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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 286 Ratings for the 2010 - 2016 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

LOVE this car!!

By on Friday, February 05, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great gas mileage, roomy and comfortable."

Cons: "The mirrors-blind spots on passenger side"

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

"Bought this new. 2013 FWD, 4 cyl. Drove it cross country and back and it got fabulous gas mileage and was very comfortable. Husband uses it for work and is always loading furniture into it and it has been very useful. I just would have liked the floor to be flat when the seats are folded down. We have put 82000 on it in two years, and other than oil changes, the car has been perfect. NO problems at all. We live in Massachusetts and it has been fine in the winter. Sadly, two days ago, another driver smashed head on into my husband, totaling the car. He walked away with a small bruise on his ankle. If you saw the picture, you would think the driver would have been killed. The cabin held together just fine. The doors even open and close! We are hoping to replace it with the same or newer model."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Good, With issues

By on Monday, February 01, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great for daily driving"

Cons: "No Rear A/C. Front air vents difficult to direct."

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

"2013 Terrain Denali FWD 2.4L Flex Fuel . We live in Oklahoma. Hot summers cold winters. (anywhere between 8*f-110*f) I have two major complaints about my Denali. 1. No rear air vents AT ALL. So pre-heating/Cooling is definitely needed. Always keep a car blanket for kids in the winter, and kick that A/C on full blast at least 15-20 before putting kids in car. 2. The sticker MPG are completely fictional. (22/32 sticker) my average is much closer to 20/25, NEVER getting better than 26. 98% of my daily commute is full highway. We only use 100% gasoline. Even though our Denali is flex fuel, using E85 will put your MPG in the 15/20 Range. Other than those issues, there really isn't much to complain about, LOVE the Denali features. great sound, excellent red stitched leather. Touch screen Nav and easy to use Onstar/Sirius XM. Bluetooth Speaker loud and clear! EXCELLENT backup (HD!) camera, lane departure and collision alert, all so very handy. Some times collision alert will go off for no reasons. BUT better to be too efficient than not enough. Sunroof doesn't make too much noise when open and driving. Pretty Chrome, easy to maintain. Easy to drive in the snow/rain. Denali vehicle usually has dual chrome tip exhaust, terrain had single exhaust. but far more "pretty" than the standard terrain exhaust. (Only the V6 will get the dual tips while four cylinder models will only sport one.)"

Do not buy a GMC Terrain

By on Monday, January 04, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000

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
4/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "too many recalls and repairs"

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

"We purchased this car 2 years ago, used and have had nothing but problems with it. It has had many recalls and I found that it is burning oil. The latest repair is the Throttle body, which through research with different car repair websites, I find this is a common problem with GMC and Chevy's built from 08-11. The car gives a warning that it is reducing power and makes you pull over so you can't drive it. We had it towed to a dealer and they repaired it. Said it wasn't covered under the warranty. Very disappointed in GM."

13 people out of 13 found this review helpful

love it

By on Friday, December 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

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: "Good Mileage, Comfortable, reliable"

Cons: "Could use a little more power"

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

"I have had this vehicle for nearly 3 years. It is dependable and efficient. I have averaged about 23 mpg which I think is decent for an AWD vehicle being run in a hilly environment."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great AWD Vehicle

By on Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

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: "Good profile, without feeling like driving a semi"

Cons: "A lot of chrome!"

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

"This was my in-laws car, and when they were no longer able to drive, they gave to us. I was in need of an AWD vehicle to handle mountainous winter driving. While I haven't had much opportunity to test it out under these conditions yet, my normal day-to-day driving has been great. Prior to this I drove a Mini-Cooper and would always comment how "invisible" I was to other drivers. The Terrain has a much bigger profile, but not so big I feel like I'm driving a Hummer. I feel very safe and really like the features such as remote start, auto lights, and blue tooth capability. While I may not have chosen this car (had I bought it), but for a free car it has been great and I would definitely purchase another one in the future."

16 people out of 29 found this review helpful

Great for long trips

By on Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Nice design, comfortable interior, good stereo"

Cons: "Bad steering/cornering, no rear A/C, blind spots"

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

"I purchased my 2010 Terrain SLE-2 with FWD in 2014 as a certified pre-owned vehicle (the first owner leased the car for 3 years). I've put about 30,000 miles on it since then. I was nervous to read the Carfax report since it had a long history of repairs, but it has been mostly problem-free for me. I had to replace a brake rotor in the front tire after 8 months of owning it, and the A/C had a leak after a year, a $500 fix. I make several 10+ hour trips a year (mostly interstate driving) and the Terrain is perfect for that, I never even turn on Cruise control. The interior, it feels like someone put you in a comfy chair and designed the dashboard around you. Tall people fit comfortably inside. The door armrest, center console, and gearshift are perfectly placed for a comfortable seating position. The cabin uses cheap materials (lots of hard plastic) but was definitely designed for comfort and everyday use. The cupholders are at a comfortable spot & the storage under the dashboard is the perfect place to store your wallet or phone, the center console is huge inside. Love the red interior lighting and the silver/black color scheme on the interior. I also love the steering wheel controls. The triple-flash lane change signal (Tapping the turn signal stalk halfway blinks 3 times) is a nice feature. The soundproofing is quiet, almost Lexus-like. I don't have the Nav system, but when I use Google Maps navigation on my phone, it syncs with bluetooth and the voice directions are broadcast over the speakers. Driving dynamics are just OK. It's painfully slow accelerating (4 cylinder) but once up to speed, is comfortable to drive. The steering comes up short, the turning radius is worse than some pickup trucks and the steering feels disconnected, like playing an arcade racing game. Gas mileage isn't as good as advertised but is still pretty good, especially if you stick to highway driving."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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