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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
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 296 Ratings for the 2010 - 2017 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

This is one of the best cars I have driven.

By on Friday, July 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "The V6 handles great on the road."

Cons: "Better see if you can get in and out easy."

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

"We love to drive this SUV. It is smooth, stable on the road, and rides just as good as the most expensive cars out there. My only problem is getting in and out of it. I hit my head on the door jam when I get in and the seats hurt my legs when I get out. We should have bought a mid size SUV instead of this one. Thats my only complaint. Outside of that, I think it is a great driving machine."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Outside a few dings inside very clean.

By on Saturday, July 2, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good price and easy and comfortable to drive."

Cons: "Really none it has plenty of little extras inside."

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

"I have had the car for 2 1/2 years has been very well-taken care of. The inside is in great condition not smoked it. The floor mats are super clean and in explanted shape I kept other rugs over them. I'm 2nd owner.It has always been parked in a garage. The outside has a couple very little dings, a couple very small chips due to normal driving. It also has a small scuff on front bumper, very hard to see. Tires are in great shape and wheels also.One Issue it has is under the hood when I bought it, it is missing some the black covering inside the hood. Former owner stated he lived outside the city and an animal must have torn it. That is what the dealer told me. The car runs great and for a 4cyl 6 speed still has some get-up and go. Just wanting to trade for something different, not because of anything bad or wrong. It has been trouble free and been a great purchase. Just looking for a few more options."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Worst Vehicle EVER ! Do NOT BUY!

By on Monday, June 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

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
2/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
2/10

Cons: "Lives in the shop- drive a rental more than it !"

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

"This vehicle has been nothing but trouble. I bought it brand new in 2011- Had the double TV's in the back for my kids and thought it would be great. Already had to have the engine rebuilt and NOW I'M back in the shop after replacing TWO catalytic converters it needs TIMING BELTS and a new FUEL pump and IT'S NOT EVEN PAID FOR YET !!! I will NEVER EVER EVER BUY ANOTHER GM PRODUCT AGAIN!!!"

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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."

15 people out of 25 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."

17 people out of 27 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@!"

16 people out of 22 found this review helpful

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