GMC Terrain Years To Avoid and The Best Years

GMC Terrain Years To Avoid – Discovering the perfect SUV that meets all your needs can be an exciting journey, and the GMC Terrain has undoubtedly caught your attention. With its sleek design, practicality, and reputation for reliability, the GMC Terrain has been a popular choice since it first hit the market in 2009.

As the years have passed, it has undergone various updates and improvements, making it an even more attractive option for many drivers.

However, when it comes to investing your hard-earned money in a vehicle, it’s crucial to do your research thoroughly.

One question that might be lingering in your mind is, “What are the GMC Terrain years to avoid?”

GMC Terrain Years To Avoid

After all, no one wants to end up with a lemon that constantly needs repairs and drains your bank account.

In this article, we’ll explore the worst years of the GMC Terrain, shedding light on the ones you might want to steer clear of.

Our goal is to provide you with all the essential information, empowering you to make a well-informed decision when purchasing your next car.

But it’s not all doom and gloom—alongside the years to avoid, we’ll also highlight the ones that stand out as reliable used vehicles, ensuring you drive away with confidence in your investment.

So, if you’re on the lookout for a trustworthy companion for your daily adventures, keep reading to learn more about the GMC Terrain years to avoid and the ones that promise a smooth and satisfying driving experience.

We’re here to assist you in finding the ideal vehicle that perfectly fits your lifestyle and preferences.

Let’s delve into the details and make your car-buying journey a seamless one!

GMC Terrain Years To Avoid

The GMC Terrain, a small SUV that has captured the hearts of many drivers, has seen its fair share of excellent models over the years.

If you’re considering a used GMC Terrain, it’s crucial to be aware of the years that might not be worth your investment.

GMC Terrain Years To Avoid

The following model years are widely considered the worst for the GMC Terrain:

  1. 2010
  2. 2011
  3. 2012
  4. 2013
  5. 2014
  6. 2015

These are the years that have received the most complaints and experienced the most significant issues, leading to their notoriety as ones to avoid.

Reasons Behind Avoiding These Years

Now that we’ve highlighted the GMC Terrain years to avoid, let’s explore the reasons behind their negative reputation.

Read Also: GMC Acadia Years To Avoid

By understanding the specific problems associated with these model years, you can make an informed decision when searching for a reliable used vehicle.

1. Engine Troubles

Many owners of the GMC Terrain models from 2010 to 2015 reported various engine-related issues. These problems ranged from frequent stalling and rough idling to reduced power and engine failure.

Such engine troubles can be costly to repair and could leave you stranded on the road, making these years ones to avoid.

2. Transmission Failure

Another major concern reported by GMC Terrain owners in the mentioned years was transmission failure.

Drivers experienced erratic shifting, transmission slipping, and in some cases, complete transmission breakdown.

This issue can lead to expensive repairs, potentially exceeding the vehicle’s value.

3. Excessive Oil Consumption

Some GMC Terrain models in the affected years exhibited excessive oil consumption. Oil leaks, burning oil, and the need for constant oil top-ups can be indicators of underlying engine problems that may be costly to fix.

4. Faulty Airbags

Safety is paramount when it comes to any vehicle, and unfortunately, certain GMC Terrain models suffered from faulty airbags during the mentioned years.

Airbag malfunctions can pose serious risks in the event of an accident, making these years concerning for safety-conscious buyers.

5. Faulty HVAC Systems

Climate control is essential for a comfortable driving experience, but some GMC Terrain models from 2010 to 2015 had issues with their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

These problems could lead to uncomfortable driving conditions and further mechanical complications.

By steering clear of the GMC Terrain models from 2010 to 2015, you can increase your chances of finding a more dependable used vehicle.

Read Also: GMC Envoy Years To Avoid

Remember, investing in a vehicle that has a track record of dependability and longevity will not only provide peace of mind but also contribute to a more enjoyable ownership experience.

GMC Terrain Best Years

With a solid track record of improvements and upgrades, the GMC Terrain has emerged as one of the best and most reliable compact SUVs in the market today.

