2013 GMC Terrain

October 17, 2013

2013 GMC Terrain ranks 4 out of 21 Affordable Compact SUVs.

This ranking is based on our analysis of 43 published reviews and test drives of the 2013 GMC Terrain, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

GMC Terrain
2010 GMC Terrain SLT -- 05-06-2011.jpg
Manufacturer General Motors
Production August 10, 2009–present
Model years 2010–present
Assembly Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada (CAMI)
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size crossover SUV
Body style 5-Door Crossover
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Platform GM Theta platform
Related Chevrolet Equinox, Opel Antara
Engine 2.4 L LAF I42.4 L LEA I43.0 L LF1 or LFW V6 3.6 L LFX V6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase 112.5 in (2,858 mm)
Length 2010–12: 185.3 in (4,707 mm)2013–: 187.8 in (4,770 mm)
Width 72.8 in (1,849 mm)
Height 66.3 in (1,684 mm)
Predecessor GMC EnvoyIsuzu AscenderPontiac Torrent

The 2013 GMC Terrain doesn’t have the most exciting performance in the class, but its high-tech cabin and roomy interior make it an appealing option among compact SUVs.

Performance is not the Terrain’s strong suit, but with a new V6 engine, test drivers say that it is competitive within the class. The Terrain offers a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a 3.6-liter V6 that are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. While auto critics prefer the Terrain’s more powerful V6, they recognize the four-cylinder’s benefits in terms of fuel economy.

A four-cylinder Terrain can get up to 22/32 mpg city/highway, which is great for a compact SUV. Additionally, the Terrain offers the reassurance of a good safety score. The Terrain’s handling isn’t that sporty, and some reviewers say it has a large turning radius, but has a smooth ride that’s ideal for a family hauler. Additionally, the Denali trim receives upgraded suspension components.

2013 GMC Terrain
2013 GMC Terrain

The 2013 GMC Terrain comes loaded with high-tech features like a rearview camera and Bluetooth, which aren’t standard on all rivals. Standard leather seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat with memory functions and optional blind spot warning are stand-out features on the Denali trim. All Terrain models have a comfortable and spacious cabin with a rear seat that reviewers praise.

GMC’s optional IntelliLink infotainment system is controlled through a seven-inch touch screen and integrates a smartphone and streams Internet radio services like Pandora. In terms of overall cargo space, the Terrain trails competitors like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

According to GM, it replaced the Pontiac Torrent which was sold in the same dealerships prior to GM dropping the Pontiac brand. Like the Torrent, the Terrain is based on the Theta platform. The Terrain slots below the Acadia as GMC’s smallest SUV. Although the preceding Pontiac Torrent had the same Theta platform, the Torrent was a rebadged version of the original Chevrolet Equinox from 2005–09, while GM decided to differ the look of the Chevrolet Equinox with its 2010 Terrain and still use the Theta platform.

The 2013 GMC Terrain shares engineering with the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox. While the two vehicles use the same platform and drivetrain, the Terrain’s body panels and standard features differ from those of the Equinox.

2013 GMC Terrain Interior
2013 GMC Terrain Interior

The 2010 Terrain debuted at the 2009 New York International Auto Show.

For the 2013 model year, the GMC Terrain receives the Denali trim which consists of more chrome trim and slightly improved interior quality, the 3.6L SIDI V6 that is shared with the 2012 Cadillac SRX in place of the optional 3.0L SIDI V6, and firmer front struts. The 2013 GMC Terrain Denali also offers cross-traffic detection, blind-spot warning and a power passenger seat as options.

To order your new 2013 GMC Terrain rival with a brand new GMC 2.4L 4-cyl. 6-speed Automatic for only US$19,000.


Years Engine Power Torque
2010–2011 2.4 L Ecotec LAF I4 182 hp (136 kW) 172 lb·ft (233 N·m)
2012– 2.4 L Ecotec LEA I4 182 hp (136 kW) 172 lb·ft (233 N·m)
2010–2012 3.0 L High Feature LF1 or LFW V6 264 hp (197 kW) 222 lb·ft (301 N·m)
2013– 3.6 L High Feature LFX V6 301 hp (224 kW) 272 lb·ft (369 N·m)


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