Trucks & SUVs

Never Buy a GMC Terrain From This Model Year

While the latest and brand-new GMC Terrains are pretty good compact SUVs, that’s not the case for every model year of the Terrain. GMC, like every other automaker, made some mistakes in the past with the Terrain. Here is the one model year of the Terrain that you should avoid at all cost.

The 2011 GMC Terrain

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According to Car Complaints, the 2011 model year of the Terrain was its worst year. This isn’t all that surprising, as the 2011 model year was only the second model year of the Terrain. Similar to the 2011 model year, the 2010 debut model year of the Terrain also had a lot of issues. However, the 2011 Terrain had more issues than the debut model year did. 

That said, by far the most common issue on the 2011 Terrain as well as the 2010 Terrain was the fact that its engine ate up far more oil than it should have. Not only was this a common issue, but it was also an expensive issue to fix.

The reason being that not only did owners of the 2011 Terrain have to cough up money for frequent oil changes but fixing the issue once and for all was expensive as well. 

Car Complaints says that the average 2011 Terrain owner had to spend over $5,000 to fix this excessive oil consumption issue. It’s not known how much money the extra oil changes cost owners on average, though. 

Another common and troubling issue had to do with the 2011 Terrain’s drivetrain. For some reason, the 2011 Terrain would, at times, lose power or stall out. This was a potentially dangerous issue, especially since some 2011 Terrain owners reported that it happened while they were driving on the highway. Car Complaints reports that five people were injured as a result of this issue. 

The average mileage on the 2011 Terrains that had these issues weren’t very high, either. Many owners on Car Complaints had bought them used, and most 2011 Terrains had anywhere between 50,000 to 80,000 miles at the time of the reported failures.

Bad reliability all around

Consumer Reports had a similar story about the older model years of the Terrain. The 2010 to 2013 model years of the Terrain all had very low reliability scores. They ranged from just 1 out of 5 to 2 out of 5 for reliability. The owner satisfaction rating was very similar, too. The entire first generation of the Terrain, which spans the 2010 to 2017 model years, never got more than 2 out of 5 for owner satisfaction. 

That said, after the problematic 2011 model year of the Terrain, Car Complaints did report fewer and fewer complaints with the Terrain. The latest model years of the Terrain seem to be just fine according to both Car Complaints and Consumer Reports. However, the newer Terrains are also more expensive than the older Terrains are. 

Another option

If you’re looking for a used SUV that’s reliable, capable, and affordable, then there are several options out there. Asian automakers are well-known for making reliable cars that can keep going for years, and as a result, many of the best used SUVs are made by Asian automakers like Toyota and Honda. 

However, one of the best used SUVs is the Subaru Outback. The Outback is a great car in general that can do anything that’s expected of an SUV. On top of that, the Outback is relatively affordable, even in the same bad model years of the Terrain.

For example, Consumer Reports says that the 2011 Outback retails at under $10,000, while the 2011 Terrain retails at under $9,000. But when you consider the issues that the Terrain has, the 2011 Outback is a bargain.