Trucks & SUVs

The 2017 GMC Canyon Had Troublesome Transmission Issues

If you’re looking for a good used truck, the 2017 GMC Canyon isn’t necessarily a bad choice. It features three competent engines, an easy ride with good handling, and a towing capacity that’s hard to beat. The interior of the Canyon is posh for a small pickup, and you can get everything from a work truck to a fully-loaded Denali model. The technology is good, and it’s ready to go to work.

But there are some problems you might want to be aware of with the 2017 models. What are the problems, and how bad are they?

Predicted reliability

Consumer Reports gave the 2017 GMC Canyon a one out of five in predicted reliability. CR’s predicted reliability rating uses the evaluation of 17 different areas of the vehicle to make a prediction on how likely it is to be reliable or have significant problems in the future. Many find the rating useful in shopping for new vehicles. 

CR gave the lowest rating, a one out of five, for three vital areas: transmission major, transmission minor, and the drive system.

The rating for transmission major means there’s a strong chance at some point in the vehicle’s life cycle it will need a rebuild or replacement of the transmission, the clutch, or the torque converter. For transmission minor, the rating means there’s a possibility there will be problems with the transmission computer, the gear selector, or with linkage. It could also mean issues with transmission sensors or solenoids, clutch adjustments, slipping transmission, or rough shifting.

The rating for the drive system can mean trouble for the driveshaft, CV joint, axle, or transfer case. It can also mean you’ll have trouble down the road with AWD and 4WD elements, electronic stability controls, electrical failure, driveline vibration, and traction control.

The GMC Canyon’s transmission problems

RELATED: Why Consumer Reports Is so Low on the 2020 GMC Canyon

The complaints on CarComplaints.com seem to back up CR’s ratings. The top reported complaint about the 2017 GMC Canyon is that they “jerk, shudder, chug, and slip,” which isn’t exactly what anyone is looking for in a quality truck. On average, the complaints appear around 12,400 miles and earned an 8.7 out of 10 on the site’s scale of severity, or “pretty bad.”

One Georgia consumer had a 2016 GMC Canyon that had a skip in the truck’s drive. After complaining about the issue for a year, they were given a 2017 model that was worse. Within six months, they were having problems with skipping on inclines and in downshifting. They began to experience transmission problems next and took the truck to the dealer to put in a new converter.

The replacement and a change of transmission fluid halted the problem temporarily but troubles with reverse required a new transmission. At that time, the truck had only 23,000 miles.

There’s also an NHTSA recall for the 2017 GMC Canyon centered around a defective fuel pump flange. There’s a risk of fuel leaks which presents a fire risk.

It’s not all bad news

If you’re looking for a truck that’s smaller, attractive inside and out, and easier to handle with a diesel engine, you’re in luck.

The torque gives the GMC Canyon’s diesel engine plenty of pull off the line and helps give it an impressive tow rating for a truck its size. The diesel powertrain offers a ride that doesn’t have the vibration, noise, and jarring experience you can get with the Duramax. The diesel also gets pretty good fuel economy with 22 mpg overall.

The 2017 GMC Canyon in short-wheelbase form is easy to navigate. With the larger wheelbase, the ride is good too. The V6 paired with an eight-speed transmission shifts easily and seamlessly. There’s plenty of passenger space with extended-cab models with two USB ports in the back for charging. 

If you’re in the market for a used truck, just do your homework on whatever model you buy.