By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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)
By Claire on Thursday, March 26, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Cons: "scratches easily"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I started leasing my terrain 1 month ago. So far I love it and don't have many complaints! The only thing that bothers me is I feel like it scratches easily. I went to the dealerships car wash and it made little scratches all over the vehicle. (non visible, only when looking at specific spots a certain way.)"
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By tvakeover on Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 109,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive great looking car great mileage"
Cons: "had electrical problems"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Love this Car, smooth drive and amazing interior it gets great millage. Took it on many road trips and very comfortable and spacious. Only problems I had was electrical and it kept draining my car battery but after I fixed it no problems awesome car"
13 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By Sewgirl on Sunday, February 22, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort, quiet, heated leather seats, reliable,"
Cons: "no rear vents,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I leased the 2012 Terrain and loved it. It was a 4 cyl. model, SLT 2, and it never had a problem or let me down. This time I went for the 6 cyl. SLT model, simply because I wanted more power. The 2015 is quieter than the 2012, and is just a better version of the same vehicle. My only 2 complaints are that it has no rear A/C vents. Hard to believe; it's just not offered...period. And secondly, the V-6 has 19 inch wheels and tires, nice to look at and ride on, but it makes the turning radius not nearly as tight as the 4 cylinder. This will take some time to adjust to. I guess the answer is don't sit in the back seat, which I seldom do, and try to anticipate those u turns, because some of them will not be possible with the bigger wheels. But I love the rest of it and recommend the Terrain highly."
13 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By wb6bma on Monday, February 16, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "everything good!!!!"
Cons: "NOTHING BAD!!!!!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"this is by far the best vehicle I have ever had. 18mpg around town,32mpg on highway-this is the 306 v6.I got better mileage than the 4cly. Has every accessory that GM has--love it."
13 people out of 23 found this review helpful
By Joe Cal on Saturday, February 07, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,200overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fairly priced, great gas mileage, nice looking."
Cons: "Check engine light came on and lurching at a light"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought this new in March of 2014. I bought the SLE, which is the lowest price one with no options because I felt it was loaded enough to begin with. It gets very good gas mileage, better on the highway obviously, it showed 35 mpg. The 4 cylinder seems peppy enough and I tow a small 1,500lb. boat with it. I bought the boat afterwards, or I may have gone with the 6 cylinder. It rides nice and handles well too. It handles pretty well in snow, I'm sure the AWD would handle better, but for 3 months out of the year I can deal with it. My check engine light did come on for a day but went out, I'm not sure why. I did notice at times too it felt like it was lurching at stop lights when my foot was on the brake. I'm thinking that may have been the gas I was using, I used a lower octane, but now I use a higher or middle range one, and it's been fine. I've only owned it for about 10 months or so but so far I do like it and it's styling. The interior is nice too, and I do like the back up camera, it is helpful. I always liked GMC products and hopefully this one won't be a disappointment."
25 people out of 41 found this review helpful
By Smoke and Ice on Tuesday, February 03, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,046overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Cons: "The torque at take-off pulls you back and forth."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Purchased 5/29/2013, 20+K miles, Black, Leather, SLT1. Test drove the 4 cylinder car 1st. It was very GUTLESS. In many parts of Southern CA, you need something quicker to get you on the freeway. We tried the V-6. My wife test drove it. I sat in back. She liked it so we got it with the V-6 Camaro motor, but it pulls you left and right at takeoff. THERE IS NO CURE for this issue, (PER GMC), at this time. They are aware of it, and say the cause is due to the engine is installed sideways."
10 people out of 27 found this review helpful