2016 GMC Canyon Diesel Quick Spin [w/video]
Midsize Diesel Truck, Part Two
EngineTurbodiesel 2.8L I4
Power181 HP / 369 LB-FT
Curb Weight4,748 LBS
As Tested Price$45,280
Best Deal Price$27,680
Looks-wise, the Canyon is a bit more polished overall than the Colorado on which its based. The front fascia has a more upscale, yet tough aura, the squared-off headlamps mimic those of the Sierra, and the alloy wheels – especially those on this SLT tester – are a premium touch. Inside the cabin, it's all carryover stuff from the Chevy truck, just with different badges and some unique color/trim combos.
So it's a Colorado Diesel with a Canyon treatment. It's the typical GMC updo. But that's fine by me; this thing's a real sweetheart.
- Talk about smooth operator. This is one of the least harsh diesel engines I've ever tested, with low levels of vibration. Credit for that goes to the fancy German torque converter, as our own David Gluckman detailed in the Colorado First Drive. There's there's also very little in the way of turbo lag in this truck, aiding the silky character. I kind of miss the "turbo moment" woosh of power, but I'll happily trade that for total overall refinement.
- GMC hasn't released official fuel economy figures just yet, and my drive route wasn't exactly great for testing the ol' miles per gallon rating. I spent about 45 minutes slogging through traffic in Manhattan (perfect place for a diesel pickup, right?), before getting out onto the highway for another 45 or so. The combined trip returned numbers in the mid-20s, but I have to believe this truck can do better.
- The steering is vague, the body rolls – it drives like a pickup. That said, even though it's on the larger side of midsize, the Canyon is easy to maneuver, sight lines are great, and it's a generally pleasant-handling truck.
- The 2.8-liter Duramax diesel engine adds about 200 pounds to the Canyon's overall curb weight, but you don't notice from behind the wheel. Braking feel is smooth and solid, and the truck doesn't feel especially nose-heavy.
- Despite the anti-aero shape, the Canyon delivers a quiet ride with very little wind or road noise. Credit this to all the sound deadening material added to keep unpleasant diesel chugga-chugga-chugga noises out of the cabin.
- I didn't get a chance to tow anything with the Canyon, but GM says it'll pull 7,700 pounds in two-wheel-drive configuration, or 7,600 pounds if you opt for four-wheel drive. For folks who only do occasional towing, this will surely be plenty of capability.
There isn't much more to say about the drive, short of just copying and pasting Gluckman's Colorado drive into this space. The Canyon Diesel is nice – some interior materials are a little questionable, but on the whole, this is a pleasant, somewhat upscale pickup (especially in SLT trim). It's expensive, though. The truck you see here costs $45,280, and a different version I drove was closer to $46,000. The diesel engine is a $3,730 option, can only be had with Crew Cab Canyons, and comes with either two- or four-wheel drive.
So it's a slightly fancier Colorado. Cool. That's the story of GMC, right there. The Sierra is tweaked Silverado. The Terrain is an Equinox. The Yukon, a Tahoe (or Suburban, if it's a Yukon XL). And the Acadia is a Traverse (and partially a Saturn Outlook). None of that matters, though. GMC is a huge cash cow for General Motors, especially with its Denali line that retails for huge margins over similarly spec'd, loaded Chevys. (Yes, there will be a Canyon Denali, soon.) It's a formula that works not just for GMC, but for GM as a whole, and the Canyon Diesel is another great part of that successful strategy.
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