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2012 GMC Terrain - Which Engine option is better?

the better of two engines 3l vvt or 3.6l vvt direct injection

Bigger numbers are better unless you are standing on weight scales .

Why do you ask because 2012 is 9 years old now.

With a 9 year old car…at this point, the quality of the maintenance is more important than anything else.

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With VVT, the wrong grade of oil and/or oil changes that are not done often enough will result in significant and expensive engine problems. The OP should search for the 2012 Terrain with the best verifiable maintenance record.

I’d go with the 3L. If you want the 3.6L, you have to buy a 2013MY or later. If you mean the 2.4L instead, it’s still the 3L.

As the owner of a 2013 Equinox 2.4 4cyl I would be hesitant to buy an Equinox/Terrain of this vintage. The 2.4 4 cyl was prone to high oil consumption due to premature oil ring wear and the 3.6 6 cyl had timing chain issues.

My Equinox was using 1 qt of oil every 1500 miles by 42000 miles. That was with 5k oil changes using full synthetic oil and maintaining the correct oil level. The pistons, rings, and timing chain were replaced under warranty. As VDC said, make sure the Terrain has a complete set of maintenance records.

Ed B.

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It is not even known why the original post was made . Does the person have one ? Are they looking at used to purchase ? And like so many they might not even return.