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.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2012 GMC Terrain has been recalled 3 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
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Overall Reliability Verdict
Potential Trouble Spots
Engine Major
Engine Minor
Engine Cooling
Transmission Major
Transmission Minor
Drive System
Fuel System
Electric System
Climate System
Suspension
Brakes
Exhaust
Paint/Trim
Body Integrity
Body Hardware
Power Equipment
In-car Electronics
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 500,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2018 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

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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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:CONTROL MODULE (TCM, PCM)
Jul 05 2016
If the key is removed without the transmission in PARK, the vehicle may rollaway as occupants are exiting, increasing the risk of injury.
Summary:
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2016-2017 Buick Verano and 2016 Chevrolet Malibu as the electronic park lock lever may allow the ignition key to be removed without the transmission being in PARK. Also, certain 2013 Buick Encore, 2011 Buick Regal, 2013-2014 Buick Verano, 2011-2016 Chevrolet Cruze, 2010-2013 Chevrolet Equinox 2013-2015 Chevrolet Malibu, and 2011-2013 GMC Terrain vehicles may have been serviced with similar defective replacement electronic park lock levers. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 114, "Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention."
What should you do:
GM will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and if necessary replace the key cylinder lock housing, free of charge. The recall began on October 14, 2016. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020, Buick 1-800-521-7300, and GMC 1-800-462-8782. GM's number for this recall is 50490 and 50491.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 16V502000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 8367
SEATS:FRONT ASSEMBLY:POWER ADJUST
Jul 23 2014
If the driver's seat unexpectedly drops, the distraction and altered seat position may affect the drivers' control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
General Motors LLC (GM) is recalling certain model year 2011-2012 Buick LaCrosse, Regal and Chevrolet Camaro, as well as certain 2010-2012 Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain vehicles, equipped with power height adjustable driver and passenger seats. In the affected vehicles, the bolt that secures the driver's and passenger's power front seat height adjuster may fall out causing the seat to drop suddenly to the lowest vertical position.
What should you do:
GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the height adjuster shoulder bolts, free of charge. The manufacturer distributed interim letters to owners on September 11, 2014. The recall began on December 26, 2014. Owners may contact GM customer service at 1-800-521-7300 (Buick), 1-800-458-8006 (Cadillac), 1-800-222-1020 (Chevrolet), or 1-800-462-8782 (GMC). GM's number for this recall is 14271.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 14V447000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 414333
TIRES:PRESSURE MONITORING AND REGULATING SYSTEMS
Oct 19 2011
UNDERINFLATED TIRES CAN RESULT IN TIRE OVERLOADING AND OVERHEATING, WHICH COULD LEAD TO A BLOWOUT AND POSSIBLE CRASH. THE RESULTING CRASH COULD CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY. UNDERINFLATED TIRES CAN ALSO RESULT IN PREMATURE OR IRREGULAR WEAR, POOR HANDLING, AND POOR FUEL ECONOMY.
Summary:
GENERAL MOTORS (GM) IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2012 CHEVROLET EQUINOX AND GMC TERRAIN VEHICLES, MANUFACTURED FROM JULY 18, 2011, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 6, 2011, FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NUMBER 138, "TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM" (TPMS). THE TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM IS DESIGNED TO ILLUMINATE THE TIRE PRESSURE WARNING LIGHT WHEN THE PRESSURE IN A TIRE IS 25% BELOW THE RECOMMENDED COLD TIRE PRESSURE. ON THESE VEHICLES, THE LIGHT WILL NOT ILLUMINATE UNTIL THE TIRE PRESSURE IS MORE THAN 25% BELOW THE RECOMMENDED COLD TIRE PRESSURE.
What should you do:
GM DEALERS WILL UPDATE THE BODY CONTROL MODULE FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT NOVEMBER 9, 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT CHEVROLET AT 1-800-630-2438 AND GMC AT 1-866-996-9463.
For more information:
GM'S SAFETY RECALL NUMBER IS 11261.OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO <A HREF=HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV>HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV</A> .
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V511000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 33964
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