The 2021 GMC Canyon Just Got Better for 1 Type of Driver

The GMC Canyon has been looking for a way to distinguish itself in the midsize pickup truck class for a while. Sure, it has a lot in common with the Chevy Colorado. But the time has come for the Canyon to step out and establish an identity of its own.

The 2021 GMC Canyon made a few changes, including a new model that the weekend warriors will love. Let’s take a look at the AT4.

The GMC Canyon’s new off-road performance model

In 2021, GMC cut the All-Terrain model from its Canyon lineup, MotorTrend, reports. In its place is the new AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition, and it’ll make back-road adventure fans happy. 

The model boasts a modified approach angle by removing the front air dam and adding a suspension-leveling kit. The new AT4 also gets rocker panel protectors and front and middle skid plates to protect the underbody in the wilderness. 

The AT4 also boasts its own glossy black 17-inch wheels, darker badging, and glossy black tips on the performance exhaust. The all-terrain tires are 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTracs articulated with an exclusive suspension configuration. The AT4 is a four-wheel-drive model with an electronic limited-slip rear differential.

According to Car and Driver, it’s the most rugged off-road Canyon yet.

A good value for off-roading enthusiasts

RELATED: The 2021 GMC Canyon Was a Surprise Winner Over a Respected Truck

The Autoblog team finds the new GMC Canyon AT4 to be as comfortable as the other Canyon models. They explain it’s more “civilized” on paved roads than even the Ford Ranger equipped with the FX4 off-road pack. The Canyon and Colorado are two of the best drivers in their class, behind only the Honda Ridgeline, Autoblog reports.

Autoblog’s reviewers also like the 3.6-liter V6 engine producing 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. It’s the standard powertrain on the AT4. It sounds good and provides more than enough power for a midsize truck. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission whose calibration allows it to handle the toughest tasks.

You can get an AT4 model in one of two trims. There’s the AT4 Cloth or the AT4 Leather as either a crew cab with a short box or a crew cab with a long box. The AT4 Leather trim offers, of course, leather seats and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system plus HD radio and satellite radio. This trim also offers a heated steering wheel, rear parking sensors, and wireless charging for devices.

For those who value off-roading adventures, the AT4 offers good value. It’s a midsize truck that’s comfortable, tows up to 7,000 pounds, gets decent gas mileage, and is configured for off-roading for just under $40,000. When you consider that a new Ford F-150 Raptor starts around $55,000, the Canyon AT4 sounds pretty appealing.

2021 GMC Canyon overview

The 2021 GMC Canyon is a good compact pickup that many truck enthusiasts will find appealing. It’s easy to drive and reliable when you need to get work done. It also got an updated front end with a new grille. 

The Canyon offers three potent powertrain choices, and all of them get respectable gas mileage. This truck can haul and tow better than many of its peers. It’s also a maneuverable size for parking, storage, and navigating traffic. But there are fewer in-bed features, and you don’t get as many active safety features as you would on some competing trucks. 

However, the Canyon’s interior is attractive even if the materials aren’t top-shelf. The cabin is laid out well and user-friendly, including the tech. There’s plenty of space for passengers and a broad array of seat adjustments. There’s also ample headroom in the back, though legroom isn’t as generous.

So if you’re seeking a good off-roader, the new GMC Canyon AT4 does many things well. And it costs a lot less than larger trucks outfitted for off-road adventures.