IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
The GMC Canyon (along with its slightly less-ritzy cousin, the Chevrolet Colorado) offers up-to-date technology features and excellent all-around refinement, along with some options that its competitors can’t match.
Rather steep prices escalate further as options are added, and rear-seat space is stingy, even in crew-cab models.
The Canyon lineup offers high-end Denali models—which include upscale trim features such as a unique chrome grille, 20-inch aluminum wheels, and heated/ventilated front seats.
WHAT IS IT?
The Canyon is GMC’s “compact” pickup, though it’s large enough to be more accurately called a midsize pickup. Extended-cab and crew-cab body styles are offered, but a regular cab is not. Though both the Canyon and the Chevrolet Colorado are built on the same basic platform, the GMC has a more premium feel than the Chevy. The Canyon’s upscale features include more-formal exterior styling, a ritzier interior with a soft-touch dashboard on most models, and an available “Auto” full-time 4-wheel drive system that allows 4WD to be left engaged on dry pavement. On the safety side, GM’s OnStar assistance system and Teen Driver monitoring are standard, and options include forward collision warning and lane departure warning. Available comfort and convenience features include remote start, power lumbar adjustment for both driver and front passenger, leather upholstery, automatic climate control, and heated seats. Available infotainment features include an 8-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, navigation system, voice recognition, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
The Canyon joins the rest of GMC’s product lineup in gaining an upscale, off-road-oriented AT4 model. The Canyon AT4 gets features such as 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, an off-road-tuned suspension, and a locking rear differential. Meanwhile the topline Denali model gets new features such as an updated grille, 5-inch chrome assist steps, and 20-inch Diamond Cut aluminum wheels.
EPA estimates for the 4-cylinder are 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway with rear-wheel drive and 19/24 with 4-wheel drive. Numbers for the V6 are 18/25 with rear-wheel drive and 17/24 with 4-wheel drive. The diesel is rated at 20/30 with 2WD and 19/28 with 4WD. In Consumer Guide® testing, a diesel-powered SLT Crew Cab averaged 24.8 mpg in 70-percent highway driving, and a V6-powered Denali Crew Cab averaged 21.6 mpg in 75-percent highway driving.
VALUE IN CLASS
The GMC Canyon faces strong competition from class rivals, but continues to achieve Best Buy status because of its broad model lineup, available diesel engine, and the availability of a full-time 4WD system. The luxurious Denali and new-for-2021 AT4 trim levels are attractive as well, as is the respectable fuel economy of the 3.6 V6/8-speed powertrain. Pricing on top-line Canyon models reaches into the territory of full-size trucks that offer more passenger space and cargo/hauling capacity. However, for shoppers who need a truck that’s more economical and easier to maneuver, the Canyon is a great choice.
|BASE PRICE RANGE||$26,400 – $44,700|
|BODY STYLES||Extended Cab and Crew Cab|
|AVAILABLE ENGINES||200-HP, 2.5-Liter 4-cyl.; 181-HP 2.8-Liter Turbodiesel 4-cyl.; 308-HP, 3.6-Liter V6|
|DRIVE WHEELS||Rear or 4-Wheel Drive|
|EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE||17-30 MPG|