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While this version of the GMC Terrain is not a bad vehicle, the competition had left it in the dust. While nice and roomy inside, the Terrain is less efficient than other five-passenger SUVs, but burns as much gas as larger, seven-passenger models. The 3.6-liter engine, shared with many other General Motors products, supplies quick acceleration times at the test track, but feels sluggish in routine driving.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph (sec.) 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

While this version of the GMC Terrain is not a bad vehicle, the competition had left it in the dust. While nice and roomy inside, the Terrain is less efficient than other five-passenger SUVs, but burns as much gas as larger, seven-passenger models.

The 3.6-liter engine, shared with many other General Motors products, supplies quick acceleration times at the test track, but feels sluggish in routine driving. Plus, the unrefined and slow-shifting six-speed automatic transmission does it no favors. With 18 mpg overall, fuel economy from the V6 falls short of more capable and roomy SUVs. Four-cylinder models have an overworked 2.4-liter engine, which returns 21 mpg. Again, that falls far short of rivals, which approach 26 mpg overall. Handling and ride are decent, but ordinary.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.4-liter 4 (182 hp)
  • 3-liter V6 (264 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2011 GMC Terrain owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“Have to replace compressor”

Anonymous, HI (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)

“Technician told me that the compressor came apart internally and required evaporator and other components to be replaced”

Anonymous, GA (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)
Automatic climate control

“A module that controlled damper operation failed”

Anonymous, NY (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Extreme heat followed by extreme cold coming through the vents. Had entire climate control module replaced”

Anonymous, PA (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Car would not cool”

Anonymous, FL (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Lost defog-defrost capabillity in 25^F damp weather having to stop on the freeway many miles from home on a Sunday. Dealer blamed this loss on a criter caught in the duct and jambed the mode actuator, plus a software update”

Floyd D., MI (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“When in automatic climate control, sometimes cooling system does not work properly. Warm air circulates and system must be turned off completely for a few minutes and then turned back on to allow cooling system to engage”

Brandon C., AR (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Accuator in the temperature control failed, was about $200 to fix, works fine now”

Lynn L., PA (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

“The blower started losing power and slowly reached a point where cool air wouldn't blow out on a hot day”

Anonymous, GA (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Condenser

“Started to leak and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, FL (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Air conditioning blowing only hot air. Dealer service was incompetent - couldn't find a leak or other problem. Took 4 days to figure out and repair issue, replacing condenser”

Anonymous, NY (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)
Heater system

“Seems like it takes forever to start throwing warm air then never warms the car sufficiently in very cold temps”

Dennis B., IL (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Lack of cooling”

Anonymous, BC (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

“Using excessive oil. Dealership and GM covered repair under warranty. Problem with piston rings”

Anonymous, MI (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“I want to talk about 2 different things 1) had to have all pistons replaced, whole engine taken out at 85,000 miles because something happens with that specific engine, that makes it loose oil. My car would just stop stop dead - happened on freeway, they accused me of having oil all over driveway, which I did not. They did know what the problem was, and they fixed it, but it put me in danger. 2) the windshield wiper transmission has gone out twice on my car, both times on the freeway in drivi”

Karen O., MI (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Major problems, probably starting with stretched timing belt that resulted in excessive cylinder head wear and oil consumption. Belt replaced first, then eventually engine rebuilt under warranty”

Anonymous, ON (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The engine growls and the dealer replaces the timing chain. It was not part of the recall. Very expensive to fix but got a small concession from GM. Growling noise has come back after a few month. Sound turns heads as start up”

John B., MI (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Check engine light came on (8 times in 4 years). Dealer replaced timing belt”

Stephen R., CO (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Cold-start engine rattle and miss. Timing chain, cam actuators, tensioner, and gaskets replaced.......but still have cold start rattle and miss from engine. And, it's getting worse. Has been serviced 5 times for these issues”

