2012 GMC Terrain

MSRP $25,560 - $33,010

Ranked #8 in Suv

7.8

Overall Rating

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2012 GMC Terrain Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 3, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The GMC Terrain is stylish and sophisticated; two words that are seldom used in the compact crossover SUV segment. This is still the same generation that we have seen since it was first introduced to the world in 2010. The Terrain has two engine options - one for excellent fuel economy and the other for delivering an enthusiastic driving experience. 

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Pros

Excellent fuel economy

A plethora of standard features

Spacious and roomy interior

Laudable crash test scores

Cons

Lesser cargo space than competitors

Unresponsive steering wheel

Unrefined automatic transmission

What's New?

New touchscreen audio interface and a rearview camera 

Lane departure warning system and forward collision alert are now standard


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$25560

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

118 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

145 cu.in.

horsepower

182 hp @ 6700 rpm

torque

172 lb.-ft. @ 4900 rpm

transmission

6 speed automatic w/OD and auto manual

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

dimensions

wheelbase

112.5 in.

length

185.3 in.

width

72.8 in.

height

66.3 in.

curb weight

3853 lbs.

ground clearance

6.9 in.

capacity

passenger volume

99.6 cu ft.

cargo volume

63.9 cu ft.

towing capacity

1500 lbs.

payload capacity

1162 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

9.4 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

16.8 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

22/27/32 mpg

highway range

576 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 100000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr./ 100,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

6 yr./100,000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

SLE-1$25,560 onwards

SLE-2$26,960 onwards

SLT-1$28,510 onwards

SLT-2$31,260 onwards

Colors and Styles

2012 GMC Terrain in Carbon Black color
Carbon Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Feature

8.0

Features

8.5

Engine and Performance

7.0

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

7.0

Safety

6.0

Competition

9.0

7.8

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.8

Overall Rating


For this year, the GMC Terrain is available in two major trims; SLE and SLT. Both of these trims are subdivided as 1 and 2 respectively. The base price for the Terrain is MSRP $25,560. With all these excellent credentials, it competes against the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4. SO how does it perform? Let us see in this review.


8.5/10
Features

7.0/10
Engine and Performance

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

6.0/10
Safety


2012 GMC Terrain Features

8.5/10

The two major trims of the 2012 GMC terrain which are SLE and SLT are divided into two sub-trims each. SLE-1 is the base trim which carries a price tag of $25,560. For the price, you’ll get 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, cruise control, rearview camera, a touchscreen interface with a 6-speaker audio system, satellite radio, CD player, heated mirrors, cloth upholstery, driver’s side blind-spot mirror, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, iPod/USB interface, etc. 

Trim

SLE-1

SLE-2 

SLT-1

SLT-2

MSRP (FWD)

$25,560

$26,960

$28,510

$31,260

MSRP (AWD)

$27,310

$28,710

$30,260

$33,010

Key Features

17-inch alloy wheels

Automatic climate control

Heated front seats

18-inch chrome wheels

 

Cloth upholstery

Upgraded cloth upholstery

Perforated leather upholstery

Power liftgate

 

Fog lights

8-speaker Pioneer audio system

Remote ignition

Rear parking sensors

 

Touchscreen interface with 6-speaker audio system

8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat

 

Memory settings for driver’s seat

 

Auto-dimming rearview mirror

Roof rails

 

Sunroof

 

iPod/USB interface

Convenience package

 

Exterior chrome trim

We Recommend

The GMC Terrain provides a variety of choices and options. The one which we found as the best choice is the SLE-2 with the AWD drivetrain. Although it misses out on the perforated leather upholstery, optional features like voice-activated navigation and rear-seat entertainment make it fancier and more desirable, that too under $29,000.

2012 GMC Terrain Engine and Performance

7.0/10

The standard engine on the 2012 GMC Terrain is a 2.4L Inline-4 which puts out 182 hp @ 6700 RPM and has a maximum torque output of 172 lb-ft @ 4900 RPM. A more powerful 3.0 L V6 is also available for all trims except the SLE-1. It produces 264 hp and 222 lb-ft of torque. The standard transmission mated to the engine is a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The standard drivetrain is an FWD but you have an option to opt for AWD in all the trims. 

