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2015 GMC Terrain: Used Car Review

Editor’s note: You may also want to read Autotrader’s 2013, 2014, 2016 or 2017 GMC Terrain review.


The 2015 GMC Terrain is a car-based compact crossover SUV sharing much of its chassis and running gear with the Chevrolet Equinox. With room for five passengers, the Terrain slots in under the larger, almost full-size 7-passenger GMC Acadia. The Terrain comes with a full complement of safety gear, including standard dual front, overhead and front seat side airbags, OnStar crash notification, anti-lock brakes and traction and stability control. Forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic and blind spot monitoring systems are also available on some models.

The Terrain features a rugged, squared-off appearance with aggressive wheel flares and a stylish interior with a floating instrument panel, ambient lighting and upgraded materials. A segment-unique feature is its sliding rear seat, which can be moved nearly 8 inches front and back to apportion rear-passenger and cargo space as desired.

The Terrain is roomy for the compact class, offering up to 31.6 cu ft. of cargo space behind the rear seat and 63.9 cu ft. with the rear seat folded. The base 4-cylinder is rated to tow 1,500 pounds, but the optional 3.6-liter V6 increases trailering to 3,500 pounds. New for 2015 is the addition of OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot for multiple devices.

The GMC Terrain is a stylish, roomy and efficient compact crossover SUV and a good choice for young families on the go. See the 2015 GMC Terrain models for sale near you

What We Like

OnStar with 4G LTE and in-car Wi-Fi; roomy back seat; standard 7-in touchscreen and backup camera; lively V6 performance; good 4-cylinder fuel economy; attractive cabin design and materials; programmable power lift gate; Siri Eyes Free

What We Don’t

Hard seat cushions; thick roof pillars create blind spots; wide turning circle

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2015 Terrain’s base engine is a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with a class-leading fuel economy rating from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway for front-wheel-drive (FWD) models and 20 mpg city/28 mpg hwy for all-wheel-drive (AWD) versions. A 6-speed automatic is standard. The 2.4-liter is a flex-fuel engine able to run on regular unleaded or E85.

Optional is a lively 301-hp 3.6-liter V6. The EPA mileage estimates are 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy for FWD versions and 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy for AWD models. The V6 is also an E85-capable flex-fuel engine and comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Standard Features & Options

The 2015 GMC Terrain is available in SLE, SLT and Denali trims.

The base model SLE’s standard equipment consists of a SiriusXM radio, air conditioning, a backup camera, cruise control, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, remote keyless entry, the OnStar communication system with 4G LTE connectivity and in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with a 7-in color touchscreen and USB connectivity, a trip computer, automatic headlamps, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, fog lamps, a rear wiper/washer, a power driver’s seat, 17-in alloy wheels, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, a split folding rear seat, an outside-temperature display, a compass, power doors, power windows and heated power mirrors.

The mid-level SLT trim adds standard heated leather seats with memory, steering-wheel audio controls, auto air conditioning, an 8-speaker premium Pioneer audio system and 18-in alloy wheels. Popular options include the V6 engine, the IntelliLink infotainment system, remote vehicle starting, a programmable power lift gate, a power moonroof, 2-screen rear-seat DVD entertainment, a navigation system, 19-in chrome-clad wheels, lane-departure warning, forward-collision alert and a rear park-assist system.

The luxurious Terrain Denali gains ride-enhancing dual-flow shock absorbers, standard red-stitched leather and mahogany interior trim, a power moonroof, a power lift gate, a power front passenger seat, rear-seat entertainment, a universal home remote, forward-collision alert, lane-departure alert, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic monitoring and the IntelliLink infotainment system with a reconfigurable home screen, Bluetooth, voice control and Pandora, Stitcher and Gracenote apps.


Professional grade GMC models are considered more upscale than their Chevrolet counterparts, so expect to pay more. Compact and midsize crossovers like the Terrain are huge hits with families, because they’ll hold child safety seats, pets, sports gear and all the related trappings while retaining carlike drive qualities and returning decent fuel economy in daily use. The spate of safety recalls for many GMC models hasn’t hurt sales or resale values of used Terrains. For a good idea of the GMC Terrain’s price range, we suggest checking out the used-car values at You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the following safety recalls for the 2015 Terrain:

The side-impact airbag inflator may rupture when triggered and the airbag may fail to inflate properly in a crash, creating an increased risk of injury. Additionally, metal fragments from the ruptured inflator may strike interior occupants, adding the risk of injury or death.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA rated the 2015 Terrain at four stars overall, with four stars for front-impact protection and rollover performance and five stars for side-impact protection.

The 2015 GMC Terrain is once again an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick. IIHS gave the Terrain Good scores for both small- and moderate-overlap frontal impacts and side impacts, as well as roof strength, head-restraint and seat crash performance.

GMC covered the 2015 Terrain with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with roadside assistance, a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance and a 6-year/100,000-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.

GMC certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles can’t have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be 5 years old or less. Every CPO GMC Terrain undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus whatever remains on the transferable, original 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage. Also included is a 2-year/24,000-mile maintenance plan with roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Ford Edge — Ford’s stylish 5-passenger crossover is all-new for 2015 with increased roominess, greater handling precision, upgraded interior materials and the latest in infotainment and safety systems. Now based on the Fusion sedan platform, engine choices include a 245-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder turbo, a 280-hp 3.5-liter V6, and in the Sport model, a 315-hp 2.7-liter twin-turbo Ecoboost V6, all teamed with a 6-speed automatic. Premium fuel, however, is recommended for the turbo engines. Both front- and all-wheel drive are offered.

2015 Dodge Journey — Think of the Journey as a wagon version of the Chrysler 200, capable of carrying up to seven passengers (provided the rearmost pair is junior-sized). The Journey offers an excellent 8.4-in Uconnect infotainment system, and premium trims have a hidden storage compartment under the front passenger seat cushion and two under the rear floor. Engine choices are a 173-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and a flex-fuel 283-hp 3.6-liter V6.

Autotrader’s Advice

The GMC Terrain is bigger and heavier than most of its compact-crossover competition, yet it’s one of the better-handling examples out there. It’s stable on the highway, and the precise steering and lack of body lean in corners help it perform admirably on curvy roads. However, the ride may be stiffer than some prefer, with bumps and ruts in the road intruding on the otherwise quiet cabin. Most buyers will be satisfied with the performance and pleased with the fuel economy of the 182-hp 4-cylinder. The optional 301-hp 3.6-liter V6 adds a considerable performance boost, but must be gently driven to avoid a considerable dip in fuel economy. Unless you live in the mountains, FWD offers sufficient winter-weather traction. Go for a CPO GMC when available, and if not, look for a lower-mileage example that’s seen obvious care and maintenance. Always check with the dealer to make sure any applicable safety recalls have been performed. 

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