We will explore the top-performing GMC Terrain models and highlight the reasons why they deserve your attention.

GMC has been attentive to customer feedback and concerns, resulting in significant improvements to the Terrain over the years.

GMC Terrain Best Years

The brand tackled previous issues reported by drivers, transforming the vehicle into a reliable SUV that garners praise from owners and automotive enthusiasts alike.

With a keen eye on the past to avoid the problematic years, let’s dive into the GMC Terrain models that stand out as exceptional choices for reliability, performance, and overall value.

2016 GMC Terrain: A Fresh Facelift

The 2016 GMC Terrain received a facelift, boasting a refreshed exterior design featuring a power dome hood and a chrome-accented grille. Inside, you’ll find a spacious and comfortable interior with roomy seating for five passengers.

It comes equipped with a 4-cylinder 2.4L engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, offering a decent balance of power and efficiency.

While it may not have the most cargo volume compared to some competitors, it compensates with standard safety features, including a low tire pressure indicator and parking distance sensors.

2017 GMC Terrain: A Solid Option with Safety Caveats

The 2017 GMC Terrain is a solid choice with a spacious and quiet interior, making it an excellent option for families. However, it’s essential to be aware of its major defect involving faulty safety features, specifically airbags that may not deploy in the event of an accident.

If considering the 2017 model, it’s recommended to have the vehicle inspected for this specific issue.

Aside from this concern, the 2017 Terrain impresses with its ample cargo space, strong towing capacity, and available 6-speed automatic transmission.

Read Also: GMC Sierra Years To Avoid

2018 GMC Terrain: The Pinnacle of Reliability

The 2018 GMC Terrain marks the second generation of this beloved SUV, representing a significant overhaul from its predecessors.

This model transitioned from a midsize SUV to a compact crossover, offering a smaller yet competitive interior seating for five passengers.

The interior also received notable updates, featuring a modern look with soft-touch materials and an updated infotainment system.

With its accessible pricing, the 2018 Terrain strikes a remarkable balance between reliability, features, and value for your investment.

The 2018 GMC Terrain comes with three engine options, including a turbocharged 1.5L inline-four, a turbocharged 1.6L 4-cylinder diesel engine, and a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder engine.

Each engine provides different performance levels, allowing you to choose based on your driving preferences.

The base engine offers a fuel economy of 26/30/28 mpg city/highway/combined, making it an efficient choice for everyday driving. However, if you desire more power, the turbocharged 2.0L engine, standard on the Denali trim, produces an impressive 252 horsepower.

One of the highlights of the 2018 Terrain is its spacious and accommodating interior, offering 29.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 63.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

While the interior materials received some criticism for their build quality, the overall experience remains pleasant with comfortable seating and a quiet cabin.

Safety-wise, the 2018 Terrain performed well in crash tests, earning a 4-star rating from the NHTSA and achieving ‘Good’ scores in various categories from the IIHS.

The vehicle comes with several standard safety features, such as an airbag system, Teen Driver technology, and a rearview camera.

For additional peace of mind, available driver-assistance features include Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

2020 GMC Terrain: Luxurious Comfort and Modern Technology

The 2020 GMC Terrain boasts a luxurious interior, incorporating leather and alloy trim on the steering wheel, doors, console, and instrument panel.

This model features spacious seating for five passengers and ample cargo space, making it ideal for both daily commutes and family adventures.

The cabin offers a quiet and comfortable ride, complemented by an array of modern infotainment features, including Bluetooth connectivity and WiFi capability.

The 2020 Terrain is available in both all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive configurations.

The front-wheel drive option delivers an impressive 30 miles per gallon on the highway, while the all-wheel drive option provides excellent traction and stability on different road conditions.

Its 4-cylinder, 1.5L turbo engine ensures a smooth driving experience, and the 9-speed automatic transmission enhances overall performance.

Safety remains a priority in the 2020 Terrain, with standard features like automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and park assist for the front and rear.

The inclusion of a rearview camera further enhances your visibility and safety on the road.