Floyd D., MI (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Check Engine light came on 3 times. Each time I used Onstar to do the free live vehicle diagnostic. Each time a different result came back with each one asking me to go in for service as soon as possible. Each time I did and a series of engine r”

Paul S., SK (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Scheduled timing belt replacement

“Dealer, though they knew the problem they wanted to fix didn't have the parts and had the car for several days - and now the sound just came back”

John B., MI (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

“Car stopped. Computer was replaced”

Martin S., ON (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)

“Temperature sensor failed causing engine computer to shutdown the A/C and would not allow it to run... Sensor was replaced and problem was resolved under Warranty”

Anonymous, FL (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“check engine light continued to come on”

Anonymous, LA (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)
Engine knock or ping

“As this Terrain was a 4 cylinder, the car was too heavy for the engine causing excessive engine wear. The engine would burn oil to the point where an oil consumption test was conducted by the dealership. It was determined that this was a known issue with the 2011 4 cyl Terrains. The engine would knock and ping after just 2,000 kms of normal driving. Nice looking car but too visits to tge dealership to fix ( or try to fix) the multiple issues. Never will I buy another GMC vehicle”

Jerry A., ON (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The engine knocks when it has burned a lot of oil. This Terrain is not a bad SUV but it burns oil like there's no tomorrow. And it only burns either Dexos or Fully Synthetic oils, so an oil change is not cheap. You change the oil every 2 months or so”

Paul S., SK (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Blew out the rear main seal due to a plugged pcv valve.still had power train warranty. Gm wouldn't cover because I did not purchase from a Gm certified dealer. Car had 19k miles when I purchased from the estate of my bosses grandfather. Gm has a service bulletin on the subject. It states that it will be covered regardless of ownership. They said they didn't show my vin as one of the ones being affected, even though I have the same engine and year as the rest involved. (2011-2013) Gm wanted $320”

Gerritt P., MI (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The dealer discovered alias in an engine seal during routine maintenance. They kept the car and ordered the gasket. It took 3 plus days to fix. Covered under warranty”

Anonymous, IN (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“GPS setting would not hold in memory after a breif stop for gas or shut down for a couple of minutes. Would have to reprogram the destination everytime I cut off the iginition on a long trip. Since repaired I received a recall notice for reimburseme”

Anonymous, VA (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

“The system no longer remember destination input and the clock time would not stay set correctly. This issues resolved with a recall update”

David R., MA (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“System didn't work, lost locations, phone and radio were also affected by the nav system”

Anonymous, NY (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

“See previous answer”

Roy C., MA (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)
Radio

“If radio set to a particular station when shutting off care, the set station would not be there when retarting the car. However, since repair I received a recall notice for reimburement”

Anonymous, VA (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

“The entertainment system would not remember any settings, i.e. it would go back to factory default setting every time we got in. Time display "12:00", no station preset and it didn't recognize our satellite radio subscription”

Leonce W., IL (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

“Failure of entire in dash radio: date/time, mileage, preset stations, etc. Entire system replaced by dealer under warrantee”

Roy C., MA (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

“Car kept cutting off”

Anonymous, AL (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Catalytic converter replaced”

Anonymous, PA (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel injection system

“I had one injector fail and had to replace it”

James S., WA (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)

“Had to replace the fuel throttle body”

Chris K., ON (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

“Just finished repairs under drive-train warranty - cracked manifold, damaged sensors, and replaced catalytic converter, all related problems”

Anonymous, ON (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel pump

“High pressure fuel pump failed and flooded the engine crankcase”

Anonymous, NY (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Wheel bearings

“First one rear went bad, then a couple of months later the other side went bad and currently there is a problem with the front. They are extremely expensive to replace”

Richard M., NY (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Bushings

“lower front control arm bushings failed and caused clunking and improper steering. replace under extended warranty”

Anonymous, PA (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)
Power steering pumps and hoses

“Pump make noise when turning wheels at low speed”

