2023 GMC Canyon Denali: Did This Luxury Trim Get Lost in the Shuffle?

The Denali name attached to any GMC vehicle represents the most luxurious option for that model. This is still true for the new 2023 GMC Canyon Denali, but it may be lost among the off-road options. Every trim of the new Canyon delivers off-road qualities, a higher stance, and a wider track. These factors might have swallowed up the Denali trim of this midsize truck in the process.

Does the 2023 GMC Canyon Denali have any trim-specific features?

Black 2023 GMC Canyon Denali in a showroom
2023 GMC Canyon Denali | GMC

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Most of the new GMC Canyon upgrades appear to lump the Denali trim in with the base Elevation model and the mid-grade AT4 trim. That said, GMC does offer a few items that are either shared between the Denali and AT4X or specific to the Denali. These features are:

  • 20-inch wheels (Denali is the only trim with these wheels)
  • 11.0-inch digital gauge cluster
  • 6.3-inch head-up display

What does the Denali trim share with the AT4 model of this midsize GMC truck?

Three distinct items in the AT4 and Denali trims aren’t part of the Elevation model.

  • Water-tight storage area in the tailgate
  • Brown interior trim
  • Standard 4WD

The GMC Canyon Denali has the same build as the rest of the lineup

White 2023 GMC Canyon AT4 on a dirt road
2023 GMC Canyon AT4 | GMC

Not only is Denali trim the same for this midsize truck as the lower trims, but it’s also the same as the upper trims. All 2023 GMC Canyon trucks use a short-bed Crew Cab build and have a high-output engine. That engine is a 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder model that provides 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque for this truck. The transmission used is an 8-speed automatic model, and only the Elevation model has RWD, the rest offer standard 4WD.

This truck build is good for 7,700 pounds of towing, giving us a strong truck in the midsize market.

How much bigger is the new 2023 GMC Canyon?

The new Canyon has a factory lift that raises the Elevation, AT4, and Denali models by two inches compared to the outgoing version. The wheel travel is 15% greater than before, and the track is 10 inches wider. The front axle moved forward 2.9 inches to increase the wheelbase by 3.1 inches. The new Canyon is significantly larger than the outgoing 2022 model.

Is there enough differentiation with the Denali trim?

A white 2022 GMC Canyon AT4 midsize truck model (available in diesel) traveling off-road through a forest
2022 GMC Canyon AT4 | GMC

With very few items that make the Denali special, does it make sense to buy this trim of the GMC Canyon? The Elevation model should start at nearly $40,000, which means the Denali will likely cost thousands more. Is this trim worth the increased price?

There’s time for more separation of trims in this GMC midsize truck

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

Unlike the Chevy Colorado, the 2023 GMC Canyon only offers one power level across all trims. This leaves very little difference between the Elevation to the Denali models. This truck isn’t scheduled to arrive until the spring, which gives GMC time to tell us more about what makes each trim different. Otherwise, the value model in the group would be an Elevation version with the 4WD option and the specialized tailgate.

Next, check out four hybrid trucks that can help you save fuel, or watch the 2023 GMC Canyon video below:

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