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Here Are The GMC Terrain Years To Avoid

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Red GMC Terrain

Source: Pixabay

The GMC Terrain is a small SUV that has been manufactured since 2009 and is still in production today. It’s a reliable option that many count as their primary vehicle. The GMC Terrain is an excellent option if you’re looking for a new car. But, you might wonder - what are the GMC Terrain years to avoid?

If you’re going to put money down on a car, make sure it’s worth the investment. It would be best if you had something that could last. Read on to learn more about which GMC Terrain years to avoid and which ones to invest in as a reliable used vehicle. We can help you find the ideal vehicle for your next purchase.


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GMC Terrain Years to Avoid

The GMC Terrain has had some excellent models over the years, but some faulty ones aren’t worth your time. There are several GMC Terrain years to avoid if you want to make the most of your money.

The GMC Terrain years to stay away from include:

  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015

These are some of the worst years in existence for the GMC Terrain.

Several factors made these the worst years for the GMC Terrain. We’ll dive into these next so you can better understand the reasoning behind choosing these as the GMC Terrain years to avoid. We can help you with the decision-making aspect of your next car investment.


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What Makes These Years Worth Avoiding?

As mentioned, several factors made these years worth avoiding. Although there are more than three, we’ll go over three of the most prominent problems so you can understand the most significant issues that have plagued these years.

According to Car Complaints, some of the top reasons that make these years worth avoiding include:

  • Engine troubles
  • Transmission failure
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Faulty airbags
  • Faulty HVAC systems

These were some of the top complaints customers had about these years, though many smaller ones exist too.

Read on to learn more about each of these issues in further detail. The more you know about what could go wrong with these years, the better you can decide about the next vehicle you’re going to invest in for your future.

Engine Troubles

Engine troubles were the most prominent customer complaints, particularly with the 2010 and 2011 models. Engine problems can be expensive, and they can also be dangerous if not dealt with efficiently. A faulty engine is wildly problematic for those who invest in a GMC Terrain.

Other engine problems included:

  • Stalling and stopping engine
  • The engine that shuts down while driving 
  • Engine light constantly on 

These are a few engine-based issues drivers experienced with some of the above models.

A vehicle with a faulty engine is a ticking time bomb for you and the drivers that are around you on the road. This problem can be both dangerous and expensive for those on the road. It’s not worth the risk, so avoid models with engine troubles at all costs.

Transmission Failure

Transmission failure is the secondary issue that appears most often with the GMC Terrain years to avoid. Transmission can be just as expensive as engine failures to deal with and twice as annoying. Transmission issues can prevent you from going anywhere you need to in your day.

Some of the transmission failure issues included:

  • General transmission failure
  • Lack of proper reset after fix
  • Powertrain failure

It’s safe to say that none of these appeals to drivers, no matter what you prefer in a car.

Get a make of the GMC Terrain worth the money you put into it. Even for a used car, you’re paying a significant amount. We’ll talk about some of the better options later in this piece.


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Excessive Oil Consumption

Finally, the GMC Terrain models listed earlier face excessive oil consumption is an issue the GMC Terrain models face. Rather than burning through oil regularly, this vehicle consumes it extensively. You can find your vehicle burning out fast if you’re not careful.

There’s a lot to consider when thinking about which year is the best for your next investment. Try to steer clear of the years that face excessive oil consumption, such as the 2010 and 2011 options. The more you damage your GMC Terrain with a lack of oil, the more worn it will become.

Faulty Airbags

Several owners of the 2017 GMC Terrain complained about airbags that tend to malfunction. According to the reports, the airbags failed to deploy in the event of a collision or crash, which is obviously a massive safety risk. You can’t afford to ignore this issue since there were reports of injuries because the airbags didn’t activate due to an actual accident.

If you’re considering a GMC Terrain, perform a routine inspection of the airbags. There were no signs there was something wrong with the airbags, and the service alerts didn’t come on at all, or it did go off only after the crash. Moreover, one report also indicated that the seat belt locked along with the airbag’s non-deployment.

Faulty HVAC System

Apparently, several Terrain model years have HVAC system woes. Some owners shared stories about their heater blowing cold air instead, which can be unbearable under extreme conditions. On top of that, GMC had to release numerous service bulletins to address the issue of malfunctioning heating and cooling systems.

Other symptoms of a faulty Terrain HVAC system include water leaks coming from the climate system, strange odors, and reduced heating/cooling performance.

Which Years are Safe to Buy Used?

We’ve talked a lot about the GMC Terrain years that are unfit for driving, but what about the ones that work? It’s just as critical to get both sides of the equation so you can make the best possible choice for your next car. Let’s talk about some of the best years you can safely buy used.

According to, some of the best years for the GMC Terrain include:

  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021

These years have been some of the best GMC Terrain models.

If you are looking for an excellent version of the GMC Terrain, these six vehicles are excellent options to look into for the future. The more you know about what the GMC Terrain has to offer each year, the more likely you’ll make an educated decision. Avoid wasting money by taking the time to learn beforehand.


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Staying safe on the road is vital, and a reliable vehicle can help you do just that. The GMC Terrain has many years that are excellent to drive. We’ve gone over both the good and the bad that come with this vehicle. We’ve also discussed the years it has under its belt for you to choose from as a buyer. Unfortunately, there are several others that you should take measures to avoid at all costs.

Now that you know about all the major problems that go with years of the GMC Terrain, you can deliberately choose the vehicle of your dreams. There are some terrible years for this vehicle, but there are some great ones if you know where to look.

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