Is the 2020 GMC Canyon a Good Used Pickup Truck?

Midsize pickup trucks are nothing new in America. However, manufacturers’ attention to detail and capabilities in their midsize pickup trucks is a more recent development, making the purchase of a used 2020 GMC Canyon a tempting prospect.

2020 GMC Canyon performance and cab specs

A red 2020 GMC Canyon parked near a lake.
2020 GMC Canyon | GMC

The 2020 GMC Canyon was the last second-generation midsize pickup truck from General Motors (GM) before they gave a facelift to the 2021 model year in preparation for its third-generation debut. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) championed the Canyon for offering more high-tech features and a better-equipped interior than the Nissan Frontier and beat out Ford’s single engine option with GMC’s three choices:

  • 2.5-liter I-4 with 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque
  •  2.8-liter I-4 turbodiesel with 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque
  • 3.6-liter V6 with 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque

GMC’s “premium” midsize pickup truck featured the iconic large, square nose of its Sierra big brother, with muscular wheel arches and fenders to match. The Canyon was offered in two-wheel drive (2WD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) in three cab configurations:

  • Extended Cab with a 6-foot-2-inch bed
  • Crew Cab with a 5-foot-2-inch bed
  • Crew Cab with a 6-foot 2-inch bed

2020 GMC Canyon trim levels

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Buyers then and now could have either a simple pickup truck or a luxurious workhorse. With many engine, drive, and cab setups, the 2020 GMC Canyon offered even more in trim levels: 

  • SL: 2.5-liter engine, 16-inch alloy wheels, power driver seat, vinyl upholstery
  • SLE: Cruise control, cloth upholstery, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • SLT: 3.6-liter engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, eight-inch infotainment screen, rear camera
  • All Terrain: Off-road suspension, locking rear differential, Hill Descent Control, transfer case guard
  •  Denali: 20-inch alloy wheels, Bose premium sound system, leather upholstery, trailering package

What consumers thought about the 2020 GMC Canyon

J.D. Power places the 2020 GMC Canyon second in the used midsize pickup truck segment. On its 100-point score based on hundreds of thousands of reports from verified car owners, it scores an 83, just one point behind the Ford Ranger.

The difference could be explained by the Canyon’s recent refresh versus the Ranger’s fourth-generation model released in 2019. Regardless, consumers will enjoy a best-in-class dealership experience with the GMC Canyon, J.D. Power claims.  

GMC’s midsize offering impresses with consumer-approved power, cabin quietness, and overall fuel economy. However, it does come with a price to match its value.

How much is a used 2020 GMC Canyon?

A red 2020 GMC Canyon parked in the road with the mountains in the background
2020 GMC Canyon | GMC

RELATED: Is the GMC Canyon Denali Worth the Money?

J.D. Power’s depreciation forecast rings true as the resale value is excellent for owners. Yet, it has buyers reaching deep into their pockets.

When the 2020 GMC Canyon went on sale nearly three years ago, buyers could get a four-cylinder 2WD Extended Cab SL starting at about $22,200 without destination, according to KBB. The SLE Crew Cab long bed began just shy of $40,000, and a fully-loaded Denali with the optional diesel engine topped $50,000, too.

According to nationwide listings on Autotrader, there are few slightly-upgraded base models for under $30,000. The Denali has a range between $38,000 and $42,000 in vehicles with under 50,000 miles, with many showing as low as 18,000 miles on the clock. But that’s with gas engines. One Autotrader listing shows a 2020 GMC Canyon Denali with a 2.8-liter diesel engine with an asking price of $52,995.

Should you buy a 2020 GMC Canyon?

A used 2020 GMC Canyon is an optimal choice for buyers seeking a classy, midsize pickup truck that will look good on the construction site and nestled in the parking lot of your local Applebee’s. The GMC Canyon reliability rating from RepairPal is a four out of five, placing it second out of seven for midsize trucks, with a low frequency of reported repairs.

While some Canyon owners say the pickup is uncomfortable, it isn’t specific to the Canyon, per se. Midsize trucks are only now getting a sedan-like treatment for ride comfort; therefore, the 2020 GMC Canyon still rides like a truck.

Buyers may want to steer clear of models with the diesel engine because of their cost and service requirements, Diesel Resource shows. Moreover, GMAuthority reports that the Thai-built LWN “mini-Duramax” was discontinued after the 2020 model year following GM’s Rayong plant sale, and the future of replacement parts for the global-variant powerplant is uncertain.

Nevertheless, the gas engine 2020 GMC Canyon could provide drivers with everything they need, even a 7,000-pound towing capacity for V6-spec models. Even though a used 2020 Canyon is pricey, dozens of listings on Autotrader advertise less than 15,000 miles, so you’ll drive home with a near brand-new truck.

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