$8,968 - $11,701

2012 GMC Terrain Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 GMC Terrain was new.


Interior: 8.5

Most reviewers give high marks to the 2012 GMC Terrain's quality cabin, which is especially quiet, spacious and stylish. Test drivers even find the rear seat roomy, which is quite a compliment for a compact SUV, and think its standard Bluetooth, touch-screen audio system and rearview camera make it stand out in the class. Overall, the 2012 GMC Terrain is a great value for parents who need upscale technology and plenty of rear space at a good price. 

  • “The Terrain's grown-up feel isn't just literal, however. Its designers went out of their way to make the cabin visually interesting in a segment where stark utility has generally reigned supreme." -- Edmunds
  • "The cabin presents well, despite a few incidents of low-buck trim." -- Consumer Guide


Reviewers find the 2012 Terrain's front seats to be comfortable, and overall, visibility is pretty good, but the rear headrest can block the driver’s view. Most of all, reviewers are thrilled to find that the Terrain’s rear seats are especially roomy, which is a rare find within the compact SUV class. Thanks to the Terrain’s sliding rear seat, passengers can adjust the rear seat for more leg space. The base model comes with cloth seats, and you can get heated cloth front seats on the SLE-2 trim, which is rare. Usually, heated seats are only available with leather upholstery.

  • "Occupants enjoy ample headroom and legroom. Supportive seats are a boon on longer trips. Visibility is generally good, but tall, rear headrests partially obscure the view. … As in front, the seat is long-haul comfortable. The MultiFlex bench means legroom ranges from adequate to vast, depending on its position." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Heated seats aren't often seen without a leather interior. These seats can be programmed to begin warming when the vehicle is turned on via remote start, which always makes for a more comfortable start to the day on a cold winter morning." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “In terms of accommodations, the Terrain (and its Equinox sibling) boasts the most welcoming backseat in the class thanks to a rear bench that both reclines and slides." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

The 2012 Terrain is more expensive than competitors, but it is very well-equipped and high-quality for its class. It comes with steering wheel-mounted audio controls and an AM/FM/satellite radio stereo system with a CD player and MP3 playback capability. This year, the stereo system is controlled through a seven-inch touch-screen interface with an SD memory card and USB port. Bluetooth and a rearview camera, which is displayed on the touch screen, are also standard. With a few upgrades, the Terrain can be equipped to near-luxury levels. Navigation is available on the SLE-2 trim and higher, while the rear-seat DVD entertainment system is only available on the highest trim. This year, GMC adds available IntelliLink, which allows you to integrate your smartphone with the audio system through Bluetooth and the USB port. You can even stream audio from Internet radio services like Pandora and Stitcher Smart Radio through IntelliLink.

While the Terrain’s interior is high-quality, reviewers say the buttons on the center console can be hard to master because they’re small and squished together on the dash.

  • "GMC uses more high-end materials, with more soft touch surfaces and satin metal trim; the Terrain also boasts a larger standard equipment roster." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The major gauges are large and easy to read. The standard audio- and climate-control system is mounted high on the center console, with most functions within easy reach. Some testers complain of an abundance of look-alike buttons that require more familiarization than should be necessary." -- Consumer Guide
  • "GMC added soft red interior lighting that becomes the inside nighttime chrome, putting the Terrain ahead of its competitors. For anyone test-driving small SUVs, I'd recommend a trip at night. Drive the competition at night and then the Terrain and see if you don't agree." -- The Detroit News


The 2012 Terrain provides 31.6 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats in use and 63.9 with the second row folded down, which reviewers say is plenty of space for most shoppers. You can even increase this space by using the Terrain’s standard MultiFlex seat that slides forward and back. If you need more cargo room, both the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V have larger maximum cargo capacities of about 73 cubic feet.

  • "Space is generous, aided by the MultiFlex rear bench. Terrain lacks under-floor storage, which is disappointing in this class. A number of in-cabin cubbies and bins helps compensate." -- Consumer Guide
  • "An especially handy interior feature the Terrain received from Equinox is a MultiFlex rear seat that slides nearly eight inches fore and aft to trade legroom for cargo space on demand. Unfortunately, the split rear cushions are stuffed to the point they don't fold fully flat when it's time to haul a new big screen home from the mall." -- Automobile Magazine

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