GMC’s mid-size pickup has been completely redesigned for the 2015 model year, and in the process, sets the bar for the segment.
While it shares the same platform as the all-new Chevrolet Colorado, General Motor’s premium truck brand has ensured the Canyon is THE premium pickup in the segment.
Delivering an EPA rating of 27 mpg highway and a tow rating of up to 7,000 pounds, the Canyon provides the cargo hauling and towing of a truck, yet without the size (and maneuverability) of a full-size pickup.
It’s also the only truck in the segment to offer AutoTrac automatic four-wheel drive, which allows the driver to select manual four-wheel drive engagement or automatic engagement.
As mentioned earlier, it’s also a premium pickup, with all the amenities you would expect on a premium vehicle — such as having the ability to turn the truck into a rolling 4G Wi-Fi hotspot.
The OnStar with 4G LTE is standard, providing a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the truck is on.
Other segment-first features include the CornerStep rear bumper design, pioneered on the GMC Sierra, as well as the EZ Lift-and-Lower locking tailgate that makes it a snap to raise and lower the tailgate with one hand.
There’s also 13 reconfigurable and four stationary tie-down locations throughout the bed, making it much easier to secure cargo.
Available in SL, Base, SLE and SLT trim levels (GMC’s All-Terrain Package is available on SLE models), consumers have their choice of two available engines.
The base engine is a 2.5-liter I-4 generating 200 horsepower and 191 lbs.-ft. torque. Mated to a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, it requires regular unleaded gasoline and has an EPA fuel economy rating of 20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway for rear-wheel drive models equipped with automatic transmission (19 mpg, 25 mpg respectively for four-wheel drive models).
Consumers also have the option of a 3.6-liter V-6 engine, which delivers 305 horsepower and 269 lbs.-ft. torque. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, it has an EPA rating of 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway for rear-wheel drive models (17 mpg, 24 mpg respectively for four-wheel drive).
Consumers also have the option of extended cab or crew cab body styles, as well as a 6-feet, 2-inch or 5-feet, 2-inch bed length.
Standard safety features include six airbags, including head curtain side airbags, large rearview mirrors and rear-vision camera system, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control, hill start assist and hill descent control and available forward collision alert and lane departure warning.
To me, the Canyon is the perfect size for a pickup. It provides all the versatility most folks would ever need, yet its maneuverability makes it much easier to get in and out of a crowded parking lot.
If you don’t need all the capabilities of a full-size truck, the 2015 is a must for the test drive list.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.
The Nuts and Bolts
2015 GMC Canyon
4- or 5-seat mid-size pickup truck
Rear-, or four-wheel drive
Extended cab or crew cab
6’2’’ or 5’2” bed length
SL, Base, SLE, SLT
2.5L I4 (200 hp/191 T)
3.6L V6 (305 hp/269 T)
EPA: 20/18 mpg city, 27/26 mpg highway (2.5/3.6 RWD A/T)
FUEL: Regular unleaded
StabiliTrak electronic stability control
LENGTH: 212.4/224.6 in.
WHEELBASE: 128.3/140.5 inches
WIDTH: 74.3 inches
HEIGHT: 70.3-70.7 inches
WEIGHT: 3920-4500 lbs.
TRACK: 62.4/62.4 (front/rear)
FUEL TANK: 21 gallons
TIRES: 16-, 17-, or 18-inch
TOWING: Up to 7,000 lbs.
MAX PAYLOAD: 1620 lbs.