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2013 GMC Terrain Review

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2013 GMC Terrain Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

By no means compact, but also not quite mid-size, the five-passenger 2013 GMC Terrain offers the fuel economy of a small SUV with a rugged truck-like design that makes it appear larger than it actually is. Although roomy, the Terrain doesn't offer a third-row seat and its all-wheel-drive (AWD) system is pretty much limited to tackling snow-covered roads rather than off-road trails. Compared to newer competitors such as the Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda CR-V, the 2013 GMC Terrain manages to hold its own, with 4-cylinder models touting fuel economy figures near the top of its class. And, unlike the Escape and CR-V, the Terrain offers the option of a V6 engine that makes better than 300 horsepower while still returning pretty respectable fuel economy.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for something akin to a Ford Escape or Honda CR-V, but you don't like futuristic styling or 4-cylinder powertrains, the GMC Terrain for 2013 may very well be the answer. Its squared-off edges and flared wheel openings say "GMC Truck" loud and clear.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your travel plans include serious off-road adventures, the Terrain probably isn't the best first choice.
While its AWD is effective in snow, off-road trails with mud or deep ruts are better left to such as the Jeep Wrangler or Subaru Outback.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.5
  • 6.7
  • 7.9
  • 6.9
  • 6.9
  • 7.9
How It Ranks

#17

out of 43

Fuel Economy

#27

out of 42

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

7.8 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 GMC Terrain Low/wide front photo What's New for 2013

The 2013 GMC Terrain gets a bump in power from a new 3.6-liter V6 engine rated at 301 horsepower (replaces the previous 3.0-liter engine). Also new for 2013 is the Terrain Denali model, offering such exclusive options as Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Driving the Terrain
2013 GMC Terrain Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions With the proliferation of Bluetooth-enabled devices becoming increasingly more commonplace, the 2013 GMC Terrain SUV's impressively quiet cabin is an unexpected bonus. Extensive use of acoustic laminated glass, active noise-cancellation...

... technology and triple-sealed doors creates an interior that is nearly Lexus-like at highway speed. Powering the 2013 GMC Terrain SUV is a competent 4-cylinder engine admittedly better at impressing with its fuel economy than its passing prowess. For those who want more power, there's the new 3.6-liter V6 of 301 horsepower, 272 lb-ft of torque and EPA highway fuel-economy ratings in the mid-20s.

HEATED CLOTH SEATS
Heated seats aren't often seen without a leather interior. The seats in the 2013 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 SEATS
The Terrain's entire second row can be moved forward or back eight inches, allowing for taller passengers to gain more legroom or for parents to pull kids in car seats significantly closer.

2013 GMC Terrain Details
2013 GMC Terrain Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Although it shares much in common with the Chevy Equinox, the 2013 GMC Terrain strives to distinguish itself with more high-quality materials, such as satin metal trim and two-tone leather seating. The Denali takes things even further with French-stitched seams, smoked mahogany trim and an 8-way power passenger seat. 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 touch-screen radio that uses smart phone-like icons to operate the screen functions.

Exterior
2013 GMC Terrain photo

The 2013 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. GMC's 2013 Terrain isn't terribly tall off the ground, making it easy to get in and out of, as well as to reach the roof.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The base GMC Terrain compact SUV for 2013 comes equipped with a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with 6-speed transmission, 17-inch wheels, rearview camera, color touch-screen radio with a USB port and iPod support, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, XM Satellite Radio, OnStar, six airbags and a sliding rear seat that can move fore and aft nearly eight inches. Inside, ambient lighting sets the interior's mood, and Active Noise Cancellation – the projection of sound waves through the speakers to counteract loud exterior noises - helps keep the interior quiet.

Optional Equipment

Popular options include a 3.6-liter V6 engine and larger 19-inch alloy wheels. 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 new color touch-screen navigation system incorporating all of the IntelliLink features, a 10-gigabyte music storage hard drive, Pioneer sound system and a programmable rear liftgate that can be set to open to a lower height. Is safety a big concern? Add the Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert (standard on SLT-2 and Denali) or the Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (Denali only).

Under the Hood
2013 GMC Terrain Engine photo

Powering the 2013 GMC Terrain is either a 182-horsepower in-line 4-cylinder or a new, 301-horsepower V6. Both benefit from direct injection and are mated to 6-speed automatic transmissions, and deliver excellent fuel-economy numbers.

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

3.6-liter V6 (SLE-2, SLT, Denali)
301 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
272 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg (front-wheel drive, gasoline), 13/22 mpg (front-wheel drive, E85), 16/23 mpg (AWD, gasoline), NA (AWD, E85)

The 2013 GMC Terrain SLE-1 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $27,000, while the SLT-1 runs closer to $30,000. Adding all-wheel drive will set you back $1,750 on either model. Competitors of the Terrain include the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and the Subaru Outback, all of which cost less than the Terrain, but come with less standard equipment. To ensure that you get the best price on the 2013 GMC Terrain SUV, be sure to check out the Fair Purchase price on kbb.com, which will give you an idea of what people in your area are paying for theirs. A 2013 GMC Terrain will hold its value exceedingly well over the years, far better than the Journey and the Compass, but still well behind the segment residual leader, the Honda CR-V.

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2013 GMC Terrain Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 206 Ratings for the 2010 - 2014 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

The most reliable vehicle I have ever owned.

By on Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

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: "Great value. Well constructed. Peppy engine."

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

"Not a single issue with this car in over 2.5 years. I took it in to the dealer right before the warranty ran out to see if they could find a problem. Of course nothing was discovered wrong with it. That little 4 cylinder engine is a work horse, and surprisingly peppy. The only issue I have is the gas mileage is not as good as I was lead to believe. It averages about 24 Mpg, and I thought it would be in the 26-27 range."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Nice car for the cost.

By on Monday, June 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Quiet, smooth, nicely equipped for the money."

Cons: "Expensive to maintain, poor MPG, poor cargo area."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Car does very good in snow. V6 has good power, but I only get 12 mpg city, 19 highway. 4 cyl. did not have any power, even with only 2 people. Tires are too expensive, must be T-rated for some reason, and with AWD you must replace with same manufacturer for one tire, or buy 4 if tire treadwear is under 50% because circumference must be the same or it will ruin the tranny. Oil change costs twice as much because it requires synthetic oil. These three facts were not mentioned to me when I bought it. Best price I can find for my tires is $235 plus mounting, etc. Drove it to Fla. from PA twice, and ride & handling was very good and quiet. Not very good storage behind back seat, but back seat slides up or back about 8 inches for legroom or more room for suitcases. Standard rear back up camera is convenient. Cloth seats are very durable. Smooth, quiet, & responsive handling."

11 people out of 18 found this review helpful

wonderful suv

By on Thursday, June 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

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: "fuel economy roomy quiet cabin"

Cons: "none"

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

"Purchased the terrain for a family trip to Texas last year and have been impressed with the vehicle from the first day"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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