Read Also: GMC Yukon Years To Avoid

2021 GMC Terrain: Comfort, Connectivity, and Safety

The 2021 GMC Terrain maintains the spacious and comfortable interior of its predecessors while incorporating new infotainment features, including a multi-function 3.5-inch display screen, Bluetooth connectivity, and WiFi capability.

The seats have been upgraded with velour upholstery, offering a touch of luxury to the overall driving experience.

The rear seats can split and fold to accommodate varying passenger and cargo needs.

In terms of fuel efficiency, the 2021 Terrain delivers up to 25 miles per gallon in the city and approximately 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

It features a standard 4-cylinder, 1.5L turbo engine coupled with a 9-speed automatic transmission.

Safety remains a top priority, with standard features like automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and park assist for the front and rear.

The forward collision alert system further enhances the safety of both drivers and passengers.

2022 GMC Terrain: A Showcase of Customization and Modernity

The 2022 GMC Terrain offers a range of optional safety and infotainment packages, allowing drivers to customize the vehicle according to their preferences and priorities.

The spacious and comfortable interior comes with options for velour upholstery in jet black or ash grey, giving the cabin a refined and elegant touch.

LED lighting, both interior and exterior, illuminates the path for a stylish and safe driving experience.

The 2022 Terrain continues to offer a standard 4-cylinder, 1.5L turbo engine, and 9-speed automatic transmission, providing a balance of performance and fuel efficiency.

With a standard towing capacity of 1500 lbs and a trailer stability program, the 2022 Terrain is capable of handling your hauling needs with ease.

For tech-savvy drivers, the Terrain offers an array of optional features, including automatic climate control, a 10-way power-adjustable bucket seat, and a rear infotainment system with DVD playback and an 8-inch screen.

With various available options, you can personalize your Terrain to suit your lifestyle and preferences.

Safety features in the 2022 Terrain include automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, a low tire pressure indicator, a dusk sensor for the headlights, a forward collision alert, and a rearview camera.

These standard features help provide peace of mind for both city driving and long journeys.

GMC Terrain Problems

The GMC Terrain, a popular compact SUV known for its stylish design and practicality, has been a favorite among drivers for years.

However, like any vehicle, the GMC Terrain has had its fair share of problems and issues reported by owners.

GMC Terrain Problems

In this section, we will explore the most common problems faced by various GMC Terrain models and offer insights on how to avoid potential pitfalls when considering a purchase.

1. Engine Troubles: A Pervasive Concern

Engine problems have emerged as the most prominent customer complaint, with the 2010 and 2011 GMC Terrain models topping the list.

A faulty engine can be both expensive and dangerous, posing risks not only to your wallet but also to your safety on the road.

Among the engine-related issues reported were frequent stalling and sudden engine shutdown while driving, accompanied by the constant illumination of the engine light.

Experiencing such engine-based problems can be frustrating and unnerving, as they can leave you stranded and compromise your driving experience.

To ensure a smooth and reliable ride, it is advisable to steer clear of GMC Terrain models known for engine troubles, particularly the 2010 and 2011 models.

2. Transmission Failure: A Costly and Inconvenient Dilemma

Another recurring issue with GMC Terrain models to avoid is transmission failure. This problem can be just as costly to repair as engine failures and significantly hinder your daily driving routine.

Complaints regarding transmission failure included general transmission issues, inadequate reset after repair, and powertrain failure.

Dealing with a malfunctioning transmission can be a major inconvenience and may even leave you without a functioning vehicle for an extended period.

When considering a used GMC Terrain, it is essential to inspect the vehicle thoroughly for any signs of transmission problems and opt for models with a reliable transmission history.

3. Excessive Oil Consumption: A Concerning Quirk

Certain GMC Terrain models, particularly the 2010 and 2011 versions, were reported to face excessive oil consumption issues.

This means that the vehicle consumes oil at a higher rate than normal, leading to the need for more frequent oil top-ups.

Ignoring this issue can lead to engine damage and reduced vehicle performance, making it crucial to avoid models with such problems.

