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2013 GMC Terrain Review

A comfortable, spacious interior and an almost perfect reliability score are reasons to choose a top-ranking used 2013 GMC Terrain as your next SUV. Still, it has downsides like dull steering.

Pros & Cons

  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Good fuel economy with base engine
  • Roomy rear seats
  • Dull performance

Rankings & Research

The 2013 GMC Terrain's #4 ranking is based on its score within the 2013 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the GMC Terrain has a score of 8.4 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 56 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 GMC Terrain Overview

Is the 2013 GMC Terrain a Good Used SUV?

The 2013 GMC Terrain is a good used compact SUV. It has a well-equipped passenger cabin and a quiet, comfortable ride. Its safety and reliability scores are also good. However, the Terrain’s handling is numb, and its wide turning radius makes it a challenge to maneuver in parking lots. Fuel economy is another issue. Four-cylinder models have some of the best estimates in the class, but V6 models will take a toll on your wallet at the pump.

Used 2013 GMC Terrain Performance and Interior

The 2013 Terrain comes with a 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine. A 301-horsepower V6 is available in all but the base model. Both motors are paired with the same six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. The Terrain is a comfortable cruiser. On the matter of twisty roads, critics are divided; some find the Terrain handles well, while others report some body lean and dull steering. Regardless of the road you’re on, the ride is quiet thanks to standard active noise cancellation.

The four-cylinder Terrain with front-wheel drive has an EPA rating of 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which is among the best in the compact SUV segment. Fuel economy drops significantly with all-wheel drive, to 20/28 mpg city/highway. The V6 engine does even worse: 17/24 mpg city/highway. Unless you need a 3,500-pound towing capacity, stick with the four-cylinder engine.

Read more about Terrain performance »

The Terrain seats five across two rows. Cloth seats are standard, while heated and leather seats are available in some models. Sliding and reclining rear seats give passengers good leg space. For the most part, overall visibility is satisfactory, but the rear headrests might block views for some drivers. The Terrain has complete LATCH connections in the outboard second-row seats, and the middle seat has a tether anchor.

A six-speaker audio system, a 7-inch touch screen, USB and auxiliary ports, and Bluetooth are among the Terrain’s interior features. Some used models have an eight-speaker Pioneer audio system, a rear-seat entertainment system, GMC’s IntelliLink infotainment system (which connects your smartphone to the entertainment system), and navigation. The dashboard controls are easy to use, but some drivers might have trouble reaching the recessed touch screen on the center stack.

Read more about Terrain interior »

Used 2013 GMC Terrain Prices

The price of a used 2013 GMC Terrain ranges from about $13,100 for the front-wheel-drive SLE-1 with a four-cylinder engine to around $19,300 for the all-wheel-drive GMC Terrain Denali. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 56 Reviews Analyzed

We do not base our used car rankings and reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we collect information like safety and reliability reports, total cost of ownership estimates, and the views of the automotive press. We analyzed 56 professional evaluations for this 2013 GMC Terrain review to help you make an informed buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our experienced team of writers, editors, and analysts has been ranking and reviewing the best cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs since 2007. We remain unbiased by refusing pricey gifts and trips from auto manufacturers and employing an independent agency to manage the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2013 GMC Terrain?

The 2013 GMC Terrain has a reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

See Terrain reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Terrain?

The 2013 Terrain received an overall safety score of four out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It earned five stars in the side crash test and four stars each in the rollover and frontal crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Terrain a Top Safety Pick and awarded it a rating of Good – the highest offered – in the moderate overlap front, side, roof, and rear crash tests.

A rearview camera is the only standard active safety feature. Forward collision alert, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning are available in some used models.

See Terrain safety scores »

Is the 2013 Terrain the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 GMC Terrain is part of a generation that launched in the 2010 model year. If you are looking to save money, a 2011 or 2012 Terrain may suffice. The two share much in common with the 2013 model, but there are a couple of notable differences. The available V6 engines in the 2011 and 2012 models are less powerful than what you’ll find in the 2013 model, and the more upscale Denali trim isn’t available.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Terrain »

Which Used GMC Terrain Is Right for Me?

The Terrain comes in five trim levels. The base SLE-1 trim includes a six-speaker audio system, a 7-inch touch screen, USB and auxiliary ports, Bluetooth, remote keyless entry, cruise control, and heated outside mirrors. The SLE-2 adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, an eight-speaker stereo system, automatic climate control, and luggage rails. The SLT-1 has leather seats, front heated seats, and remote start. The GMC Terrain SLT-2 adds performance tires, chrome wheels with wheel locks, seat memory, forward collision alert, rear parking assist, lane departure warning, a programmable power liftgate, and a power sunroof. The Terrain Denali trim has 18- and 19-inch wheels and a chrome grille, as well as an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, a leather and wood steering wheel, side blind zone alert, and rear cross traffic alert. The best value is an SLT-1 model with the available safety package. It has the right mixture of luxury and safety not found in SLE models.

Even with the Terrain’s nearly perfect reliability, you might want to consider a certified pre-owned model for added peace of mind. For all of its certified pre-owned models, GMC extends its original new-car limited powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. GMC CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read GMC’s warranty page carefully. Each Terrain’s original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the GMC certified pre-owned program »

2013 GMC Terrain and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 GMC Terrain or 2013 Chevrolet Equinox?

The 2013 GMC Terrain and 2013 Chevy Equinox are GM siblings. They share the same engines and safety scores, and almost identical dimensions. Each also offers an easy-to-use base infotainment system and spacious, comfortable cabins. The scales tip toward the Equinox, however, because it tends to cost less than the Terrain without sacrificing many features (a standard rearview camera and heated mirrors are the notable losses).

Which Is Better: 2013 GMC Terrain or 2013 Honda CR-V?

The 2013 Honda CR-V is shorter than the Terrain, but it has 7 cubic feet more cargo space behind the second row. It lacks a V6 engine option, but its four-cylinder engine produces more horsepower than the base Terrain’s. The Honda also has a better ride. It’s worth sacrificing the base Terrain’s full-size spare tire, heated sideview mirrors, and satellite radio to buy the CR-V.

Compare the Terrain, Equinox, and CR-V »

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