One of the nice things about being a webmaster is with the right tools you can find out what your visitors are interested in without them telling you directly. With these tools, I can learn what the people who visit this website are interested in by the search term they used on Google to lead them here. Out of all models from any brand currently in production, none bring more visitors to Cheers and Gears than people searching for information on the GMC Terrain.
Armed with that knowledge, I requested one from the GM Press fleet and they delivered this 2012 Terrain SLT-2 with AWD and nearly every bell and whistle you can think of for your reviewing enjoyment.
One of the first things that struck me about the 2012 model is how much firmer the suspension feels. We've had both a 2010 GMC Terrain and its brother a 2010 Chevrolet Equinox in the past. Both of which were noted for their comfortable, car-like ride. I'm not implying that the 2012 Terrain has an uncomfortable ride, but let us just call it more "Professional Grade".
The Terrain is GMC's entry into the mid-size crossover segment. However there is no smaller CUV in GMC's stable. In fact, no brand from General Motors offers a CUV smaller than the Terrain/Equinox siblings at least until the sub-compact 2013 Buick Encore joins the lineup sometime early next year.
This Terrain came equipped with a 264 horsepower, direct injected, 3.0 liter V6. While that sounds okay on paper, things aren't so hot when you read the torque figure. You get just 222 ft-lb of torque at 5100 rpm. That relative lack of torque means the transmission is on a constant Easter Egg hunt for just the right gear. Equipped with all wheel drive, the Terrain V6 is rated an almost GMC Acadia like 16/22 city/highway.
So what are your other engine options? Well there is the 2.4 liter direct injected Ecotec 4-cylinder rated at 182 horsepower and 172 ft-lb of torque. That engine won't get you there faster than the V6, but you'll at least be getting 22/29 city/highway.
While the V6 is smooth enough, I've had a good enough experience with the 2.4 4-cylinder to tell you to skip the V6 in favor of the 4 and pocket the savings at the fuel pump.
So that's it for the drive for now. We'll cover the interior and other options in future updates. In the meantime, gear up your questions for this 2012 GMC Terrain SLT-2.