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That feeling you get when your favorite song comes on, and you just want to turn it up and dance; that’s the feeling you’ll get when you see the new 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X. In the midsize truck market, the AT4X Canyon has no equal. Sure, the Chevy Colorado ZR2 comes close, but the AT4X now sits at the top of the mountain challenging all that dare try and take the midsize truck throne.

The 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X says, “but wait, there’s more.”

Red 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Climbing a steep hill
2023 GMC Canyon AT4X | GMC

Everything you learn about the new generation of this GMC midsize truck shows the focus was entirely on the AT4X trim. The three lower trims, Elevation, AT4, and Denali, don’t receive the equipment or packaging GMC put into the AT4X. For everything those lower trims offer, the AT4X offers a little bit more.

Getting the sameness of this GMC Canyon out of the way

There are some ways the AT4X is the same as the rest of the trims. Every GMC Canyon has a short-bed Crew Cab build and powertrain. That powertrain offers the 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and 8-speed automatic transmission. The power numbers are 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, which is much more than any previous generation of this truck.

What does the AT4X trim include to warrant a championship distinction?

Red 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Edition 1 posed
2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Edition 1 | GMC

The 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X differentiates itself from the rest of the lineup with:

  • Front and rear limited-slip differentials
  • Baja driving mode for high-speed off-roading
  • Three-inch factory lift
  • Multimatic DSSV shocks
  • Rear outboard shock mounts
  • 30% increase in wheel travel compared to 2022 Canyon
  • Cast-iron control arms
  • Three skid plates
  • 10.7-inches of ground clearance
  • Optional underbody camera
  • 33-inch Mud Terrain tires
  • 36.9-degree approach angle
  • 11.0-inch digital gauge cluster (shared with the Denali trim)
  • 6.3-inch head-up display (shared with the Denali trim)
  • Red and White interior accents with white grab handles

Does the upgraded bed make the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X a useful daily driver?

The improvements to the bed area of the Canyon mean you could put the AT4X trim of this midsize truck to work all week and let it play on the weekends. The bed has eight standard tie-downs with an option for nine additional anchors. You’ll find four stake pockets, six 2×6-inch and four 2×8-inch bed pockets integrated into the design.

 The most interesting aspect of the new bed is the tailgate. This new tailgate has a halfway-up position that can hold up to 500 pounds. This allows you to lay plywood or drywall flat over the tailgate and on the wheel wells to secure it in the bed.

Does the tailgate of the new GMC Canyon offer anything special?

Tailgate 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X
Tailgate 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X | GMC

Yes, there’s a new water-tight storage cubby in the tailgate. This space measures four inches wide and 45 inches long to give you room for some tools you want to keep dry or a few drinks on ice when you head to the tailgate party.

Is there anything the AT4X Canyon doesn’t do well?

Yes, this trim level tows the least and has the lowest payload rating among the 2023 GMC Canyon trims. That is unless you count the AT4X Edition 1, which has lower numbers. The AT4X can carry 1,250 pounds of payload and tow up to 6,000 pounds in a trailer. These are respectable numbers, especially for an off-road-focused truck, but they fall below the rest of the lineup.

Should you drive this GMC truck?

Red 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X posed
2023 GMC Canyon AT4X | GMC

If you’re looking for a truck with everything you want for heading into the wilderness whenever the feeling strikes you, the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X is the right midsize truck for you. This truck has a little more than the rest of the lineup to provide you with the perfect off-road pickup.

Next, learn some things you should know before buying a used truck or watch the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X video below:


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