2012 GMC Terrain

The 2012 GMC Terrain is an affordable vehicle in the compact, SUV, crossover category. It is more expensive than many in this category, but it does offer many standard features.

The Terrain is offered in four trim packages, the SLE-1, SLE-2, SLT-1, and SLT-2, which basically differ in engine, available features, and chrome exterior trim. This is an ideal vehicle for big families, and those who want the more rugged and bold-looking exterior.

The Terrain has cargo space expected from an SUV, but the comfort technology, and quiet cabin of a luxury sedan.


General Info
Vehicle Type: SUV Base Price: $25,560.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.8 gallons (71l) MPG: 22 city / 32 hwy
Length: 185.3 in. (470.6 cm) Wheel Base: 112.5 in. (285.7 cm)
Height: 66.3 in. (168.4 cm) Width: 72.8 in. (184.9 cm)
Curb Weight: 3853 lbs (1747 kg) Ground Clearance: 6.9 in. (17.5 cm)
Cargo Capacity: 31.6 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Engine: I-4 DOHC VVT Displacement: 2.4 Liter
Horsepower: 182 HP Max RPM: 6700 RPM
Torque: 172 lb-ft @ 4900 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
Max Towing Capacity: 1500 lbs (680 kgs) Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:SLE-1 AWD MSRP: $27,310; MPG: 20 city / 29 hwy
Option:SLE-2 FWD MSRP: $26,960; MPG: 22 city / 32 hwy
Option:SLT-1 FWD MSRP: $28,510; MPG: 22 city / 32 hwy
Option:SLT-2 FWD MSRP: $31,260; MPG: 22 city / 32 hwy


The GMC Terrain is equipped with a 2.4-liter DOHC 4-cylinder SIDI engine which provides 182 horsepower and 172 lbs-ft torque, or the 3.0-liter V-6 engine with 264 horsepower and 222 lbs-ft torque.

The 3.0-liter V-6 engine is capable of trailering up to 3,500 lbs, and can use ethanol or gasoline. Direct injection is used for more efficient combustion, and a crisper throttle response, and standard variable valve timing adapts, to give the Terrain optimum torque.


The Terrain has E10 fuel capability, and is E85 Flex Fuel capable. It has a soft ride, independent, strut-type front suspension, a rear independent, trailering, coil springs suspension.

It is equipped with StabiliTrak control system, and the average fuel economy is 20-22 miles per gallon in the city, and 29-32 miles per gallon on the highway. It is designed for efficiency, and has a cruising range of up to 600 highway miles.


This SUV does not come in typical cookie-cutter fashion. It has a rugged, truck-like style which begins with a charcoal grill and chrome surround. It comes with halogen, projector, daytime-running headlights, deeply tinted glass, and heated outside mirrors.

It has a rear manual-lift gate in back, with a spare tire and wheel. The bold lines of the body, and 17-inch aluminum wheels are offset by refined color details and interior. The colors available are black, carbon black, silver, gold, white, mocha, blue, gray, and merlot.


The Terrain has more than enough luxury features such as a 7-inch color, HD TouchScreen radio, available with color touch navigation. SiriusXM for traffic and weather are available, as well as steering wheel controls. A Rear seat entertainment system is provided, with dual 8-inch, flip-up, LCD screen, video input jacks for gaming systems, and wireless headphones and remote.

Bluetooth connectivity is provided in the Driver Information Center, and rear-vision camera, and ambient lighting are also provided. Features available are the Pioneer 8-speaker sound system, single-zone automatic climate control, 8-way power, adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, power sunroof, remote starter, and power lift-gate.

The Multiflex rear seat system slides almost eight inches, to make up to 63.9 cubic feet of cargo space.

Safety & Reliability

GMC technology has equipped the 2012 Terrain with forward collision alert, a standard rear-vision camera, and lane departure warning. The Terrain is also equipped with six airbags, including thorax, and side impact coverage.

The ultrasonic rear park assist is available that detects objects which are up to 8 feet away. OnStar is available with a six-month trial subscription. GMC offers a 3-year or 36,000 mile, 5-year or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, with roadside assist, and replacement transportation provided.


The 2012 Terrain is a good alternative to the Toyota RAV4 (MSRP $22,650; 22 city / 28 hwy), because of its more rugged look, but the RAV4 has more interior space, with an optional third row of seating, for two more passengers. The Chevrolet Equinox (MSRP $23,530; 22 city / 32 hwy) is a good choice as well, it has similar room and cargo space, but does not include the rearview camera the Terrain does. The Terrain is larger than the Ford Escape, but smaller than the Nissan Murano and Ford Edge in exterior size.

The pros, are the Terrain’s fuel economy, versatility with rear-seat sliding, it is a very quiet ride, and includes a standard rearview camera. The cons would be the more expensive price, and that the V-6 engine is not particularly as powerful as other SUV models.

The Terrain has a different and bolder look, luxurious features and larger interior. The GMC Terrain is a smaller, more manageable SUV, and would be suitable for those with many family members who want a crossover with big-truck styling, which is small, maneuverable, and loaded with features.

The versatility of the Terrain in its ability to use gas/ethanol gives it an obvious advantage over the Ford Edge (MSRP $27,770; 19 city / 27 hwy), Hyundai Santa Fe (MSRP $23,225; 20 city / 28 hwy), and the Nissan Murano (MSRP $29,960; 18 city / 24 hwy).

Overall Rating
74 out of 100

What others say:

“A few cockpit foibles aside, the Terrain delivers comfortable seating for five, and a high level of interior quality.”Car Connection

“Terrain is hampered by a wide turning circle that complicates parking-lot maneuvers. Otherwise, this crossover is competent and car-like.”Consumer Guide

“The Terrain straddles the small and midsized SUV categories. It has a taut yet supple and controlled ride, with responsive and secure handling.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“With the proliferation of Bluetooth-enabled devices becoming increasingly more commonplace, the 2012 GMC Terrain SUV’s impressively quiet cab is an unexpected bonus. Extensive use of acoustic laminated glass, active noise-cancellation technology, and triple-sealed doors culminate to create an interior that is nearly Lexus-like at highway speed.”KBB

“Quiet and attractive cabin; sophisticated ride; strong crash test scores; roomy backseat; plenty of standard and optional features; good fuel economy…Cargo space could be more generous; compromised visibility; numb steering.”Edmunds