GMC Canyon Denali.
2019 GMC Canyon 4WD
Crew Denali SWB: Old kid on the block.
Price: $45,935 as
tested, $43,300 for the trim level. Red paint cost $495; other
options mentioned below. A base rear-wheel-drive model could be had
for as little as $22,095.
Edmunds likes the “big towing capacity,” “maneuverable size,
along with well-mannered steering and handling” but not that
“front seats can feel small to larger people, rivals offer more
in-cab storage with rear seats folded.”
General Motors must have axed the marketers; no more cute taglines.
Reality: Will it
measure up to the new Ranger and Jeep Gladiator?
In the middle: The
midsize truck segment is getting a rebirth. Now that the
Colorado-Canyon twins have been back in town since 2015, and
Toyota’s Tacoma has been around half of forever, the latest
incarnation of the Ford Ranger and the new Jeep Gladiator are hot on
Fuel economy: The
smaller trucks do sip fuel, comparatively. The Canyon averaged
almost 20 mpg. That’s no great shakes, but consider that full-size
trucks have grown so huge that they’re pretty much stuck getting
under 15 mpg these days.
On the road: Better
handling should be standard, because the trucks are smaller and
lighter. But no one would call the Canyon “small” by any
stretch. It’s also very tall in the 4WD version, so curves should
be approached with some caution.
Hauling? The Canyon
can pull up to 7,600 pounds, and carry up to 1,605.
But the version I
received had a laughably short bed, and I never even considered
using it to haul anything around. A set of 3-by-5 shelves really ate
up almost the entire bed.
labels behind the cab that were attached to a roll bar added a bit
of silliness. They also made access to the front of the bed more
difficult, so save yourself the $1,145 for this dealer-installed
A 6-foot 2-inch bed
would add another foot of hauling capacity, but actually cut the
payload max by 50 pounds.
Keep up with the big
boys: The 3.6-liter V-6 engine creates 308 horsepower. I never had a
problem getting on highways or keeping up with traffic, as the
Canyon equipped like the test model went 0-60 in 6.3 seconds,
according to Car and Driver.
Base engine is a
2.5-liter four, blah, but a 2.8-liter turbodiesel intrigues me.
Consumers may find
the interior of the 2019 GMC Canyon to be a compromise in space and
in luxury touches, even in Denali trim.
Friends and stuff:
The rear seat has some decent legroom and headroom, but foot room
under the front seat is nonexistent. Both rows sit low to the floor.
The rear seat back is
excessively straight, as the seats must contort themselves to the
Furthermore, the rear
seats fold down instead of up, unlike most crew cabs, eliminating
the convenience of carrying a large box behind the seat (something
I’ve made use of often in other trucks).
Driver’s seat: Up
front, the seats are comfortable enough and supportive, but I’m
starting to think the name Denali just doesn’t have that exclusive
feel it once did.
eight-speed transmission is controlled with a T-bar level on the
console, with buttons to raise or lower gears.
I had some abrupt
shifts on occasion, not a good feeling.
Play some tunes: The
Canyon receives the typical General Motors stereo treatment, with
knobs for tuning and volume, and a blob of buttons directing the
rest of the show. It’s an unsophisticated look that’s growing
dated. The sound is delightful, though, as is also typical for GM
Keeping warm and
cool: The HVAC controls are equally uninspired but functional enough
— buttons control source and a dial for blower speed and
Spot of trouble: On
the last day I drove the Canyon, I had just gotten up to highway
speed after setting the cruise control about half a mile before.
While climbing a short grade, the truck suddenly downshifted — but
way down, to second or third — while still in drive. The door
locks opened and closed.
I shifted to Neutral
and then back to Drive and it cleared up, but the truck seemed a
little nervous after that. So did I. No more problems came up, but
perhaps others have had a similar experience.
Where it’s built:
How it’s built:
Consumer Reports predicts its reliability will be a 2 out of 5, and
it’s gotten a 1 for the last two years, with a 3 the year before.
In the end: Not a bad
vehicle — nice to drive, and certainly more economical than a
modern full-size truck. I’d give the Ranger and Gladiator a look.