Avg. Price Paid:$18,733 - $23,761
Original MSRP: $25,560 - $33,010
MPG: 22 City / 32 Hwy
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2012 GMC Terrain Review

Review Last Updated: 10/9/13

These scores and this review are from when the car was new.

The 2012 GMC Terrain has a high base price, but buyers get a standard rearview camera, a stand-out exterior and plenty of passenger space. 

Unlike most compact SUVs, which have round, simple exteriors and a bland list of standard interior features, the 2012 GMC Terrain has rugged, truck-like styling that suggests drivers are headed off-road rather than to the grocery store, and comes loaded with standard features like Bluetooth and a rearview camera. On top of that, the GMC Terrain has a lot of passenger space, and a sliding second row that increases leg or cargo room. The Terrain does have less cargo space than rivals like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, but if you need plenty of room for your teenagers, it may be a compromise you’re willing to make.

Reviewers have found the Terrain’s most obvious flaws: engine performance and price. The Terrain is so pricey because it comes with a lot of standard features, but test drivers hope that GMC will tweak the Terrain’s standard four-cylinder engine and optional V6. The four-cylinder is underpowered, and test drivers even say the V6 engine’s horsepower is misleading.

Overall, the Terrain is perfect for moms and dads who want something other than a typical family SUV, reviewers say, and add that the 2012 GMC Terrain deserves a slot at the top of your shopping list because overall, it’s a great family vehicle.

Other SUVs to Consider

The Terrain is a good alternative to the Toyota RAV4 because it’s more attractive, but its good looks means you’ll give up more interior space and utilitarian features. The RAV4 tops the Terrain in terms of cargo space and has something the Terrain doesn’t: an optional third row that can seat two children comfortably. Of course, the additional seating decreases cargo capacity, but it’s a good option if you need to shuttle more than four passengers.

The Chevrolet Equinox is the GMC Terrain’s corporate cousin, and is a good choice if the Terrain is out of your price range because of its high base price. Built on the same platform as the Terrain, the Equinox also has a lot of interior room and cargo space. It also has very high fuel economy ratings. With the Equinox, however, you won’t get a standard rearview camera.

Details: GMC Terrain

The 2012 GMC Terrain is available in four trim levels: SLE-1, SLE-2, SLT-1 and SLT-2. Because Terrain hasn’t changed much, this review uses test drives from earlier models.

  • "GMC's smallest SUV deserves consideration for passenger accommodations and overall refinement. Compared with the similar Chevrolet Equinox, Terrain offers unique styling, additional standard equipment, and available cloth seating that is notably upmarket of its sibling." -- Consumer Guide
  • "In the Terrain, GMC has created a rugged looking compact, deceiving in size and with impressively good fuel economy. Loaded with features and priced to compete with segment leader such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the Terrain is an appealing choice for those who like their trucks to look like trucks, even when they're not really trucks." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "If the handsome and cohesive design is any indicator, this could be GMC's best small SUV ever." -- Car and Driver

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