Unveiling the Top Performers: Best and Worst Years for the GMC Terrain

The best year for the gmc terrain is generally considered to be the 2019 model, while the worst year is the 2013 model. Introduced in 2010, the gmc terrain has become a popular choice for those looking for a mid-size family suv with ample space and features.

However, there have been some ups and downs in the model’s lifespan. According to car experts and consumer reports, the best year for the terrain is the 2019 model, which received a major redesign with updated technology features, improved performance, and a refreshed exterior.

On the other hand, the 2013 model is often considered the worst year for the terrain due to reported transmission issues. It’s important to note that every model year has its own pros and cons, and ultimately, the best year for the gmc terrain will depend on individual preferences and needs.

Unveiling the Top Performers: Best and Worst Years for the GMC Terrain

Credit: gmauthority.com

Factors Affecting The Performance Of Gmc Terrain

The gmc terrain is a popular compact suv that has been gaining a lot of attention from car enthusiasts over the years. However, many people ask about the best and worst years for the gmc terrain. The performance and reliability of the gmc terrain are influenced by several factors that vary year after year.

Engine And Transmission

Gmc terrain has different engine and transmission options available each year, and these variations significantly affect its performance and reliability. The engine and transmission must work together seamlessly to ensure that the vehicle performs at its best. Some years have seen better powertrain options while others have been lackluster.

  • The best years for engine and transmission include 2018 and 2019 models that offered a smooth nine-speed automatic transmission with a turbocharged engine, providing 170-252 horsepower.
  • The worst years for the engine and transmission were seen in the 2012 and 2013 models that had a sluggish six-speed automatic transmission with a weak engine, providing only 182 horsepower.


The car technology industry has seen tremendous growth over the years, bringing in more features and advancements that enhance performance and reliability. The type and quality of technology included in the gmc terrain significantly affect its overall performance and reliability.

  • The best years for technology in the gmc terrain include 2019 and 2020 models, which featured a high-tech infotainment system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.
  • The worst years for technology in gmc terrain were seen in the 2010 and 2011 models that had outdated navigation and entertainment systems. Although these models include entry-level features, they didn’t have the cutting-edge tech found in newer models.


Safety is an essential factor to consider when buying a car. The gmc terrain boasts of high safety ratings by the national highway traffic safety administration (nhtsa), and the insurance institute for highway safety (iihs). However, the specific safety features and systems that the vehicle comes with change with time.

  • The best years for safety in the gmc terrain include 2018 and 2019 models because they have crash avoidance technology, including lane departure warning and forward-collision warning. They also earned high safety ratings in the nhtsa and iihs tests.
  • The worst years for safety were seen in the 2010 models that lacked critical safety features such as side airbags and electronic stability control.

Exterior And Interior Design

The design and aesthetics of a car also contribute to its performance and reliability, in that some styles and designs might impact the vehicle’s aerodynamics, weight, and functionality.

  • The best years for exterior and interior design include the 2020 and 2021 models, with new sleek and modern aesthetics, top-quality finishes, and excellent material choices.
  • The worst years for exterior and interior design in the gmc terrain refer to the 2010 and 2011 models, which featured a very different design from the current models, with a dated interior and exterior.

A car’s performance and reliability depend on the factors mentioned above. The different engine and transmission options, technology, safety, and design elements determine whether a specific year is good or bad for the gmc terrain. Every year has its unique features and upgrades, and it is essential to review different years and their strengths or weaknesses before purchasing a gmc terrain.

Best Years For The Gmc Terrain

Top Three Years When The Gmc Terrain Performed Exceptionally Well

The gmc terrain, a mid-size suv, has continuously evolved since its debut in 2009. Gmc has consistently updated the design and engineering of the terrain, making it one of the most sought-after suvs on the market. Here are the top three years when the gmc terrain performed exceedingly well.

2012 Gmc Terrain

The 2012 gmc terrain ranks at the top of the list of the best years for the vehicle. It set a new bar for comfort, performance, and technology, and customers raved about its redesign. Some of the reasons why the 2012 terrain is considered the best include:

  • The safety ratings: It received a perfect score from the national highway traffic safety administration (nhtsa) in side-impact, frontal-impact, and rollover crash tests.
  • The fuel economy: It had an economy of up to 22/32 mpg in city/highway driving.
  • The interior: Customers praised the spacious interior, comfortable seats, soft-touch materials, and modern technology.

2018 Gmc Terrain

The 2018 gmc terrain is another exceptional year for the suv. It underwent a complete redesign, which improved its performance, fuel economy, and features. Some of the best things about the 2018 terrain are:

  • The technology: It has an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, apple carplay, android auto, and a suite of safety features such as forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning.
  • The engine options: Customers can choose between three turbocharged engine options, including a 1.6-liter diesel engine.
  • The comfort and convenience: It has comfortable and spacious seats, plenty of cargo space, and a smooth ride.

2021 Gmc Terrain

The 2021 gmc terrain is the most recent model, and it continues to impress with its outstanding performance, safety features, and technology. Some of the best aspects of the 2021 terrain are:

  • The safety ratings: It boasts an overall safety rating of five stars from the nhtsa.
  • The engine: It comes standard with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which provides adequate power and good fuel economy.
  • The connectivity: The terrain has a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, apple carplay, android auto, and a wi-fi hotspot.

Overall, the 2012, 2018, and 2021 gmc terrain models stand out due to their exceptional safety ratings, fuel economy, and features. They represent the best years for the gmc terrain so far, with each model packed with modern technology, comfort, and performance.

