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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 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 2012 GMC Terrain owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

“Camera stopped working. needed replacement”

Anonymous, MA (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)
Display screen goes blank

“The screen is blank and everything under it will not work. None of the controls will work”

Anonymous, WV (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

“See my comments re Sirius Sat radio”

Pat T., TX (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The screen or the controls would not respond, it locked up and nothing helped. One time the air bag light went on, then the display lighting went off, then back on, no reason”

Anonymous, WI (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“The infotainment center forgets the XM display and locks up, along with other screen info, so the truck has to stop, restart and reboot the system, very aggravating”

Anonymous, WI (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

“Keep getting error message "Nav SD card not inserted. Navigation not available". The card is always inserted, I never take it out. Have reported this off and on ever since I got the car”

Anonymous, FL (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Screen went blank. System rebooted by dealer and has been fine ever since. Nocharge”

Michael K., NY (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

“You have to be careful to make another phone active when other family member's phones are added, or the system forgets and uses yours if your not far enough away to keep it active or off - the person driving away may be still connected to your phone rather than theirs”

Anonymous, WI (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

“System shorted out and caused battery to go dead”

Anonymous, NJ (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)
Radio

“When Sirius sat radio was downloaded, it killed the entire audio/GPS systems. Sirius would not respond nor accept any responsibility. Fortunately, I had extended warranty and a superb dealer that did a very costly fix”

Pat T., TX (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The radio and display screen system simply went dead and the whole system had to be replaced. It was under warranty but my vehicle was laid up for several days”

Elaine F., NY (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)

“i found out the radio controls most of my problems. my dealer told me there was nothing wrong with my terrain. after speaking to other people with the terrain they had the same problems,they purchased from different dealers problems solved on the spo”

Kevin N., ON (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)

“Bluetooth failed to work”

Anonymous, NJ (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

“I was not able to change the screens”

Rick C., NC (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen freezes up

“Suddenly nothing works for the climate control or music system, I have to stop the truck, turn it off and restart the engine and system usually comes back again”

Anonymous, WI (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)

“Related to #1”

Rick C., NC (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

“Plastic bumper fell off when caught on small ground water sprinkler. The fender and door misaligned when they tried to put it back on costing $1900.00 in repair and ruining our accident history”

Anonymous, CA (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“On The Rear Tail Gate The Rust Started To Show So They Took It In And Repainted It It Was Between The Plate Lights”

Norton C., ON (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“rear hatch had paint chipping off just to the right and left of license plate”

John B., WI (2012 GMC Terrain)

“Rust rings continue to reappear through paint on top of car even after being cleaned off”

Patrick C., TX (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Rust

“paint is chippingaround doors and gas filller cap. also inside doors all 5 of them there is rust dealer says not covered until there is a hole thru the rust”

Keith R., NY (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)

“recalled for rust on door hems”

Anonymous, MB (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Rust around license plate frame because license plate directly contacted tailgate, poor design. No apparent rust at bottom of doors but the dealer made some repair under warranty”

R H., ON (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)

“rust and flaked paint on door sill”

Anonymous, ON (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Tailgate and inside of doors rusting out on both cars. These cars are very well cared for and garaged when not being driven”

Anonymous, MN (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Rusting tailgate and doors”

Anonymous, MN (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Rust rings appearing on top center of vehicle outside of interior dome light mounts”

Patrick C., TX (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Rusting lower front right fender area closest to driver door”

Chuck B., ON (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Loose interior trim or moldings

“On instrument panel, 4" dia. bubble on material above instrument cluster. This appeared after the car was over a year old”

Anonymous, LA (2012 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

Alignment

“With only 22000 miles, no accidents, no potholes, the rear wheels were out of alignment. Because of this both front & rear had to be aligned for a cost of $580”

Anonymous, FL (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Electronic or air suspension

“Intellitrack needed servicing”

Gerald M., LA (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Power steering leaks

“The low pressure hose return to the pump had a small leak. It was discovered during the annual safety inspection . It was not serious enough to fail the inspection. It was replaced during the next scheduled service”

Anonymous, NC (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 3.0-L V6)
Wheel bearings

“Had to replace driver side front wheel bearing assembly”

Cliff E., IN (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“had steering system fixed under recall”

S H., MA (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Steering wheel would not turn after driving long period of time. It had a recall on this issue and was repaired free of charge”

Keith L., OK (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

Refrigerant leaks

“slow leak”

