February 23, 2018

2012 GMC Terrain


I eagerly awaited the arrival of the 2012 GMC Terrain.  I had high hopes for my first GMC review and I felt positive that it would impress me.  The GMC Terrain is a small to mid-size SUV that is on the same base as the Chevy Equinox and it does not have a third row.

Being a household of five the Terrain wasn’t the best option for us. However, we were able to fit two booster seats (one backless) and a convertible car seat in the movable second row bench.  It’s not ideal but it works.  Bucket seats versus a bench are available in the Terrain too.  It came equipped with XM Radio, a navigation system and Intellilink, which uses both USB and Bluetooth for streaming apps like Pandora.  Intellilink is new to the 2012 Terrain.  I love the option to have remote start and remote access liftgate and found it roomy enough to store a weeks worth of groceries, an umbrella stroller, emergency car kit and a few other items without feeling stuffed to the max in the back cargo space.  My kids loved the car until they found they couldn’t open and shut the doors very well.  The doors on the Terrain are heavy.  All of us were constantly getting hit by them if they were not fully pulled open.  I got clocked in the head and behind more than I liked the week we reviewed this car and my kids did too.  “It’s eating me!” said my the six year old when a door shut partially and shoved her into the car.

Terrain dashboard.

The exterior of the Terrain is boxy. It has a square jaw look that appeals to some and reminded me of a smaller, lower Pathfinder. Personally, I like the look of it.  Sitting lower to the ground it works well as a family car. It is easy for people to get in and out of versus a truck or larger SUV.  The classic 3-bar grille for GMC and nice chrome accents attract the eye.

As for performance the Terrain runs quiet.  On highway or urban roads the noise level from the outside is low due to the Active Noise Cancellation feature. It doesn’t make a lot of noise on acceleration either.  That is always a plus.  The Terrain comes equipped with a 6-speed transmission and 4-cylinder engine.  It’s a 2.4 liter with 182-horsepower or 264-horsepower V-6 and six airbags.  Safety wise it does alright.  The addition of one year of free OnStar helps as does the standard rearview camera.  While driving around in the Terrain it was clear that the center stack wasn’t as user friendly as we would like.  Despite seat adjustments I could never find a comfortable angle to reach the controls for heating and cooling or the radio and navigation system.  This is a problem.  Just sitting in the driver seat my six foot husband couldn’t access things well either.  Turning, acceleration and braking were all fairly standard and nothing stood out in a good or bad way.  Gas mileage is 22 mpg city and 32 highway on the front-wheel drive and 15/22 mpg on the E85, front-wheel drive.  Our AWD Terrain averaged 20/29 mpgs.  On the E85, AWD Terrain it is more like 14/20 mpg.  Pricing starts at $26,000 and up to $30,000.  I’m not sure the Terrain is worth quite that much.

Overall, I was disappointed with my Terrain experience.  I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love the SUV either.  I think there are many other competitors that offer more in the same price range and have better interiors too.  Changes in the 2013 Terrain might warrant another look.

MPR Rating: Three Stars.

Disclaimer: MPR was not paid for this post. Products received are for review purposes only.  Opinions are MPR’s only. 











*Images from Edmunds.com and Powerfultrucks.org