By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
By Monica on Wednesday, April 09, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Transmission showing signs of problems
Pros: "Nice features"
Cons: "Powertrain doesn't last long"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I loved the features on our Terrain (heated seats, sunroof, push button open hatch and leather seats) but thats abaout it. When I took my Terrain recently to get brakes done and suspension (after a bad winter in the tristate and all the bad roads) I was informed that my transmission was starting to show signs that it was going bad. Now this is only after having it a year and a half as i traded in my Chevy Equinox for this vehicle for almost the same reason. Since GM only gives a 3-5 yr 36,000 mile warranty on their vehicles, i was left with the choice of going to a dealer and trading in my vehicle. After many discussions I was able to finally get my husband away from GM vehicles (after 3 falied attempts at their SUV line) and get a Kia/Hyundai which have the best warrantee on the market. GM will need to invest some money into their powertrain and warrantees before i would consider going back."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By sonlop on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Cons: "Back seats need ventilation."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I absolutely love my terrain, as long as there is less than 4 people in the car or it is not hot. I purchased my terrain because I wanted a bigger vehicle than a car and absolutely love it, but 90% of the time I am the only person in the vehicle. It is reliable and I have never felt unsafe in this vehicle. If you are a mother purchasing this car please consider that there is no ventilation in the rear seats and when you are sitting in the front two seats you would never feel how hot it gets in the back of the car until you ride back there yourself. Also the middle seat in the back seat is not meant for trips longer than 30 minutes, it is very uncomfortable. We took a 5 hour trip in the car and we were suffocating and when we turned up the AC so it could reach those in the back seat, those in the front were extremely cold. For 2 or less people in regular temperatures the car is wonderful!"
8 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Roberto on Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "room, functionality, mileage"
Cons: "engine a little rough"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Roomy with a comfortable ride. Four cylinder is a little rough but returns good mileage and has been reliable."
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By htl on Saturday, March 01, 2014
I own this car
Reason: Uncomfortable ride and wind noise - My approximate mileage is 8,500
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Purchased this vehicle new. Only has 8500 miles on it and I'm tired of it already. The ride is far too stiff, the 4 cylinder feels too underpowered, the radio is too complicated and all the buttons are too close together and similarly shaped. I have to take my eyes off the road if i want to do anything besides temperature, fan speed, or volume. It is a well designed and beautiful interior, however it isn't functional."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Txt on Wednesday, February 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great all-around vehicle"
Cons: "Lacks a rear-seat vent"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this vehicle. I've never had any problems with it. It drives nicely and has lots of space in the back seat. It's very comfortable, looks nice, and has great amenities! I can take the whole family, including two large dogs and there is space for all the kids' equipment. My one suggestion would be to add a vent to the back seat for faster heating/cooling of that space, but since the heat and a/c both work so well, it's not a major concern."
12 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By T-bird on Wednesday, February 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "It's good on the highway."
Cons: "Bad turn radius. Awkward key design. Hate it."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Car simply does not live up to standards. I don't like it. I know it's a small thing, but the key design is awful. It is too thick to fit well on a standard key ring, even more difficult if you have a few other keys that need to be in the same place; an awkward design. The turn radius on the car is terrible. We test drove it on highways near the Dealer. Dealership happens to be located away from town. Don't know what I was thinking!! I have driven numerous vehicles in tests. My husband was with me and I didn't take the time to truly run it through my usual test criteria. I should have. I'm too practical to lose a ton of money by trading out of a nearly new car, but this one makes me consider it strongly. I just hate it."
9 people out of 15 found this review helpful