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2021 GMC Terrain Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 7.3

 The 2021 GMC Terrain has a nice cabin with some high-quality materials, especially in higher trims. Passenger space is good, and the infotainment system is easy to use, but cargo capacity falls toward the bottom of the class.

  • "A few hard plastics in the lower areas of the dashboard and doors are reminders that this is a mainstream marque, not a luxury one. The embroidered headrests and stitched dashboard covering in the Denali bring a sophisticated air, though." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "There’s much to like about the 2021 GMC Terrain compact crossover/SUV. The quality of cabin materials, for example." -- Autotrader
  • "The Terrain's interior is attractive and well-configured, but some controls are awkwardly placed." -- Edmunds (2020)

Cargo

The Terrain’s 29.6 cubic feet of space with all the seats up is one of the smallest totals in the compact SUV class. Its 63.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded is also subpar. Unlike many rivals though, its front passenger seat can be folded down to make it easier to transport long items. A power liftgate and a hands-free liftgate are available.

  • "… not everything in the Terrain’s garden is rosy. Luggage space of 29.6 cubic feet, expanding to 63.3 cubic feet, is on the small side compared with the Honda CR-V’s 37.6/75.8 cubic feet." -- Autotrader
  • "We hinted at the 2021 Terrain’s relatively smallish cargo area earlier, but it is a smart space, especially with the fold-flat front passenger seat offering extra versatility for carrying longer objects. There’s handy under-floor stowage as well." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With the rear seats folded, the Terrain's 63 cubic feet of cargo space lags behind class benchmarks (Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4). But a fold-flat front passenger seat is a nice touch (surfers and campers, rejoice) and increases space to 81 cubic feet. A power liftgate and low liftover height make cargo loading easy, too." -- Edmunds (2020)

Seating

The Terrain seats five people. Cloth upholstery is standard. Leather upholstery is available, as are heated front seats, ventilated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat, heated rear outboard seats, and a heated steering wheel.

There’s plenty of head- and legroom in both rows, and two tall adults should be able to sit comfortably in the rear. The seats are well-cushioned and supportive, and the wide door openings make it easy to enter and exit the SUV. However, it can be hard to tell from the driver's seat where the nose of the vehicle ends.

For installing child safety seats, there are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats and a tether anchor for the rear middle seat.

  • "It’s quiet in here. Effective sound insulation, a supple ride, and well-cushioned seats make the 2021 Terrain’s cabin a pleasant environment, even if its design is not as well-considered as the exterior." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Low seat bolsters and wide-opening doors should make getting in and out easy for most drivers and passengers. There's also plenty of seat adjustment up front, although taller drivers might wish for more steering wheel extension. Visibility is below-average thanks to a deep, angled dash that makes it hard to know where the front really is." -- Edmunds (2020)
  • "There is plenty of room for passengers in both rows. The front seats are comfortable, and I spent more than an hour in the second row – my six-foot two-inch frame found those accommodations equally as pleasing with … plenty of headroom and a fair amount of room for my legs. No complaints." -- Forbes (2018)

Interior Features

The IntelliLink infotainment system is straightforward and features a responsive 7-inch touch screen with a well-organized menu layout. This system is also richly equipped, coming with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, four USB ports, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a six-speaker stereo.

More features are available, including an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, a seven-speaker Bose stereo, HD Radio, satellite radio, wireless device charging, a rear-seat entertainment system with or without a DVD player, dual-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, and remote start.

In addition to a rearview camera and GM’s Teen Driver, which you can use to set speed and audio restrictions on secondary drivers, every Terrain comes with GMC’s Pro Safety package. This bundles forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, a following distance indicator, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning.

Available driver aids include a safety alert seat, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane change alert, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, and parallel park assist.

See 2021 GMC Terrain specs »

  • "And the Terrain’s technology, in terms of the number of standard features and the touchscreens controlling them, is impressive." -- Autotrader
  • "The Terrain deserves high marks for its tech, improving on the mediocre offerings of past models. The optional Bose sound system offers surprising power and clarity, and the optional navigation system is easy to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard and beat GMC's native software for ease of use, but the standard system works fine for those outside the Apple/Android ecosystem." -- Edmunds (2020)
  • "I like the Intellilink infotainment system (7-inch screen), which is fast and intuitive, and all of the instrumentation is comprehensive and easy to read (and use). There is plenty of power for connected devices (both USB and 12-volt)." -- Forbes (2018) 
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