Although the base inline-4 engine is a little underpowered it delivers great fuel economy. The 2.4L engine has a towing capacity of 1500 pounds but that improves drastically if you go for the V6. The V6 is capable of towing up to 3500 pounds. The 6-speed automatic transmission is not among the best as the shifts are not precise and can use some improvement. The ride quality is comfortable and quiet but the experience behind the wheel does not meet our expectations. The steering wheel feels a bit numb and unresponsive at times. Due to this, taking this SUV off-roads is not the best of ideas.

Model

2012 GMC Terrain

2012 Chevrolet Equinox

2012 Honda CR-V

2012 Toyota RAV4

MSRP

$25,560

$23,530

$22,495

$22,650

Engine

2.4L Inline-4

2.4L Inline-4

2.4L Inline-4

2.5L Inline-4

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

6-speed automatic

6-speed automatic

5-speed automatic

4-speed automatic

Power

182 hp @ 6700 RPM

182 hp @ 6700 RPM

185 hp @ 7000 RPM

179 hp @ 6000 RPM

Torque

172 lb-ft @ 4900 RPM

172 lb-ft @ 4900 RPM

163 lb-ft @ 4400 RPM

172 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM

0-60 MPH (seconds)

9.8

9.7

8.7

8.7

Quarter mile (seconds)

17.1

17.1

16.3

14.8

Top speed (mph)

120

115

112

120

All the crossover SUVs mentioned above have ridiculously similar performance figures. That makes it hard to differentiate the SUVs in terms of powertrain. However, the 2012 Honda CR-V manages to reach 60 mph in 8.7 seconds despite having a similar power output as the rest. The Toyota RAV4 has a slightly better engine which helps it reach the quarter-mile quicker than any of the SUVs mentioned above. It completes the quarter-mile in less than 15 seconds. 

2012 GMC Terrain Fuel Economy

8.0/10

Multiple engines and configurations which are possible on the Terrain result in different fuel economies. The Terrain with the 2.4L inline-4 engine and the FWD drivetrain offers class-leading fuel efficiency. The same engine with the AWD drivetrain does slightly worse. The figures for that configuration are 20/29/23 MPG (city/highway/combined). Choosing the V6 will drastically affect the fuel economy of the Terrain. With the FWD the efficiency is 17/25/20 and for the AWD it is 17/24/20 MPG. 

Model

2012 GMC Terrain

2012 Chevrolet Equinox

2012 Honda CR-V

2012 Toyota RAV4

MPG (City)

22

22

23

22

MPG (Highway)

32

32

31

28

MPG (Combined)

26

26

26

24

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

18.0

18.8

15.3

15.9

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

396/576/468

413.6/601.6/488.8

351.9/474.3/397.8

349.8/445.2/381.6

Not only does the Terrain have class-leading fuel economy but has massive fuel tank capacity as well. With a capacity of 18 gallons, it is outperformed only by its cousin, the Equinox which has a capacity of 18.8 gallons and due to the extra 0.8-gallon capacity, it manages to pull off the best range in the segment. Apart from the GMC and its cousin, the Equinox, the Honda CR-V offers a remarkable efficiency of 23/31/26 MPG.

2012 GMC Terrain Interior

8.0/10

The interior of the 2012 GMC Terrain is one of the nicest in the crossover SUV segment. It is beautifully designed and well organized to satisfy its buyers. The SLE trims get cloth upholstery while the SLT gets perforated leather upholstery. Depending on the trim, the driver’s seat will have 8-way power-adjustable functionality and memory settings.

The cabin is extremely spacious. The Terrain has the best space in the front as well as the rear seats. The seating comfort definitely gets a boost because of the same. The cabin experience is quiet and comfortable even on the highways. However, the one factor where the Terrain falls short is cargo space. It offers a decent cargo space of 31.6 cubic feet whereas all of its rivals provide a better cargo capacity.

