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The 2022 GMC Canyon may be a great small pickup truck in a lot of ways, but it’s safety ratings are somewhst concerning. That’s because the new GMC Canyon has two key safety ratings that are less than ideal, and they’re both very important. Here’s what’s wrong with the Canyon’s safety and why you just might want to look elsewhere for your next pickup. 

A red 2022 GMC Canyon in front of the mountains.
2022 GMC Canyon | GMC

The 2022 GMC Canyon safety ratings include a not-so-great overlap test

Okay, you’re probably wondering – what even is the small overlap test? The IIHS says that frontal crashes are the type of accident that results in the most deaths. Things have gotten better as far as frontal crashes go thanks to both the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) and the IIHS. Both of these non-profit organizations conduct tests and inform consumers. This helps hold car manufacturers accountable, making autos safer for everyone.

The small overlap test on the passenger side is designed to measure how well a vehicle does when traveling at 40 mph and striking a 5-foot tall rigid barrier. The front right 25% of the truck hits the barrier, and there are two dummies in the truck to determine how both the driver and passenger would fare in this type of accident.

The passenger side of the GMC Canyon gets a marginal rating

Now that you know why it’s so important to have good overlap test scores, you probably understand why it’s somewhat concerning to see that the 2022 GMC Canyon scores just a marginal in this category. The small overlap passenger side test score means that there are some major concerns in this category. That’s not quite the worst rating – poor is below it – but it is still pretty alarming. 

Within the small overlap test conducted on the passenger side are mostly good ratings, but two that pull down its overall score. The structure and safety cage gets a poor rating and the lower leg and foot injury measures gets a marginal rating. That leads to an overall marginal small overlap on the passenger side test. 

The headlights are poor

More than half of all fatal car accidents occur in the dark even though most people drive during the day. That’s why is so important that a pickup truck has good headlights. Unfortunately, the only headlights available on the 2022 GMC Canyon are poor. 

Some of the problems with the Canyon’s headlights include that they aren’t curve-adaptive and there’s no high-beam assist. In addition, the low brake created excessive glare in the IIHS tests. As far as the high beams go, visibility on the sharp right side of the road was inadequate during testing, as it was on both left curves. 

The 2022 GMC Canyon certainly had a lot going for it and after it’s two year absence from the market, it’s likely that many people are glad to have it back. However, it’s important to seriously consider the safety concerns of the GMC Canyon. It just might be worth considering purchasing a different small pickup truck, something with better safety ratings. 


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