The compact truck category has some tough competition. Competitors like the Honda Ridgeline, Jeep Gladiator, and the Ford Ranger all cast large shadows over rivals, and one competitor that can’t see get much of the spotlight is the GMC Canyon.
While it does share parts and features with its parent-company cousin, the Chevy Colorado, the Canyon just can’t seem to catch a break. That’s most likely due to the fact that’s the worst GMC that you shouldn’t buy.
Lack of power and comfort
For 2020, the GMC Canyon does have a lot to offer in that it provides a good amount of versatility in addition to a very fuel-efficient diesel engine. In the world of compact trucks, the Canyon offers a lot of refinement over some competitors like the Toyota Tacoma and boasts a lot of impressive capabilities.
For example, the Canyon is able to tow up to 7,000 pounds when fitted with the gasoline engine and up to 7,700 pounds with the diesel and can even carry up to 1,555 pounds. However, according to Consumer Reports, its 305-horsepower V6 lacks low-end torque, which is greatly needed when towing and hauling and its overall ride proves to be rough at times.
Opting for the diesel engine does provide more torque, however, it’s noisy and lacks the refinement that you would expect out of a modern diesel engine. Consumer Reports also noted that the seats are stiff and the steering wheel doesn’t have a telescoping feature, which makes it tough for some drivers to obtain a comfortable seating position.
The GMC Canyon scored an overall score of 37 in Consumer Reports’ testing. This was lower than all the other models in GMC’s current lineup and far lower than competitors like the Honda Ridgeline and Ford Ranger.
The main factor for the low score was the reliability rating that it received. They gave the Canyon a 1 out of 5 due to reliability issues from older 2015 to 2018 Canyon models that experienced transmission and drivetrain issues.
Carcomplaints.com, which is a site where car owners can list their issues, shows that the worst year to get for the Canyon is the 2015 model year. There are multiple complaints the truck not shifting properly and the torque converter slipping.
These issues seem to relate more to Canyon models from the past few years and it looks like a lot of them have been remedied for the newer 2019 and 2020 models. However, you can never be too cautious.
Competitors might be a better choice
While the compact truck segment is a tough class to be in and it seems that trucks need to bring their “A-game” in order to remain competitive, the GMC Canyon falls just a little short.
Rivals like the Honda Ridgeline and Ford Ranger have shown major improvements over the years and have the refinement, comfort, and reliability that the Canyon just doesn’t have. On top of that, the Canyon doesn’t fare too well against stablemates under the same brand name.
If we were to suggest a compact truck, we would advise to stay away from the GMC Canyon and perhaps recommend another truck in its class instead.