A GMC Terrain with excessive oil consumption can prove costly in the long run, as frequent oil changes and potential engine repairs can add up to significant expenses.

Be sure to research the specific model year you are considering and opt for those with a track record of better oil consumption rates.

4. Faulty Airbags: A Serious Safety Concern

Safety is a paramount concern for any vehicle, and several GMC Terrain models, particularly the 2017 version, were reported to have faulty airbags.

These airbags failed to deploy in the event of a collision or crash, posing a massive safety risk for drivers and passengers. Reports of injuries due to non-deploying airbags emphasize the severity of this problem.

Before purchasing a GMC Terrain, it is essential to perform a thorough inspection of the airbag system to ensure it functions correctly.

Look out for any signs of malfunctioning airbags, and consider seeking professional help to assess their condition accurately.

5. Faulty HVAC System: Climate Control Woes

Certain GMC Terrain models have experienced HVAC system woes, with owners reporting issues such as the heater blowing cold air instead of providing adequate warmth.

Malfunctioning heating and cooling systems can be particularly inconvenient, especially during extreme weather conditions.

To avoid potential HVAC problems, it is advisable to opt for GMC Terrain models with a reliable track record for their climate control systems.

Check for any signs of water leaks or strange odors, as these can be indicative of underlying HVAC issues.

Is The GMC Terrain Worth It?

The GMC Terrain may not be worth the investment for everyone. While it offers some highlights such as a comfortable interior and easy-to-use technology features, it also comes with many lows.

The vehicle is expensive to repair and has a higher likelihood of experiencing severe troubles compared to similar vehicles.

If you still desire the luxurious ride and spaciousness of the GMC Terrain, it’s recommended to opt for one of the most reliable model years.

Otherwise, it might be more advantageous to consider other compact crossovers that better suit your needs.

Are GMC Terrains Reliable?

When considering the reliability of GMC Terrains, it’s essential to evaluate all model years. On average, the GMC Terrain is not among the most reliable choices available. The car scores 35, significantly below the average rating of 57, according to The earlier years of the vehicle heavily influence this lower score.

Additional data from indicates that the GMC Terrain scores 3.5/5 in reliability, ranking it 22nd out of 26 for compact cars.

This puts it on the lower end of the reliability spectrum.

The annual repair cost for the GMC Terrain is $558, slightly higher than the average for similar vehicles.

Moreover, there is a 17% chance of severe unexpected repairs, compared to the 11% average for other compact SUVs.

On average, drivers of the GMC Terrain report taking the vehicle in for severe repairs 0.3 times a year, which aligns with other competitors’ frequencies.

While the GMC Terrain is not the worst option available, it falls short when compared to more reliable compact SUV choices.

What are the cons of GMC Terrain?

The GMC Terrain does have its drawbacks. Some of the cons include a weak base engine, an unresponsive transmission, and a bouncy ride. Additionally, the vehicle’s high price can be a hindrance, preventing it from standing out in the small SUV class.


When considering the GMC Terrain, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons carefully. While the vehicle offers a comfortable interior and user-friendly technology, it falls short in terms of reliability and repair costs.

The GMC Terrain has had its fair share of issues, with engine troubles, transmission failure, excessive oil consumption, faulty airbags, and HVAC system woes being the most common complaints among certain model years.

If you’re in the market for a GMC Terrain, it is crucial to avoid the problematic years, particularly the 2010 and 2011 models known for their engine and transmission issues.

Instead, opt for more reliable and newer model years that have addressed these concerns.

When investing in any vehicle, it is always wise to conduct thorough research, seek professional advice, and consider your own driving needs and expectations.

By making an informed decision and avoiding problematic model years, you can ensure a more enjoyable and stress-free ownership experience with your GMC Terrain.

Remember, knowledge is power, and being aware of the GMC Terrain years to avoid can save you from potential headaches down the road. So, take your time, do your homework, and find a GMC Terrain that matches both your lifestyle and reliability expectations. Happy car hunting!