Anonymous, PA (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Automatic climate control

“it wasnot blowing warm and cool air when set on heating”

Anonymous, TX (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Have had two days when the A/C was still working but not cooling. Had it in for diagnostics but there were no codes so nothing was fixed”

Anonymous, FL (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Electrical failure

“when radio went off i was told it controlled most of the guages”

Kevin N., ON (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)
Heater system

“heater fan motor and directional gate has failed. to replace it, the dashboard has to be completely removed making the cost very expensive”

Eliott H., AL (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

“Have had consistent message - Service engine soon - however the dealer states nothing is wrong”

Anonymous, MI (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Oil leaks

“Burns oil. Engine light came on and wouldn't go off even after repair. Mechanic recommended trading in car ASAP because only solution was to tear down engine and clean”

Wesley R., TX (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Worn rings at 90,000 KM and accelerated oil loss”

Anonymous, AB (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Happened at an oil change. Was supposed to be fixed last oil change. Still a minor problem”

Anonymous, CA (2012 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.

What Owners Say

“SOME MORNINGS MY ABS DOES NOT WORK ON FIRST PEDAL”

Anonymous, NS (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

“they do not hold up anymore years ago they could turn the rotors for more life now they just replace saying they are wraped”

Keith R., NY (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)

“MY BRAKES WERE PULSATING WHEN APPLIED QUICKLY”

Anonymous, NS (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Parking brake

“Parking brake would not lock in place”

Robert C., NJ (2012 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

“shift module replaced for rough shifting”

Stephen L., MI (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“rough shifts at low speeds (typically downshift upon braking). Very little insight from GM despite the problem appearing on several on-line owner forums. I believe it's just a poorly performing transmission. not impacting driveability, only comfor”

Matthew E., AB (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“WHEN GOING FROM FIRST TO 2ND GEAR, THE CLUTCH SEEMS TO SLIP”

Bruce R., CA (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission sensor or solenoid

“Shift module replaced for rough shift. Good know”

Stephen L., MI (2012 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

“Rear seal blew on interstate and all oil gone. Enough damage that engine had to be replaced! Was not repairable”

Anonymous, IL (2012 GMC Terrain Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“I change oil every 7,500 miles. It was 1 1/2 quarts low. The dealer wanted to do an "oil consumption test" I took it in every 500 miles, it was generally 1/2 pint low The Dealer rebuilt the engine (pistons and rings) and replaced cracked exhaust manifold, under factory warranty. I am pleased the dealer discovered I had a problem and fixed it. That boost my confidence in my local General Motors dealer”

M S., NC (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“engine failed after the warranty period was over and was not covered. had to pay for replacement myself”

Eliott H., AL (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 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

“recalled for rust on door hems”

Anonymous, MB (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Heated or cooled seat controls

“leather seating that has experienced a split not near a seam on the leather itself”

Anonymous, ON (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Hydraulic leak causes door to drift shut and must be held up”

Robert K., FL (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 3.0-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

“Took 3 trips to dealership to identify problem. 1) my gas tank was too full to use Smoke Machine to detect problem AFTER they had replaced gas tank cap 2) Smoke machine was broken - had to wait 2 weeks for it to be repaired 3) Finally replaced a line which took away the check engine light 4) 3 weeks later, part came loose and ended up in windshield wiper trough, took it to dealership where service rep though it was the old part and threw it away. Next day check engine light came on and at dealer”

Jenny C., FL (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Exhaust manifold

“crack in the manifold that was difficult to fix”

Anonymous, PA (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Muffler

“after standing idle for about 6 weeks while we were away, the exhaust system was very loud at the next use. Found out it was the muffle that had rusted through”

Anonymous, NY (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 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

Warning lights

“persistent gas cap needs to be checked”

William B., OH (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

“Dashboard Components”

Anonymous, FL (2012 GMC Terrain SLE 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

Spark plugs or wires failure

“Cylinder miss-fire causing stalling. No firm diagnosis on ignition system or plugs/wires. technician 'switched' the wires around (moved them between cylinders) and it resolved the issue...technician told me this was a common 'trick' to resolve thes”

Matthew E., AB (2012 GMC Terrain SLT 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

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

Transfer case

“Unit failed at 150,000. Oil changed at 90,000K. Should have used severe schedule and changed every 50K”

Anonymous, MI (2012 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.

Engine Cooling

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

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