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Crew Cab 128.3" 2WDGas I4, 2.5L
Rear Wheel Drive
|$ 23,944||$ 25,205|
Ext Cab 128.3" 2WDGas I4, 2.5L
Rear Wheel Drive
|$ 21,744||$ 22,650|
Crew Cab 140.5" 2WDGas V6, 3.6L
Rear Wheel Drive
|$ 25,388||$ 26,725|
Crew Cab 128.3" 2WD SLEGas I4, 2.5L
Rear Wheel Drive
|$ 27,108||$ 28,535|
The mid-size pickup market had, until this year, been almost completely stagnant for the better part of a decade. Few new additions joined the ranks, and those on offer were largely stuck in the late 1990s or early 2000s in terms of technology, capability, and features. That has changed for the 2015 model year, and the latest upgrade is the 2015 GMC Canyon.
Sharing much of its underpinnings and basic design with the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, the GMC Canyon is no surprise—but that makes it no less welcome as a supplement to the full-size trucks roaming the nation’s streets, job sites, and dirt roads.
With somewhat edgy looks—certainly not adhering to the full-size orthodoxy—GMC’s Canyon nonetheless pulls off a burly, rugged, and capable stance. The front-end is in line with GMC’s other trucks, as is the tailgate and bumper area; even the flared-and-squared wheel arches are a familiar detail. Where the Canyon diverges from the pickup mainstream is along the side, where the cab’s lower window line sweeps upward toward the rear, creating a ooh that’s at once modern and somewhat foreign—as well it might, as the rest of the world has had this generation of mid-size pickup for three years already, and it made its original debut at the 2011 Bangkok Motor Show, though it wore an even more unusual front-end in its original, non-U.S. guise.
Inside the GMC Canyon’s cabin, we get a slightly down-sized version of the new cabin seen in the GMC Sierra. That’s a good thing, as the look is upscale yet rugged, with a central dash pod holding the primary controls and display unit. A beefy steering wheel with its own control buttons sits in front of a gauge pod. One notable difference from the full-size Sierra’s layout: the gear shift lever sits in the center console rather than on the column. Otherwise, the Canyon blends in perhaps a slightly greater degree of sedan-like themes in the upholders, bucket seats, and door armrests, but still pulls off its business truck image.
Under the hood of the new 2015 GMC Canyon you’ll find one of two engines: the base 2.5-liter in-line four-cylinder, or a 3.6-liter V-6. The four-cylinder is rated at 193 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, which should prove adequate for basic utility pickup usage, but don’t expect to be able to tow much with the smaller engine. The V-6 is rated at up to 6,700 pounds towing, however, thanks to 302 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of output—figures that would have sufficed for a V-8 not so many years ago. Both engines make use of direct injection, variable valve timing, aluminum blocks, forged-steel crankshafts, and jet-spray piston coatings to enhance efficiency and durability. A six-speed manual transmission is available with the four-cylinder, while both the four and the V-6 offer a six-speed automatic with auto grade braking. The V-6’s six-speed auto also offers tow/haul mode. StabiliTrak electronic stability control with hill start assist, four-wheel disc brakes, and electrically assisted power rack-and-pinion steering is standard across the range.
Both 2WD and 4WD variants are available, in either extended cab or crew cab styles, with a choice of a 6’2” bed, or, for crew cab models, a shorter 5’2” bed.
Safety features included in the 2015 GMC Canyon include six standard airbags, with head curtain side airbags designed to reduce the risk of occupant ejection in the event of a crash or rollover. A rear-view camera is also standard, as are oversized side mirrors for enhanced rearward visibility. In addition to the StabiliTrak system, the Canyon also gets standard trailer sway control and hill-descent control systems. Optional safety extras include forward collision alert and lane departure warning—both of which GMC claims as segment firsts.
On the technology and features front, the Canyon matches its bigger brethren, with OnStar 4G LTE and built-in WiFi hot spot available; an eight-inch color touch screen; USB inputs; Siri Eyes Free Mode for iPhone users; a “Teen Driver” feature; GMC’s AppShop; and navigation all on the options list. The Teen Driver system uses the IntelliLink system to set a radio volume limit, and a parent-configurable speed warning that can be set between 40 mph and 70 mph, as well as a speed limiter. The Teen Driver system also automatically mutes the radio when either front seatbelt is unfastened, and records a driver “report card” measuring distance traveled and wide-open throttle acceleration as well as ABS events, maximum speed, and more.
Other unique features for the 2015 Canyon include an EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate with an internal torsion bar to damp and ease tailgate lowering and lifting; a CornerStep rear bumper design first seen on the 2014 GMC Sierra; 13 reconfigurable and 4 stationary load tie-downs in the bed; optional factory sprayed-in bed liner; and more.
Three trim lines will be offered: base, SLE, and SLT. An All-Terrain package will also be offered, available on SLE models, adding 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, all-terrain tires, and a body-color girlle surround, as well as off-road tuned suspension.
Production and sales of the 2015 GMC Canyon will start in the fall of 2014 at General Motors’ Wentzville, Missouri plant.
- Modern design, inside and out
- High-tech options like 4G LTE
- Potent V-6 engine
- Considerable towing capability
- More efficient 4-cylinder option
- Some of the exterior angles aren't flattering
- No turbo V-6 or V-8 option
- No single cab option