Model

2012 GMC Terrain

2012 Chevrolet Equinox

2012 Honda CR-V

2012 Toyota RAV4

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.8/55.7/41.2

40.9/55.8/41.2

39.9/58.6/41.3

40.8/57.1/41.8

Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.2/55.3/39.9

39.2/55.3/39.9

38.6/56.4/38.3

39.7/55.3/38.3

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

31.6

31.5

37.2

36.4

The Terrain faces tough competition in the interior section as well. Its corporate cousin, Chevrolet Equinox has identical numbers. However, the CR-V comes the closest to these two SUVs in terms of space. With that said, the CR-V has the best cargo space of 37.2 cubic feet in its segment. The GM cousins offer the least cargo capacity. Some of the standout features of the interior are:

  • 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Memory settings for driver’s seat (SLT-2)
  • Automatic climate control
  • Keyless entry
  • Tilt and telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel

How intuitive is the 2012 GMC Terrain’s infotainment unit?

For 2012, the GMC Terrain gets a new 7.0-inch touchscreen display as its infotainment system. Thanks to the beautifully designed interior, the dashboard and center console have an attractive theme to them. The screen itself sits a bit deep in the dashboard and a big panel of controls, buttons, knobs, and functions are placed right below. The panel is well organized and the system has a user-friendly interface. This system is paired to a 6-speaker audio system in the SLE-1 but all other trims get a better 8-speaker Pioneer audio system. Some key features offered by this infotainment system are:

  • Satellite radio
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • iPod/USB interface
  • 8-speaker Pioneer audio system
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Speed compensated volume control

2012 GMC Terrain Exterior

7.0/10

The 2012 GMC Terrain has a boxy-themed exterior but it looks rugged and attractive. The front fascia gets a bold chrome grille with large red GMC badging in the middle, box-shaped projector headlamps, upright fog light housing, and a straight hood. The side profile has some interesting features. The most distinctive feature is the curvy fender which gives the Terrain a much-needed SUV personality.The Terrain has a tall stance thanks to its 6.9-inch ground clearance. 

Model

2012 GMC Terrain

2012 Chevrolet Equinox

2012 Honda CR-V

2012 Toyota RAV4

Curb Weight (lbs)

3853

3777

3305

3360

Length (in.)

185.3

187.8

178.3

181.9

Width (in.)

72.8

72.5

71.6

71.5

Height (in.)

66.3

66.3

65.1

66.3

Ground Clearance (in.)

6.9

6.9

6.8

7.5

Wheelbase (in.)

112.5

112.5

103.1

104.7

The Terrain is the heaviest crossover among the four mentioned above. As far as dimensions go, the Terrain and the Equinox lead the class. However, the SUV with the most ground clearance is the Toyota RAV4 at 7.5 inches. The Honda CR-V is the lightest vehicle in the class. Some of the highlights of the exterior are:

  • Halogen projector headlamps
  • Halogen fog lamps
  • Power liftgate (SLT-2)
  • Boy-colored heated power adjusting, manual-folding side-view mirrors 
  • Roof rails
  • Sunroof
  • 17-inch wheels

2012 GMC Terrain Safety

6.0/10

In terms of safety and crash-test scores, the GMC Terrain doesn’t disappoint. The NHTSA has given it an overall 4-star rating out of a possible 5-stars. The IIHS has given it a “Good” rating in major tests which is the highest possible rating a vehicle can earn. These include frontal offset tests, side strength, and roof-strength tests. Along with such impressive scores, the Terrain boasts a long list of safety and driver-assist features to help keep the passengers safe inside. Some of the key safety features are listed below:

  • Rearview camera
  • Stability control 
  • Traction control
  • LATCH system
  • Daytime running lights
  • OnStar Crash Response
  • Tire pressure monitoring system

2012 GMC Terrain Final Verdict

The GMC Terrain is undoubtedly one of the better choices in the compact crossover SUV segment. It outperforms most of its rivals in multiple categories. It offers a composed personality with its 2.4 L engine which is one the most fuel-efficient engines in the segment. On the other hand, the optional V6 provides the performance which the former engine lacks. Furthermore, It has outstanding interior space that is quiet and comfortable. Although its cargo space and handling are subpar, it still makes a fine choice for a compact crossover SUV.

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