Worst Years For The Gmc Terrain

When looking to buy a gmc terrain, it’s essential to know when the suv was in its prime and when it had issues that made it less desirable. Here are some of the worst years for the gmc terrain based on performance and reliablity issues:

  • 2010: The first year of the gmc terrain was not a good one regarding reliability and performance. The major problems were engine issues, including oil consumption, a faulty timing chain, and excessive engine noise.
  • 2011: The 2011 gmc terrain also had engine-related issues. The most frequently reported problem was a timing chain that failed and caused severe engine damage. Other common issues included faulty transmission position sensors and power steering leaks.
  • 2013: While the 2013 gmc terrain had similar engine issues like the previous years, the main concern was with the interior accessories, such as the navigation system and entertainment system. There were also problems with the air conditioning not working correctly.

Factors That Caused Poor Performance And Reliability

Several factors contributed to the gmc terrain’s poor performance and reliability. Here are some of the reasons why these specific years had significant issues:

  • Poor quality control: Quality issues were present in the manufacturing process, which led to engine-related problems and other internal issues with the vehicle.
  • Lack of proper maintenance: In some cases, owners failed to take proper care of their gmc terrains, exacerbating the issues and further decreasing performance and reliability.
  • Inferior parts: Some parts were poorly designed, leading to failure and breakdowns in important systems like the timing chain, transmission, and power steering.

Impact On Gmc Terrain’S Reputation

The poor performance and reliability of these specific gmc terrain models significantly impacted the brand’s reputation. High maintenance costs, recalls, vehicle breakdowns, and customer complaints all led to a decrease in sales and a tarnished reputation. Gmc motors recognized these issues and has been working hard to rectify its mistakes, ensuring better quality and reliability in its future vehicles.

Nonetheless, the damage done to the brand by these specific years were significant and will take further work to rebuild the trust of customers.

Comparison Of The Best And Worst Years

One of the most popular compact suv models on the market is the gmc terrain. However, as with any vehicle, some model years fare better than others. Let’s take a closer look at the best and worst years of the gmc terrain and compare their sales figures, customer satisfaction, and industry ratings.

Provide A Comprehensive Comparison Of The Best And Worst Years Of The Gmc Terrain

The Best Years

The best years of the gmc terrain include:

  • 2013: This model year boasts an impressive reliability score from j.d. Power and associates. Customers love the sleek and modern design, impressive gas mileage, and comfortable ride.
  • 2018: The 2018 model year sports fresh styling, advanced safety features, and a user-friendly infotainment system. It also comes equipped with a turbocharged engine for an extra kick of power.
  • 2021: The latest model year of the gmc terrain features a new turbocharged engine, standard safety features, and an impressive cargo space. Customers love the comfortable ride and advanced technology features.

The Worst Years

On the other hand, the worst years of the gmc terrain include:

  • 2010: The first model year of the gmc terrain was plagued with technical issues, including problems with the transmission and fuel system. Customers experienced a lackluster ride and poor gas mileage, leading to dissatisfaction.
  • 2012: While the 2012 model year improved upon some of the issues in the previous model, it still suffered from transmission problems and poorer reliability than the best years. Customers were also unhappy with the outdated technology features.

Identify The Similarities And Differences Between The Two Sets Of Years

Overall, the best years of the gmc terrain have strong reliability ratings, advanced technology features, and comfortable rides. They also boast impressive fuel efficiency and cargo space. The worst years, on the other hand, suffer from technical problems, dated technology features, and overall dissatisfaction from customers.

In comparing the two sets of years, the similarities lie mainly in their status as either reliable or unreliable models. However, the differences between the two sets are much more pronounced. The best years of the gmc terrain offer advanced technology and superior ride quality, while the worst years suffer from mechanical issues and lacking technology features.

Overall, it’s safe to say that the best years of the gmc terrain are a solid investment for any driver looking for a reliable compact suv.

Frequently Asked Questions On Best And Worst Years For The Gmc Terrain

What Are The Best Years For The Gmc Terrain?

The best years for the gmc terrain are 2020, 2019, and 2018. These models have excellent performance, reliability, and safety features.

What Makes The 2020 Gmc Terrain A Top Pick?

The 2020 gmc terrain is a top pick due to its comfortable ride, spacious interior, advanced technology features, and fuel efficiency.

Is The 2016 Gmc Terrain A Reliable Vehicle?

The 2016 gmc terrain has shown to be a reliable vehicle with an average owner satisfaction rating of 4 out of 5 stars in j. d. Power’s initial quality study.

What Are The Common Issues On The 2012 Gmc Terrain?

The common issues on the 2012 gmc terrain include transmission failure, engine problems, and electrical issues. Proper maintenance can prevent these issues.

How Does The Gmc Terrain Compare To Its Competitors?

The gmc terrain stands out from its competitors with its stylish design, spacious interior, advanced technology features, and strong performance.

What Are The Worst Years For The Gmc Terrain?

The worst years for the gmc terrain are 2011, 2013, and 2014 due to issues with the transmission and engine problems.

Is The Gmc Terrain A Good Long-Term Investment?

Yes, the gmc terrain is a good long-term investment due to its reliability, advanced technology features, and resale value compared to its competitors.


After analyzing the best and worst years for the gmc terrain, it is clear that some model years stand out above the rest. The 2018 gmc terrain is arguably the best terrain model year with its improved fuel efficiency, redesigned exterior, and advanced technology features.

On the other hand, the 2010 and 2011 models had transmission and engine issues, making them the worst terrain model years. The 2019 gmc terrain, though a decent suv, did not have any significant improvements over the 2018 model year.

It is essential to consider the pros and cons of each model year before making a purchase decision. However, overall, the gmc terrain remains a reliable and capable suv with impressive handling, enough cargo space, and an outstanding safety rating.

With this in mind, owning a gmc terrain can be a great investment for years to come.