2019 Canyon New Car Test Drive
Enhanced by hints of upmarket flair, GMC's solid midsize pickup exudes an impressively classy tone for a truck. Close cousin to Chevrolet's Colorado, the Canyon also benefits from a refined interior and a trio of excellent powertrain options.
Last redesigned as a 2015 model, the Canyon gets some equipment revisions for the 2019 model year. A new infotainment system with automatic software updating can be augmented by optional cloud-based navigation. Rear parking sensors are now available, and a high-definition rearview camera replaces the prior analog unit on all except the base model. Upper trim levels can get a power driver's seat, and SLE versions have a new wheel design.
Trim levels stretch from utilitarian to near-luxury: specifically, SL, Canyon, SLE, All Terrain, SLT, and Denali. All Terrain trim stresses off-road styling details; but unlike Chevrolet's Colorado ZR2, off-pavement potential is limited.
Engine choices include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 3.6-liter V6, or turbodiesel 2.8-liter four-cylinder. The 2.5-liter engine makes 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. Some four-cylinder rear-drive models have a standard 6-speed manual gearbox A 6-speed automatic transmission, standard with four-wheel drive, mates with both gasoline and diesel four-cylinders.
Canyons with V6 power get an 8-speed automatic. Developing 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, the V6 is the most popular choice.
Diesels have their issues these days, but they're hard to beat for massive torque and fuel-efficiency, along with refined performance. The diesel four produces only 186 horsepower, but a musclebound 369 pound-feet of torque.
Safety is not a selling point for the otherwise modern Canyon, which is short of valuable active-safety features and has earned marginal crash-test scores.
A rearview camera is standard. An optional Driver Alert Package includes forward-collision and lane-departure warnings, but lacks automatic emergency braking. Standard on Denali, the package is optional for SLE and SLT trim levels.
In crash-testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Canyon earned a five-star rating for side-impact, but only four stars overall and for the frontal collision. Rollover prevention earned just three stars, but that's calculated figure, not based upon testing.
Only partial crash-testing has been done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Canyon earned a “Good” rating in the moderate-overlap test, but only “Acceptable” for small-overlap and side-impact tests, Headlights were rated “Poor.”.
Prices do not include $995 destination charge.
Extended Cab with 128.3-inch wheelbase:
2WD SL 2.5-liter ($21,400) aims mainly at fleet sales, with rear-drive, four-cylinder engine, and vinyl seat upholstery and flooring. Included are a power driver's seat, windows, and locks; 16-inch alloy wheels; and a 7.0-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
2WD 2.5-liter ($24,900) upgrades to cloth seats, with the option of four-wheel drive and V6 power.
2WD SLE 2.5-liter ($28,900) adds an 8.0-inch infotainment screen, navigation, 17-inch wheels, and leather-wrapped steering wheel.
4WD 3.6-liter ($31,000) gets the V6 engine and four-wheel drive.
4WD SLE 3.6-liter $34,300) is similar to 2.5-liter SLE, but with 3.6-liter V6 and four-wheel drive.
4WD All Terrain w/Cloth 3.6-liter ($36,400) comes with automatic climate control, heated power front seats, an 8.0?inch screen, off-road suspension, and subtle off-road styling cues.
4WD All Terrain w/Leather 3.6-liter ($37,800) upgrades All Terrain to leather upholstery.
Crew Cab with 128.3-inch wheelbase:
2WD 2.5-liter ($27,500) has the four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive.
2WD SLE 2.5-liter ($30,800) is similar to Extended Cab SLE, but with four conventional doors.
4WD SLE 3.6-liter ($35,900) upgrades SLE trim to V6 engine with four-wheel drive
2WD SLT 3.6-liter ($35,700 with 2WD, $39,200 with 4WD) upgrades SLT to V6 power.
4WD All Terrain 3.6-liter ($37,700 with cloth, $39,100 with leather) is equipped like extended-cab All Terrain model.
Denali 3.6-liter ($40,300 with 2WD, $43,800 with 4WD) gets heated/ventilated front seats, navigation, Bose audio, 20-inch wheels, forward collision alert, and lane-departure warning.
Crew Cab with 140.5-inch wheelbase and 3.6-liter V6:
Base 2WD ($29,100) is the rear-drive base model with Crew Cab.
SLE ($32,500 with 2WD, $36,200 with 4WD) is equipped similar to SLE models above.
SLT ($36,200 with 2WD, $39,500 with 4WD) is equipped like SLT models above.
4WD All Terrain w/Cloth ($38,000 with cloth, $39,400 with leather) has All Terrain equipment with four-wheel drive.
Denali ($40,800 with 2WD, $44,100 with 4WD) is the top V6 Crew Cab version..