The Terrain was introduced to the GMC lineup as a smaller SUV offered by the brand in 2010, and has been quite popular ever since. GMC vehicles are known for their distinct styling and the Terrain also has the capabilities of other SUVs, including towing. But how much weight can a GMC Terrain tow?
The GMC Terrain towing capacity is up to 3,500 lbs depending on the year and engine size.
There’s a bit more to know about GMC Terrain towing which we’ll cover in today’s guide.
The towing capacities for the Terrain have varied quite a bit between 2010 and the current model year, so we’ll also go through each year as well.
GMC Terrain Towing Capacity By Year
The Terrain has been in production from 2010, so we’ve listed out the maximum tow capacity by year below for reference.
Note that for each model year, there are many variables that affect the total towing capability of each vehicle’s year, so we recommend checking your specific Terrain model year using the links below for an in-depth guide and to get the most accurate information.
Here’s the maximum GMC Terrain towing capacity by year:
2023 GMC Terrain Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2022 GMC Terrain Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2021 GMC Terrain Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2020 GMC Terrain Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2019 GMC Terrain Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2018 GMC Terrain Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2017 GMC Terrain Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2016 GMC Terrain Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2015 GMC Terrain Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2014 GMC Terrain Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2013 GMC Terrain Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2012 GMC Terrain Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2011 GMC Terrain Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
2010 GMC Terrain Tow Capacity: 3,500 pounds
Check out this video showing a 2018 GMC Terrain towing an Airstream:
You can also read our guide on what makes a vehicle towing capacity to learn all the aspects that go into determining how weight a GMC Terrain can pull.
GMC Terrain Braked Vs. Unbraked Towing Capacity
All vehicles have different towing capacities based on whether or not you’re towing a trailer that has trailer brakes installed.
Trailer brakes allow the trailer to stop faster than if only the vehicle is using its brakes, allowing the vehicle to tow more weight, so braked towing capacity will always be higher than unbraked towing capacity.
GMC Terrain Braked Towing Capacity: 3,500 lbs.
GMC Terrain Unbraked Towing Capacity: 1,000 lbs.
GMC Terrain Towing Capacity Factors
Because the GMC Terrain offers max towing on all trim levels, you don’t need to worry about engine specs or different towing packages based on what version of the model you have.
GMC Terrain Engine Specs
All 2022 GMC Terrain trim levels feature a 1.5L turbo 4 cylinder engine, which is the reason for the relatively low towing capacity on them.
This engine offers a max 170 horsepower and 203 lb.-ft of torque along with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Prior year models had some trim levels that offered a V6 engine which is what allowed the Terrain’s tow capabilities to reach up to 3,500 lbs, but that engine was not offered in 2021 or 2022.
GMC Terrain Tow Packages
Does The GMC Terrain Have A Tow Package?
The Terrain doesn’t automatically come with a tow hitch installed, so you’ll need to select an option when ordering one, or install one yourself after taking delivery.
GMC offers “trailering” options that allow you to choose different trailer ball sizes and drop heights, trailer locks like coupler locks and receiver locks, and wiring harness adapters that convert the wiring harness from 4-pin to 7-pin.
GMC Terrain Tow Package
There is no GMC Terrain tow package offered on the 2022 model, only towing accessories.
It’s important to note that the tow package accessories do not increase the GMC Terrain’s towing capacity at all, it simply offers the hardware needed to tow something.
GMC Terrain Towing: What Do I Need?
If you plan on towing anything with your Terrain, you’ll need a tow hitch and wiring harness.
Depending on what you’re towing, you’re going to need a ball mount (aka a trailer ball hitch) so you can attach items for towing.
GMC Terrain Tow Hitch
Trailer hitches come in different hitch classes, which are rated for different vehicle sizes and weight limits.
The 2021 and 2022 Terrain model years have a Class 2 hitch, while previous model years with higher towing capacities have up to a Class 3 hitch.
