2020 GMC Canyon Reviews

2020 Canyon New Car Test Drive

The following review is for a 2019 Model Year. There may be minor changes to current model you are looking at.


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.

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