The Terrain is GMC’s attempt at penetrating the compact SUV segment, which debuted a decade ago. The five-passenger SUV slots beneath GMC’s three-row Acadia and serves as an entry point to the company’s lineup. Although the GMC Terrain didn’t exactly light the SUV market on fire, it has managed to hold its own in such a fiercely competitive automotive segment.
If you’re looking to buy a used GMC Terrain, you have an easier choice ahead of you since it’s only been around for over a decade. However, it would be best to remember that all GMC Terrain SUVs are not created equal. So which is the best year for GMC Terrain?
For a quick suggestion, CoPilot recommends the 2018 version as the best year for GMC Terrain. Thanks to its comfortable ride, roomy interior, and many standard and available features. Please keep reading to learn why it’s our top pick.
2018 Is the Best Year for GMC Terrain
Many of our shortlisted models were from the recent Terrain years. However, we ultimately decided on the 2018 model because it provides a good balance of reliability, bells and whistles, and value for the money. For starters, the 2018 model launches the second generation of the GMC Terrain and a significant overhaul of the SUV.
The 2018 model year marked the time when the Terrain turned into a compact crossover from a midsize SUV. Therefore, it’s built on a new platform in line with most modern SUVs. It’s smaller but still offers competitive interior seating for five passengers. In addition, the interior was also updated to include a newer look, soft-touch materials, and an updated infotainment system.
With its accessible pricing, the 2018 model is our best year for GMC Terrain.
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How Much is the 2018 GMC Terrain?
Based on the listings from auto marketplaces like Truecar.com, a used 2018 GMC Terrain may cost you between $14,900 to $39,999. Naturally, prices vary based on significant factors like mileage, condition, location, and vehicle history.
Let’s look at the prices of the SLE trim for a used 2018 GMC Terrain, which comes with three engine options, front-wheel standard or available all-wheel drive, and access to a host of packages. You can get a relatively cheap 2018 GMC Terrain SLE with 120k miles and AWD for $14,987. Meanwhile, a lower mileage SLE unit with 45k miles and AWD is up for grabs for $25,477.
Moving up the trim level, the SLT GMC Terrain brings leather appointments, the Driver Alert II safety package, and a premium Bose seven-speaker sound system. One of the best deals you can get for a higher mileage 2018 GMC Terrain SLT with 95k miles is $14,999. On the other hand, a practically new 2018 Terrain with only 18k miles on the odometer can be yours for $24,790.
Lastly, the top trim Denali adds a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, 19-inch wheels, and a panoramic sunroof. One of the most affordable 2018 Terrain Denali you can find with 92k miles is available for $22,987. Meanwhile, a low mileage 2018 Terrain Denali with 30k miles and AWD has a list price of $29,999.
Overall, this segment has higher average prices for a used 2018 GMC Terrain. However, keep in mind that the Terrain is also a premium grade SUV, thus, the higher price point.
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The Specs of the 2018 GMC Terrain
Despite being in a saturated segment, the 2018 GMC Terrain crossover stands out with its roomy interior, comfortable ride quality, and a host of optional tech and convenience features. The 2018 Terrain is offered in three different engines, but they’re not the most lively.
The base engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four capable of 170 hp, which may be inadequate for buyers who want more than a leisurely drive. Next is the turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine is even slower and less refined at 137 hp but offers excellent torque ratings. Lastly, the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine produces 252 horsepower and is standard on the Denali trim.
Meanwhile, the 2018 Terrain boasts a spacious and accommodating interior. Behind the rear seat is 29.6 cubic feet of space to swallow your groceries and other belongings. Folding the back seats down lets you access 63.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which should be more than enough after a day trip to your local Home Depot. Unfortunately, the interior is marred by subpar build and materials.
The 2018 Terrain does have excellent fuel economy. According to FuelEconomy.gov, the base engine has a fuel economy of 26/30/28 mpg city/highway/combined.
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So you’re in the market for a used vehicle? We’ve gone ahead and prepped some essential questions to ask when buying a used car.
2018 GMC Terrain Reliability and Recalls
According to RepairPal, the GMC Terrain has a reliability score of 3.5 out of 5.0 and a yearly repair and maintenance cost of $558. In contrast, J.D. Power gave the 2018 Terrain a score of 78⁄100 for Quality and Reliability.
In CarComplaints.com, the 2018 Terrain only received 13 complaints, and its most common issues are:
- Blacking out touchscreen
- The faulty infotainment navigation screen
- Safety brake assist software failure
The 2018 Terrain was involved in five safety recalls involving airbags, fuel leaks, and service brake troubles.
2018 GMC Terrain Safety Features and Ratings
The 2018 GMC Terrain scored a 4-star out of five from the NHTSA and received several ‘Good’ scores from the IIHS. According to the IIHS, the Terrain’s head protection and headlights are inadequate.
Furthermore, the 2018 Terrain includes several standard safety features, such as an airbag system, Teen Driver technology, and a rearview camera. Available driver-assistance features include Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, etc.
Other GMC Terrain Years to Consider
To get the most out of your used SUV purchase, we highly recommend skipping out on the first six GMC Terrain models (2010-2015, more on this below) – especially the 2011 version, which is widely considered the worst in terms of reliability. Besides that, you should be able to buy the recent models confidently, especially in 2019, 2020, and 2021 years.
Worst Years of the GMC Terrain
The GMC Terrain is a solid option that lies between the midsize and compact SUV segments. However, some years should be approached with caution due to reliability woes. Below are the GMC Terrain’s worst years.
2010 GMC Terrain:
- Excessive Oil Consumption: Some owners found the need to add oil more frequently than usual, even before the recommended oil change intervals.
- Rough Shifting: Reports of the vehicle jerking or hesitating during gear changes, leading to an uncomfortable driving experience.
- Dashboard Cracking: The dashboard material in some vehicles was prone to cracking, affecting the vehicle’s aesthetic appeal.
2011-2015 GMC Terrain:
- Stalling: Some vehicles experienced sudden engine stalling while driving.
- Transmission Slipping: This refers to the transmission unexpectedly changing gears, leading to reduced vehicle control.
- Difficulty Shifting: Some owners found it hard to shift gears, especially when transitioning from a stop.
- Faulty Sensors: Issues included sensors providing inaccurate readings or failing altogether, affecting features like tire pressure monitoring and stability control.
- System Freezing: The infotainment system in some Terrains would freeze, requiring a restart or causing features like navigation or music playback to be temporarily unavailable.
- Connectivity Issues: Problems connecting to smartphones via Bluetooth or issues with the hands-free calling feature were reported.
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