Here’s a great option for a GMC Terrain tow hitch:
- DEPENDABLE STRENGTH. With a strong, welded steel build, this class 2 hitch is rated for 3,500 lbs. gross trailer weight and 525 lbs. tongue weight (limited to lowest-rated towing component)
- HIGHLY VERSATILE. This class 2 trailer hitch kit has a standard 1-1/4-inch receiver and includes a ball mount with a 3/4-inch hole, allowing you to tow a small trailer or mount a cargo carrier or bike rack (trailer ball sold separately)
- DUAL-COAT FINISH. For industry-leading rust, chip and UV resistance inside and out, this tow hitch is submersed in a liquid A-coat and co-cured with a durable black powder coat finish
- EASY INSTALLATION. This class 2 hitch kit fits select model years of the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain
- TESTED FOR SAFETY. Each CURT class 2 trailer hitch design is thoroughly tested at our Detroit facility, using real vehicles in real-world conditions. Our hitches are tested to SAE J684 specs to give you confidence and safety on the road ahead
Here’s a great ball mount option so you can hook up different types of trailers for towing with your Terrain:
- DEPENDABLE STRENGTH. Rated to tow 3,500 pounds gross trailer weight and 350 pounds tongue weight, this ball hitch offers dependability for your towing setup (weight capacity may change if trailer ball is removed).Fit Type: Universal Fit
- VERSATILE USE. This trailer hitch ball mount comes with a 1-1/4-inch shank to fit virtually any industry-standard 1-1/4-inch receiver. The ball mount has a 3-1/4-inch drop, 2-inch diameter ball, 1/2-inch hitch pin hole and 7-1/4-inch overall length
- READY TO TOW. Hitching up your trailer is easy with this ready-to-use trailer hitch ball mount. It comes with a pre-attached tow ball for ready coupling and a trailer hitch pin to securely mount onto your hitch receiver
- CORROSION-RESISTANT. For long-lasting use, this ball hitch is protected with a durable black powder coat finish, and the trailer ball has a polished chrome plating. These finishes resist damage from rain, dirt, road salt and other corrosive threats
- EASY TO INSTALL. To install the trailer hitch ball mount on your vehicle, simply insert the shank into your vehicle's 1-1/4-inch hitch receiver. The rounded shank makes installation easy
GMC Terrain Tow Hitch Installation
If you’re considering having a tow hitch added to your Terrain, expect to pay between $100 and $200 to have a tow package professionally installed (excluding the cost of the tow hitch and wiring harness).
If you’re handy and looking to save money, you can install the trailer hitch and wiring harness yourself.
Always follow the manufacturer’s directions and use proper safety precautions.
Here’s a great video walkthrough on a GMC Terrain trailer hitch installation:
Hitch Receiver Vs Rear Step Bumper Towing
Some vehicles allow for bumper towing, which means you can mount a tow hitch ball directly on the bumper instead of installing a tow hitch to the vehicle’s frame.
Can I Bumper Tow With GMC Terrain?
The GMC Terrain does not allow for bumper towing, so you’ll need to use a frame-mounted hitch.
How Do I Know If My GMC Terrain Has A Tow Package?
You can start by looking under the rear bumper of your Terrain to see if you see a trailer hitch or trailer ball.
That will give you a good indication of if you have a tow hitch already installed on your Terrain.
You can also look in the rear fuse box on the driver’s side of the vehicle.
Look for the K2 and K3 slots which are for trailer lights.
These slots should be empty, but look inside them for silver terminals, which are the prongs on the relay.
If there are silver terminals inside the K2 and K3 slots or wires coming out of the back of the K2 and K3 locations, then you have the factory tow package.
If there are no silver terminals inside those slots, then your Terrain does not have the factory tow package.
Another way to research this is by checking the paperwork that came with your vehicle or taking it to a local dealer to see what’s installed.
Make sure to have your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) handy if you call the dealer so they can look up the exact specs and whether or not your vehicle has any towing packages or features installed on it.
GMC Terrain V6 Tow Capacity
The GMC V6 towing capacity is 3,500 pounds, regardless of model year or trim level.
GMC only offered the V6 engine on the Terrain between 2010 and 2017.
GMC Terrain Denali Tow Capacity
The GMC Terrain Denali towing capacity is 3,500 lbs. GMC introduced the Terrain Denali in 2012 and it’s still available through the present.
GMC Terrain Diesel Tow Capacity
The GMC Terrain only offered a diesel engine option from 2018-2020, and the Terrain diesel towing capacity is 1,500 lbs.
We’ve gathered all data represented here from the official GMC Terrain Owner’s Manuals on GMC’s site and have checked all data thoroughly for accuracy.
Having said that, we still recommend you refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual yourself before towing with your GMC Terrain.