Trucks & SUVs

First Look: 2021 GMC Canyon Refresh + “AT4” Package

The GMC Canyon midsize pickup is still a great truck after all these years. But seven years with virtually no exterior changes, we finally get to see a refresh. A new front end and some other changes make for a better pickup for 2021. There’s also the new AT4 off-road package.

For the 2021 Canyon, a new face like its big brother Sierra updates the front end. The grille now gets larger dropping into the bumper. The dark chrome surround has been beefed up, and a completely new bumper breaks up the lower valance. There are also vertical fog lights incorporated into the bumper.

The new Canyon AT4 off-road package leads with an aggressive look

2021 GMC Canyon AT4 | GM-0
2021 GMC Canyon AT4 | GM

With the AT4 off-road package, two red tow hooks are visible under the bumper, too. Overall it’s a bolder front end that, thankfully, does not follow the disappointing front styling of the Sierra and Silverado. 

Besides the tow hooks, there are many other features you get with the AT4 package. A tuned suspension features Advanced Hill Descent Control. There’s a transfer case skid plate, and automatic locking rear differential, and 17-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in 31-inch tall Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. The overall look is brawny and ready for business.

2021 GMC Canyon AT4 | GM-0
2021 GMC Canyon AT4 | GM

The interior gets headrests with embroidered “AT4” logos to remind you. It also features Kalahari stitching exclusive to the AT4.

The two engine options carry over from previous Canyon years

2021 GMC Canyon AT4 | GM-0
2021 GMC Canyon AT4 | GM

Engine options are either the 3.6-liter V6 with 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, or the 2.8-liter Duramax diesel engine putting out 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The former spin an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the diesel is hooked to a six-speed automatic.

While GMC is announcing the 2021 Canyon now, it won’t be in showrooms until late spring this year. Prices weren’t available for the announcement but we can give you those for the 2020 Canyons. The All-Terrain Canyon lists at a beginning price of $37,695.

GMC also announced the 2021 Denali

Also announced with the new AT4 Canyon is the Denali version. The Denali trim features a grille with a layered pattern for the new front. It also comes with five-inch chrome assist steps, and 20-inch Diamond Cut aluminum wheels. 

Inside the aluminum trim outlines open-pore ash wood trim. A new Cocoa/Dark Atmosphere pallet is new also with unique stitching. Again, pricing was not available but the 2020 Denali list price starts at $41,595.

The GMC Canyon has done well for GM

2021 GMC Canyon AT4 | GM-0
2021 GMC Canyon AT4 | GM

The GMC Canyon has been a consistent seller throughout its life. Sales average in the low-30,000 per year. 2016 was its best year with 37,449 sold. Its similar Chevy Colorado sibling sells in much higher numbers as would be expected. 2019 sales are 121,703 units, with similar numbers in the three previous years. 

Neither the Canyon or Colorado sell in the range of the Silverado and Sierra full-size trucks. Still, they both have been consistent and profitable for GM. The 2021 refresh should help it maintain its previous numbers, in anticipation of an all-new Canyon and Colorado in 2022 as a 2023 model.