2017 GMC Canyon

Overview: The GMC Canyon was revived for a second generation in 2014 alongside its Chevrolet Colorado twin and immediately reinvigorated the moribund mid-size pickup market. Where once these trucks were left to languish for a decade or more without significant changes—or were killed outright—the fresh General Motors duo were quickly joined by an updated Toyota Tacoma and a redesigned Honda Ridgeline, while a new Nissan Frontier and a reborn Ford Ranger should be online within three years or so.

The Canyon offers two cabs (extended and crew) and two bed lengths. Four-wheel drive can be found on most trim levels. Available engines include a 200-hp, 191-lb-ft 2.5-liter four-cylinder in lower trims that’s as slow as it is undesirable. If you can spring for a higher trim where the 308-hp V-6 is standard—or the roughly $1200 to upgrade where it’s not—do it. Crew-cab Canyons can be ordered with an optional diesel engine. The 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder costs $3730 more (except in the 2WD SLE short-bed crew cab, where it runs $4965) and delivers 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, along with up to 7700 pounds of towing capacity. Although if you’re towing anywhere near 7000 pounds with a Canyon—never mind 7700—we suggest you step up to a half-ton truck like GMC’s Sierra 1500.

While pricing for the most part is fairly close between the Chevy and the GMC—the gap widens slightly when moving to the upper trim levels, where the Canyon offers a few additional baubles—the main difference is that the GMC offers the Denali trim at the top of the range for those who desire the fanciest mid-size truck money can buy. The truck we drove for this review was a four-wheel-drive Denali crew cab equipped with the Duramax diesel, and it had all of the luxury and tech appointments one can get in GMC’s smallest pickup, including 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, Apple CarPlay, lots of USB ports, heated and cooled front seats, a stitched dashtop, and more.


What’s New: For 2017, the Canyon’s V-6 option was upgraded to GM’s latest 3.6-liter model, paired with a new eight-speed automatic. While the displacement remains the same as before, the six-cylinder is substantially revised and adds 3 horsepower and 6 lb-ft of torque over last year’s model. City and highway fuel economy are unchanged, but the EPA combined rating has gone down by 1 mpg on both two- and four-wheel-drive models. Perhaps more important is that V-6 Canyons should be quicker; we recently tested a V-6 Colorado with the new hardware and it shaved more than a second off its zero-to-60-mph time. Read more...

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08 Feb 2017

By Erik Johnson