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Despite its handsome redesign and great performance potential, the GMC Canyon is one of the most overlooked trucks on today’s market. It’s a surprise considering that this midsize pickup has an excellent review from J.D. Power, an organization of respected automotive analysts. Praise aside, the GMC Canyon has two problems that owners feel need improvement.

The 2023 GMC Canyon has underwhelming fuel economy

In the newest J.D. Power APEAL study, GMC Canyon owners say that getting poor gas mileage is the worst part of owning this truck. Every Canyon with rear-wheel-drive is estimated to earn 18/23 mpg city/highway. Four-wheel drive models can earn up to 17/21 mpg, which equates to 19 mpg combined. Those estimates are delivered by the same 310-hp turbo-four. 

During real-world testing, the GMC Canyon AT4 could only earn 16.9 mpg combined. J.D. Power clarified that the truck had Auto 4WD mode activated and the test route included a trail outside the boundaries of conventional pavement. Since most drivers won’t be taking their trucks off-road every day, you can probably expect better fuel economy for daily driving.

This truck feels quite confident on rocky terrain, maintaining great traction even when off-Road mode is turned off. The GMC Canyon AT4 also comes equipped with all-terrain tires and an automatic locking rear differential.

The GMC Canyon’s ride quality misses the mark with owners

Driving comfort was another pain point amongst Canyon owners, though no details were given about specific problems. The 2023 model has a redesigned interior, but J.D. Power had several criticisms to share about it. The front seats, while comfortable, might be too narrow for some drivers. There’s also very little space to stretch your legs in the second row of the crew cab.

Driving comfort could also be related to the suspension, but J.D. Power reported that this component feels compliant overall. However, its lift creates a challenging step-in height that might give shorter passengers some grief. 

Should GMC try to fix these flaws?

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The 2023 GMC Canyon Is Bigger, Better, and Stronger Than Before

To be fair, poor gas mileage and uncomfortable rides are both common criticisms that trucks of any size can earn. While the GMC Canyon only has one suspension option, most pickups can be optioned with an air suspension for a cozier ride. Trucks also tend to get a little wobbly if you’re driving around with an empty cargo box. 

Swapping out the standard seats for leather can also improve the overall riding experience. You can get leather seats with ventilation as an option starting on the Canyon AT4 trim.

You can improve a truck’s fuel economy by hauling less cargo and using cruise control whenever possible. If you buy a GMC Canyon from the 2022 model year, you’ll have access to a turbodiesel. That engine has 181 hp on tap and can earn up to 20/30 mpg in the FWD configuration. Because the 2022 GMC Canyon is still a relatively new car, it should be easy to find one with low miles and a basically mint interior. 

However, that Canyon model still sports the exterior design of the previous generation. The new design is considered to be the best quality of this truck, according to its owners. It has a wider stance and it’s more intimidating overall with its narrowed headlights and bolder grille design.

Conversely, J.D. Power believes that the outgoing infotainment system is much better than the latest interface in the 2023 Canyon. The Google-powered AI often tries to offer its own suggestions instead of following your voice commands precisely. Basic functions are also hidden behind layers of menus.  

Those aspects aside, the new infotainment interface is reportedly easy to see and most of its functions should work as advertised. As long as you have a big fuel budget and can fit comfortably inside the 2023 GMC Canyon, you’ll probably enjoy owning one.