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2015 GMC Terrain Review

The 2015 GMC Terrain sits in the top third of the compact SUV class. It features a quality cabin, exceptionally roomy seats, and a strong available engine. This GMC would rank at the top of the class if it weren’t for its clumsy handling, weak base engine, and limited cargo space.   

Pros & Cons

  • Strong available V6 engine
  • Quality interior
  • Roomy rear seats
  • Weak base engine
  • Bland handling
  • Smallish cargo area

Rankings & Awards

The 2015 GMC Terrain's #5 ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Affordable Compact SUVs category. It was a finalist for our 2015 Best Compact SUV for Families award. Currently the GMC Terrain has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 65 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 6.7
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 GMC Terrain Overview

Is the 2015 GMC Terrain a Good Used SUV?

The 2015 GMC Terrain is a good compact SUV, as long as you avoid the base trim. Its standard four-cylinder engine comes up short on power, but upper trims feature a V6 that delivers quick acceleration. Base models don’t come with many features, but the higher trims offer a high-end cabin and a user-friendly available infotainment system, which has handy technology like a Wi-Fi hot spot. The Terrain has outstanding cabin space for the class, but that comes at the expense of cargo space.

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Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 65 GMC Terrain reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 GMC Terrain?

There are about 2,250 listings for the 2015 GMC Terrain on our site, with an average list price of $19,300. Prices range from $15,000 to $25,000, and they depending on the vehicle’s trim, mileage, location, condition, and features.

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How Much Does the 2015 GMC Terrain Cost to Own?

The 2015 GMC Terrain’s five-year estimated costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs come to about $24,580, which is typical for a compact SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New GMC Terrain?

You can purchase a 2019 GMC Terrain for as little as $25,000. Its highest trim level starts at $39,500. You’ll save a bit of money with the 2015 model, but you’ll lose out on all the benefits of the 2019 model, which has a new look inside and out compared to the 2015. It’s available with three new engines, including a fuel-efficient diesel engine. You’ll also find high-tech equipment like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. A wireless phone charging feature is available. If it’s in your budget, buy the 2019 Terrain.

Read about the new GMC Terrain »

There are no new compact SUVs that are comparable in price to a used 2015 Terrain. However, if you’re OK with a smaller SUV, the subcompact SUV class is worth a look.

Starting at $18,540, the 2019 Nissan Kicks is the most affordable option. It provides sharp handling and great gas mileage, but it doesn’t have the engine options or cargo space of the Terrain.

You may also want to check out the 2019 Hyundai Kona for about the same price as a used Terrain. Starting at $19,900, the Kona has an upscale interior equipped with a 7-inch touch screen, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. It also delivers impressive performance, with strong engines and spry handling. We named it our 2019 Best Subcompact SUV for the Money.

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Which Model Year of the GMC Terrain Is Best?

The 2015 model is part of a generation that spans the 2010 through 2017 model years. GMC made some minor styling updates to the 2016 model, but otherwise, the Terrain remained mostly unchanged until its complete redesign for 2018. The redesigned Terrain adds a bevy of features, like Apple CarPlay, and a new look inside and out. We recommend 2018-and-later models, unless saving money is your top priority.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2018 Terrain »

How Reliable Is the 2015 GMC Terrain?

The 2015 GMC Terrain has an above-average reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Terrain reliability »

2015 GMC Terrain Recalls

As of this writing, the 2015 GMC Terrain has one reported recall. It addresses the possible rupturing of side impact air bag modules. Makes sure this issue is resolved before buying a 2015 Terrain.

See more information on GMC Terrain safety recalls »

Which Used GMC Terrain Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Terrain is available in five trim levels: SLE-1, SLE-2, SLT-1, SLT-2, and Denali. The base Terrain SLE-1 trim features satellite radio, cruise control, keyless entry, and climate control. The Terrain SLE-2 trim adds only heated exterior mirrors.

The SLT-1 trim is the best option for most shoppers. In addition to the features that come with the base model, the SLT-1 adds appealing tech features like smartphone integration with Bluetooth audio streaming, voice recognition, and Pandora radio. It also comes with a stronger engine than the base model.

