Is the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Cooler Than the Most Popular Midsize Truck?

GM is taking the midsize truck segment seriously for the first time, maybe ever. The new Chevy Colorado is making waves in the truck world. Now the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X is here, and it looks mean. While the Canyon didn’t get the all-new platform, GM is leaning heavily into the off-road segment and the new GMC shows. GM is taking the fight to the most famous midsize truck of them all, the Toyota Tacoma. For now, GM boasts that the 2023 Canyon AT4X is the “most advanced off-road midsize truck” on the market. But can it really beat the most popular midsize truck of all time?

The 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X is here, and it’s mean

a red AT$x off-road Canyon in the dirt.
Front 3/4 view of the GMC Canyon AT4X with Edition 1 package driving on a dirt road with boulders and rocks in the background.

RELATED: Revealed! All New 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X4

As Gear Patrol mentions off the top, the Chevy Colorado and the GMC Canyon have always been tough to differentiate, considering how they are mechanically identical. This update for the Canyon should fix that issue once and for all. 

The new Canyon AT4X is one of the meanest-looking trucks we’ve ever seen. The Canyon will now surpass the Colorado as the more upmarket offering from GM. All GMC Canyons now get the high-output 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine from the Colorado ZR2. This little four-pot makes 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. If that weren’t enough, now all Canyons get at least a 2-in lift and a wider stance. 

What’s new with the 2023 Toyota Tacoma? 

Front angle view of Lunar Rock 2023 Toyota Tacoma
Lunar Rock 2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

Not much. The newest Toyota Tacoma is still awaiting its big update. Toyota Prioritized the 2023 Tundra giving it an all-new hybrid powertrain for the model and piles on piles of new features and a new look. The Tacoma is still built on the same old bones as the previous models, but Toyota fans don’t care. 

The Toyota Tacoma still reigns supreme as the highest-selling midsize pickup truck of all time. The Tacoma has sold in the many millions in just the past decade alone. It is an icon. Although it hasn’t seen a significant update in years, the Tacoma is still a serious off-roader. Can it hang with the new and improved GMC Canyon AT4X? Despite the many upgrades, it would be a shock to see the Tacoma supplanted by anything, much less a GMC. However, we do live in strange times, after all.

Is the Canyon AT4X worth it? 

2023 GMC Canyon AT4X teaser
2023 GMC Canyon AT4X teaser | GMC

The 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Edition 1 will start at $63,350. This is a major price hike from the base Canyon, starting at $40,000. What does this price jump include, you ask? 

Aside from the cool engine upgrade, the AT4X also gets a 3-in suspension lift and 33-in MT tires. Not to mention this thing comes with more accessories and features than you’ll know what to do with. 

GM offers a heavy-duty skid plate, rock sliders, Baja Mode for high-speed off-roading, vaunted Multimatic DSSV dampers, and front and rear e-lockers. However, the Edition 1 trucks will get a few more extras like front and rear washing trail cameras, 17-inch beadlock capable wheels, an off-road front bumper with a safari bar, an off-road grille light bar, a Comeup winch, a reconfigurable bed rail system, and a special front skid plate. 

While maybe not quite as cool as rally lights, locking diffs, and massive tires, the 2023 GMC Canyon is also getting new interior tech like a bigger screen, heads-up display, and 10 exterior cameras. 

The GMC Canyon AT4X will need more than an update to beat the most popular midsize truck

The Toyota Tacoma simply doesn’t have all this extra stuff. The question is, how much will the gizmos matter? Toyota has gone over 10 years without updating its 4×4 line in a significant way, and people still bought them. Granted, this new GMC Canyon is insanely cool, but the price reflects that.

The Toyota Tacoma TRD – Toyota’s off-roading package – will likely cost you around $48,000. So the real question is; Will the GMC Canyon AT4X be $20,000 better than the 2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD or TRD Pro?

No matter how cool the new off-road Canyon is, it will need decades of that coolness to occupy the same place in the truck market that the Tacoma does.

Will the GMC have what it takes to turn the Toyota fans away from their trucks? I don’t know. That’s a tall order, indeed.

RELATED: Maybe You Should Wait to Buy an Updated 2023 GMC Canyon