2017 Canyon New Car Test Drive
The GMC Canyon midsize pickup, like the Chevy Colorado, offers a smooth ride and a comfortable cabin with the utility of a pickup bed, making it a good alternative to a car.
New for 2017 is the GMC Canyon Denali, intended to offer upmarket comfort and convenience.
Also new for the 2017 GMC Canyon line is a new 3.6-liter V6, slightly more powerful than the one of identical displacement that it replaces, mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission.
Base engine is a 2.5-liter four cylinder making 200 horsepower that's remarkably adequate for most needs, and which works well with its quick-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission.
Best fuel mileage and towing (7700 pounds) comes from a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that makes an enormous amount of torque and is quite expensive.
The Canyon comes as an extended cab, with rear-hinged rear doors and a small bench seat in the back that can fit groceries or two child seats; or a crew cab, with four full-sized doors and seating for two adults in the rear. The bed lengths are 6-foot, 2-inch and 5-foot, 2-inch.
Four-wheel drive is available, with an automatic mode that works like all-wheel drive in cars. Rear-wheel drive is standard.
Standard safety features include six airbags and a rearview camera, oversized sideview mirrors, and trailer sway control. Forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems are available, rare features for a midsize pickup.
The two-wheel-drive turbodiesel gets an EPA-estimated 22/31 miles per gallon City/Highway, or 25 mpg Combined. The base four-cylinder is rated 20/27/22 mpg with the 6-speed automatic, a touch less with a manual transmission.
The 2017 GMC Canyon 4WD with the new V6 is rated 17/24/19 mpg. It features a cylinder deactivation system that cuts two cylinders when less power is needed and is designed to run on Regular gasoline.
The NHTSA gives the Canyon four stars overall in safety, while the IIHS has only tested it for frontal impact, giving it the top score.
The 2017 GMC Canyon comes in SL, base, SLE, SLT, and Denali, along with many cabin and powertrain configurations. The SL is priced at a bargain-basement $20,940, and the 4WD Denali tops the line at more than twice that, $42,820. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charges.)
The Canyon SL and base are largely the same, except the SL is more intended for rough work, with its vinyl flooring instead of carpeting; and it has fewer features. Standard equipment on the base includes air conditioning, power windows, power driver's seat, and USB port.
Canyon SLE adds an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control, and other features. Also more options are available, including an All Terrain X package for offroad that includes skid plates, hill descent control, and more rugged all-terrain tires.
Canyon SLT, with heated leather seating surfaces and automatic climate control, has been bumped out of the top luxury spot by the new Denali, with cooled seats and a heated steering wheel.