The SLT-2 trim adds leather upholstery, a remote car starter, a power tailgate, and driver assistance features like forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and rear parking sensors. The Denali trim includes uprated shock absorbers, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot alert.

See 2015 GMC Terrain trims and specs »

What Does GMC's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

GMC offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned models, GMC extends its original new-car limited powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles from the original sale date. CPO models also get a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty after the three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Qualifying vehicles also get free maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles. 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.

According to our analysis, GMC has a decent CPO program compared with other affordable car manufacturers.

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How Safe Is the Terrain?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 Terrain an overall rating of four out of five stars, with five stars in the side crash tests and four stars in the rollover and frontal crash tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Terrain a 2015 Top Safety Pick, which is the institute’s second-highest honor. The Terrain received the highest rating of Good in all five crash tests conducted by the IIHS.  

A rearview camera is standard in the 2015 Terrain. Available driver assistance features include forward collision warning, lane departure warning, side blind zone alert, and rear cross traffic alert.

See Terrain safety scores »

2015 GMC Terrain Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 GMC Terrain or 2015 Honda CR-V?

The 2015 Honda CR-V bests the Terrain in most areas. This Honda gets better gas mileage than the Terrain, and it has considerably more interior and cargo room. Additionally, the CR-V comes with more standard features than the Terrain, including Bluetooth, a USB port, and hands-free text messaging. Finally, the CR-V’s average list price is lower than the Terrain’s. Its only flaw is its underpowered engine. Unless you just need more horsepower, the CR-V is a better choice in the compact SUV class than the Terrain.

Which Is Better: 2015 GMC Terrain or 2015 Jeep Patriot?

The GMC Terrain comes out ahead of the 2015 Jeep Patriot in just about every way except cost. Unless you need a cheap off-road SUV, there isn't any reason to choose the Patriot over the Terrain, especially not as a daily driver. Compared to the Terrain, the Patriot has lower safety and reliability ratings, lower-quality cabin materials, fewer standard features, less cargo space, and a weaker engine.

Compare the Terrain, CR-V, and Patriot »

2015 GMC Terrain Performance

How Does the 2015 GMC Terrain Drive?

The Terrain has a comfortable ride, but the handling is ponderous, the steering provides little feedback, and body roll is pronounced around turns. The Denali trim offers a revised suspension, but it does little to make this GMC fun to drive.

A 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine is standard, and a 301-horsepower V6 is available. The base engine is underpowered, but the V6 provides enough muscle to quickly accelerate to highway speeds. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard. All-wheel drive is available in all but the base trim.

Does the 2015 GMC Terrain Get Good Gas Mileage?

With the base engine, the GMC Terrain gets 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which is decent for the class.

2016 GMC Terrain Towing Capacity

The GMC Terrain can tow up to 1,500 pounds when paired with its base four-cylinder engine. V6-powered models can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Read more about Terrain performance »

2015 GMC Terrain Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 GMC Terrain Seat?

The 2015 GMC Terrain seats five and comes with cloth upholstery and sliding rear seats. Some models come with heated front seats, power-adjustable front seats, and leather upholstery. The front seats are cushioned and supportive, and the sliding rear seats give back-seat passengers extra legroom when needed. Headroom is ample in both rows.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 GMC Terrain?

The Terrain has complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and a tether anchor on the middle seat. This system received the second-highest rating of Acceptable from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for ease of use.

2015 GMC Terrain Features

The 2015 Terrain comes standard with a 7-inch touch screen and the OnStar subscription-based telematics system with a Wi-Fi hot spot. Available features include a rear-seat entertainment system and the user-friendly IntelliLink infotainment system with navigation and smartphone app integration.  

See 2015 GMC Terrain specs »

Read more about Terrain interior »

2015 GMC Terrain Dimensions

GMC Terrain Cargo Space

The Terrain has less cargo space than most compact SUVs. There is 31.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seats and 63.9 cubic feet with them folded.

2015 Terrain Length and Weight

The 2015 GMC Terrain measures 15.4 feet long. The curb weight ranges from 3,853 to 4,204 pounds, and the gross vehicle weight rating ranges from 4,960 to 5,300 pounds.  

Where Was the 2015 GMC Terrain Built?

GMC assembled the 2015 Terrain in Canada.

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