2013 GMC Terrain Review
According to reviewers, the 2013 GMC Terrain doesn’t have the most exciting performance in the class, but its roomy interior and high-tech cabin make it an appealing option among compact SUVs.
Performance is not the 2013 Terrain’s strong suit, but with a new V6 engine, test drivers say that it is competitive within the class. The GMC Terrain offers a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a 3.6-liter V6 that are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. While auto critics prefer the Terrain’s more powerful V6, they recognize the four-cylinder’s benefits in terms of fuel economy. A four-cylinder Terrain can get up to 22/32 mpg city/highway, which is great for a compact SUV. Additionally, the Terrain offers the reassurance of a good safety score. The Terrain’s handling isn’t that sporty, and some test drivers say it has a large turning radius, but has a smooth ride that’s ideal for a family hauler. Additionally, the Denali trim receives upgraded suspension components.
The GMC Terrain comes loaded with high-tech features like a rearview camera and Bluetooth, which aren’t standard on all rivals. Standard leather seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat with memory functions and optional blind spot warning are stand-out features on the Denali trim. All Terrain models have a comfortable and spacious cabin with a rear seat that test drivers praise. GMC’s optional IntelliLink infotainment system is controlled through a seven-inch touch screen and integrates a smartphone and streams Internet radio services like Pandora. In terms of overall cargo space, the Terrain trails competitors like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.
- "A better V6 engine option and premium style make the 2013 GMC Terrain a top choice for those shopping for compact crossovers." -- Edmunds
- "The Denali does little to transform the Terrain driving experience, but it provides easy shopping for those who want a loaded-up SUV with less bulk than GMC's bigger offerings but no less bling." -- Automobile Magazine
- "The Terrain - along with the Equinox - is a terrific option for compact-crossover shoppers who want a more substantial feel out of their ride. It also packs all the current technology and safety features you would want in a car in this segment and price range." -- Cars.com (2012)
- "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." -- Kelley Blue Book (2012)
Other Cars to Consider
The highly-ranked Toyota RAV4 has an optional third-row seat, which is rare for the class. It also has greater overall cargo space than the Terrain. The RAV4 has a powerful V6 engine that returns better fuel economy than the Terrain’s V6. However, the Terrain’s four-cylinder gets better mileage than the RAV4’s four-cylinder.
If you like the Terrain’s flexible interior and good fuel economy, the Chevrolet Equinox, the Terrain’s corporate cousin, is a good alternative for its lower price and similar mechanical attributes. Like the Terrain, the Equinox’s four-cylinder engine has excellent fuel economy. The Equinox also has the same all-new V6 as the Terrain, so if you can sacrifice standard features like a rearview camera, the lower-priced Equinox is a good value.
Details: 2013 GMC Terrain
The 2013 GMC Terrain is available in five trim levels: SLE-1, SLE-2, SLT-1, SLT-2 and Denali. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is standard, and a new 3.6-liter V6 engine is optional. Both are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available on all trims. Besides the new V6 engine and Denali trim, the Terrain is largely unchanged for 2013, so this review uses research from 2012 and 2013.