older import (have owned 4 Subarus over the years), you cannot beat the Terrain for its quality and comfort in the mid-size SUV class."

17 people out of 36 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

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