2013 GMC Terrain

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2013 GMC Terrain Review

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.

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.

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
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 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.

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 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.

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

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)

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