Anonymous, HI (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

“The power steering "groans/growls" when making turns a low speed or stopped. Dealer show a minor leak but not serious enough to replace pump at this time”

Anonymous, FL (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)
Steering wheel vibration

“Slight vibration at a sudden speed”

Anonymous, HI (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

“Plastic trim pieces between front wheel well and body repeatedly come loose because of broken plastic clips”

Anonymous, MI (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Loose interior trim or moldings

“The headliner was falling down. After several trips to dealership, the finally replaced the whole headliner”

Leonce W., IL (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)
Rust

“Rust on rear hatch”

Anonymous, ME (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)

“Tailgate surface rust even though it was cared for on a regular basis”

Anonymous, OH (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

“Transmission failure at 85000 miles due to solenoid failure”

Michael H., NC (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Would not shift into 4th gear. Because VTI, could not be repaired and therefore was replaced”

Anonymous, OH (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“downshifting issue for 2 years GM finally replaced trans. This was written up in consumer reports (possibly April 2012) Your article was very accurate Just what I experienced!”

Anonymous, NJ (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

“Car stalled while driving, had it towed to the nearest repair facility where they determined that the transmission could not be repaired and had to be replaced. Many phone calls between us and the repair business and GMC”

Anonymous, WA (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“leak inside of left rear tail light assembly that drips into the interior of the car”

Ken S., OR (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“When it rains, I have water that leaks into the passenger front floor. It could be that the drain for the sunroof is clogged. This is a new problem & have not had it in to be diagnosed yet”

Lisa S., TX (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

“Rear driver side seat squeaks with every bump in the road. It has been repaired by GMC before (while it was still under warranty), and now has recently begun doing this again. Initially we were told that a bolt needed tightening”

Anonymous, FL (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Very noisy car as you drive down highway, Replaced door seals twice but it still is noisy”

Anonymous, OH (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission computer

“Two failures in one year, ultimately part of reason for replacement of transmission. Should get more than 82000 miles before needing transmission replacement”

Anonymous, OH (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Seals had to be replaced cost was $1700”

Anonymous, NY (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Rough shifting

“Shifting from first to second gear”

Anonymous, TX (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Transmission wouldn't shift from 2nd to 3rd easily if you had to accelerate rapidly. Would pause and you had to hit the gas several times to get it to catch on the gear. Checked several times but never found problem”

Anonymous, SC (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

“We were told at least a year ago that it needed to be replaced or the car would not pass licensing renewal required level”

Anonymous, WA (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)
Exhaust leaks

“There's a component called the resonator that rusted out. The repair shop said that it is a common problem on Terrains”

Richard M., NY (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Body control module

“My wife was driving on the highway during afternoon rush hour and the engine just shut down with no warning at all. Thank God that traffic was moving only 15-20 kms/hr as cars were able to avoid hitting her from behind. A tow truck driver was nearby and he happened to tow her to safety and then directly back to the dealership. The dealership indicated it must of been a faulty BCM that needed to be reprogrammed. Although it was covered under warranty and it didn't happen again, just the thought o”

Jerry A., ON (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Heated or cooled seats

“recall on the electronic seat adjuster - could fail and the seat would drop to lowest level while driving”

Lori R., WI (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Seat belts

“recall”

Anonymous, PA (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)
Windows

“drivers side window regulator replaced”

Anonymous, ME (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Radiator

“Internal radiator tank cracked after 4 years. The car was not driven roughly or excessively. This should not have happened. I have owned cars where there was no problem with the radiator even after 13 years”

Anonymous, PA (2011 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Thermostat

“Related to other problem”

Anonymous, FL (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

“This is the second battery in this vehicle as they approximately every 40 months”

Michael H., NC (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Alternator

“At 31k miles, had to replace failing alternator”

Anonymous, TX (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Stability control (ESC)

“On two different occasions I experienced an error message regarding Stability Control one of which only allowed me to drive at a max of 25 mph which was an issue on an Interstate”

Anonymous, IN (2011 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

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