It's a compact, borderline mid-size crossover, so the diehard family haulers who absolutely have to have seven seats just won't be satisfied with the five-seat Terrain. It's still a great choice for ferrying kids and adults, and does a better job at both than some of the smaller competition, thanks in part to a flexible, sliding second-row seat.
The ample room inside the Terrain makes itself known right away. Climb into the driver's seat, and the mildly bolstered buckets surround you with a half-foot of head room, even with the sunroof that's standard on most trim levels. Knee room is good, too, even with the Terrain's wide center console, and the Terrain has a power driver seat and tilt/telescoping steering for most drivers to find a good position behind the wheel.
The Terrain shines in its second row, where the bench seat does a nifty trick possible only because of the upsized interior. The back seat slides back and forth on an eight-inch track, flexing its utility muscle between cargo space and leg room. With the seat moved as far forward as possible, there's 31.6 cubic feet of stowage; by flipping it forward entirely, the Terrain has nearly 64 cubic feet of cargo space. That said, it's slightly less easy to load the Terrain with cargo. The load floor is a little high, and the back seats don't fold completely flat.
All Terrains also come with an oversized glove box, a covered storage binnacle above the center stack, a laptop-sized center armrest storage bin, and two-tier storage within the doors.
Whether you choose durable fabric or the quality-feeling leather, interior build quality and comfort is not an area for complaint in the Terrain, but some trim pieces disappoint with a hollow, hard plastic feel. GMC has replaced the former storage bin atop the dash with a plastic hood over the LCD touchscreen, which makes the screen difficult to control, at least along its top edge, but it does replace that former bin's brittle lid and dubious value. On Denali editions, the dash cap is trimmed in soft-touch plastic and stitched with red thread--a little Pontiac in feel, but sweeter to the touch.The four-cylinder gets its own nifty touches. There's a special active noise cancellation system that works through both the built-in audio system and a few dedicated speakers. It lets the engine run at its most efficient rev range, while blocking what engineers call a "booming" resonance into the cabin.