GMC Canyon

2016 GMC Canyon

The GMC Canyon is a midsize pickup truck that provides multi-purpose utility. As with all midsize trucks, its towing capacity and payload fall short of a full-size pickup but its capabilities are often more than sufficient for buyers who want a smaller truck. Compared with the full-size trucks, the midsize pickups are more fuel-efficient, are more agile and take up less parking space.

The GMC Canyon is virtually a twin to the Chevrolet Colorado. Canyon and Colorado were redesigned for 2015, and became the class of the field. They carried over to the 2016 model year mostly unchanged.

The 2016 GMC Canyon is updated with an enhanced IntelliLink system that features Apple CarPlay capability. Also, a sliding rear window is standard on the 2016 GMC Canyon SLT. A new turbodiesel engine is expected to be available for 2016 Canyon models later in the model year.

With its rugged aura, the GMC Canyon suggests strong capabilities. Overall, the Canyon looks more squared off than does the Chevrolet Colorado, and we lean toward the GMC approach. An unusual side-window design incorporates a shoulder line that sweeps upward near the rear pillar.

The GMC Canyon offers a choice of 200-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder or 305-hp 3.6-liter V6. The four-cylinder offers a choice of manual gearbox or automatic. The 3.6-liter V6 comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models are available. The four-wheel-drive system includes an automatic mode. A locking rear differential is available. Chevrolet Colorado offers a more traditional four-wheel-drive system with a low range.

Fabric and vinyl seat upholstery are available, with leather standard in the top-level SLT edition. SLE and SLT models can have an optional All-Terrain off-roading group that includes 17-inch all-terrain tires on aluminum wheels, off-road suspension, and power front seats. Available options also include an E-Z Lift-and-Lower tailgate, CornerStep back bumper, OnStar 4G LTE with wi-fi hot spot, and Siri Eyes Free Mode for iPhone. Forward collision alert and a lane-departure warning also are offered.

Few pickups compete in this midsize category, and the primary ones, the Nissan Frontier is outdated. Canyon and Colorado trounce the Frontier in terms of road manners, as well as economy and performance. They also trounce the outgoing 2015 Toyota Tacoma. An all-new Toyota Tacoma debuts as a 2016 model, replacing a decade-old version.

Six airbags are standard, including side curtains. So are trailer sway control and hill-descent control, along with GMs StabiliTrak system, a rearview camera, and large side mirrors. Options include lane-departure warning and forward collision alert. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the extended-cab Canyon a four-star overall rating, though the side-impact test was rated five-star.


2015 GMC Canyon

All-new, the 2015 GMC Canyon is a scaled down Sierra offering two engines, two cabs and two bed lengths. The percentage lower or smaller than the Sierra depends on what youre measuring and there is overlap between Canyon and Sierra Regular Cab and Double Cab in terms of cost, power, dimensions, and capacity.

Once just a Chevrolet Colorado with ruby red badges, the 2015 GMC Canyon is no longer a duplicate Colorado. Beyond doors and roof it has its own sheetmetal, lamps, wheels and grille. Four-wheel drive versions of the Canyon use Autotrac that allows on-pavement all-wheel drive for inclement weather, which Colorado does not have. Canyon costs more than Colorado because it has standard equipment Colorado doesnt have, and GMCs Pro Grade includes routine maintenance.

The 2015 GMC Canyon does everything you expect in a mid-size pickup. It can carry up to 1620 pounds of people or cargo (more than some full-size pickups), tow up to 7,000 pounds and, like competitors, can slide 48 building materials into the bed though theyll hang out the back and wont lay flat on the floor. Every Canyon except 2WD automatics can be flat-towed as a motorhome dinghy, but no model is rated for snow-plow use.

Basic power is a 200-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder, the other choice a 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6. Unlike competitors and GM full-size pickups that favor torque over horsepower, these engines need lots of revs for full power, but lineage to GM cars like Cadillac means they are fairly refined.

Interiors are quite refined for mid-size trucks and very quiet. Modern voice-control infotainment systems, OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and active safety systems lead the technology list, and almost anything you can get in a family sedan save power reclining seats is available.

The Extended Cab has two-plus-two seating with kid-size rear seats and a 6-foot, 2-inch pickup box. Its clamshell doors make the Extended Cab the easiest for loading awkward items or to have Rover hop in the rear seat.

The Crew Cab has a bench rear seat for three with legroom and headroom similar to mid-cab models of full-size pickups. Crew Cabs uses four conventional doors. Crew Cab comes with 5-foot, 2-inch and 6-foot, 2-inch box lengths.

GMC Canyon SL models are very basic with few options, destined for fleet managers and high-school budgets bent on customizing. Realistically anticipate most trimmed in the high-$20,000 to high-$30,000 range, and capable of exceeding $40,000 without checking too many boxes.

With most GMC Canyon models not far apart from a Sierra V6 Regular Cab or Double Cab in terms of load or towing capacity, maneuverability, fuel economy and how much garage space they need, your decision will come down to seating configurations and whether you prefer to spend your money on bigger-is-better or goodies and gadgets. After all, most full-size half-ton owners dont use anywhere near their trucks maximum load or towing capacity, so if your needs fit into a Canyon, is bigger really better?


 

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