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2011 GMC Terrain Photo
7.0
/ 10
On Performance
USED PRICE RANGE
$9,819 - $23,000
On Performance
While both of the engines available on the 2011 GMC Terrain are smooth and refined, you have to choose between fuel-efficient and punchy.
7.0 out of 10
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

It handled surprisingly well — so well, in fact, that we're not laughing anymore at the GMC ads that target the BMW X3.
Edmunds’ Inside Line

The Terrain doesn’t even try to be sporty.
Car and Driver

The smaller engine is adequate for any use short of heavy trailer towing.
Automobile Magazine

the wheezy six struggles to adequately motivate a hefty 4008 pounds.
Car and Driver

the 2.4 liter can squeal the tires off the line but loses pep through the mid range, though it's adequate for the vast majority of appliance drivers
Jalopnik

Last year a pair of clean-sheet, new-think powertrains arrived, and they make the Terrain competitive with the best in the class for fuel economy and refinement, if not performance. The base four-cylinder engine is a 2.4-liter with direct injection, making 182 hp, while a 264-hp, 3.0-liter direct-injected V-6 is available.

Both Terrain engines also feature variable-valve timing, and both are mated to six-speed automatic, but drivability with the transmission hasn't been the best, from our experience--especially with the four-cylinder engine, and possibly related to the four's lack of low-end torque. Push the accelerator harder and let the four rev and it actually has plenty of power for most needs; only those typically towing or carrying very heavy loads will need the V-6—which ups the tow rating from a measly 1,500 pounds up to 3,500 pounds.

An "ECO" button on the dash in the four-cylinder model lowers the torque converter lockup speed to 1,125 rpm for enhanced efficiency, though then the engine feels a little less responsive.

Depending on which engine you choose, you'll end up with a completely different steering system; the four-cylinder models have a new electric power steering system that helps save fuel, while V-6 models have a tried-and-true hydraulic one. We tend to like the hydraulic one a little bit more, but the electric system is now one of the better units, with a nice, settled feel at speed. Brakes are good, and overall the Terrain has an on-road poise that you might not expect for such a buff, trucky-looking vehicle.

Conclusion

While both of the engines available on the 2011 GMC Terrain are smooth and refined, you have to choose between fuel-efficient and punchy.

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