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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
'Good,' frontal offset; 'good,' side impact; 'good,' rear impact; 'good,' roof strength; Top Safety Pick
Four stars overall; four stars frontal; five stars side; five stars side pole
without a navi system, the screen to see what's behind is a small square in the rearview mirror that needs much more than a glance
With some very good crash-test scores already in the bank, the 2012 GMC Terrain is bent on improving its safety even more.
The Terrain already earns some of the best ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which gives it four stars overall, with sub-ratings of four stars for frontal impact protection, and five stars for side impact protection and for the new side-pole test.
The industry-funded Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the Terrain scores of "good" in all its tests, which makes the crossover a Top Safety Pick.Standard safety features include anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, and a full complement of airbags with dual-stage frontal and thorax side-impact, driver and front passenger, and protection for head curtain side-impact at both front and rear outboard seating positions. This year, the Terrain also gets a standard rearview camera, which displays on its larger new LCD screen--where last year's optional camera displayed on the rearview mirror, if the Terrain lacked a navigation system.
The camera's a well-conceived addition, since visibility in the blocky, chunky Terrain can be difficult. Rearward visibility can be downright horrible for some drivers, and rear-seat headrests don't remove or fold down to open up vision in the rear-view mirror.
GMC also offers rear parking sensors as an option, which we'd also recommend. A new lane-departure warning system and forward-collision alert have been added to the options list as well.
The 2012 GMC Terrain just gets safer with new standard features, though visibility is still an issue.