Trucks Trucks & SUVs

Three GMC Canyon Reviews You Need to Read Before Buying

If you’re looking for an upscale, mid-sized truck with good fuel economy, then you may have considered a Denali trim, GMC Canyon. The GMC Canyon has traditionally stayed in its lane as a back-to-basics pickup truck. The question many consumers will have: “Is the GMC Canyon Denali worth the extra money, for what you get?”

Before you buy, check out these three GMC Canyon reviews that can give you insight on what’s new for the 2019 model, the driving experience, and what features you may or may not like. 

The SLT vs Denali Trim

One reviewer rates the GMC Canyon as a great truck, but still – it’s a basic pickup truck. The year 2017 saw an improved powertrain, a little more horsepower, and the six-speed automatic transmission replaced with an eight-speed version – which all added up to better acceleration and livelier response. But what about the price difference between the Denali vs the second best trim level, the SLT. This reviewer felt the car’s amount of chrome was a distraction and just adds a ton of reflective surfaces, but little else. The Denali trim features a highly polished chrome for all of the following – the 20-inch chrome wheels, the side steps, the mesh grille – front fascia trim, foglight surrounds, door handles, and mirrors. That’s a lot of shine!

When you consider a 2017 Denali version of the GMC Canyon can start at prices around $44,000, this same reviewer found little difference between an SLT interior. The amenities you would expect as basic inclusion in an upgraded trim level, simply are not there with the GMC Canyon Denali. Even with the Denali tag there is no push-button start, no full-power seats, and no full-auto windows. You may as well take the lower trim level SLT and keep your cash.

GMC Canyon – Small, Luxurious, and Affordable

A MotorTrend test drive found the 2017 GMC Canyon fun to drive and packed with enough luxury and technology to meet its price point (which as tested was a $44,225, 2017 GMC Canyon Denali). Handling was nice and nimble at both low and highway speeds, however the eight-speed was hesitant to downshift much at highway speeds until you completely floored it. 

Despite the luxury, Denali trim, this drive also felt some upgrades were left out, namely fully-powered front seats, dual-zone climate control, push-start ignition, a fast-entry system, and blind-spot warnings. Denali features that were pointed out included an 8.0-inch touchscreen with navigation and in-vehicle security systems, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot and wireless cell phone charging, an easy-lift tailgate, and lots of exterior chrome trim. 

This driver made a good point when it comes to choosing between a large or smaller pickup. If you live a metropolitan area, you may appreciate the smaller size frame when you consider the ease of getting into smaller parking lots, driving down narrow roads, and more peace of mind on congested highways. In all, if you’re looking for a well-rounded, mid-size pickup truck augmented with numerous upper trim levels and optional packages, then the GMC Canyon offers you plenty of choices – base, SL, SLE, SLT, All-Terrain, and Denali

What’s New in 2019

So, 2019 saw significant upgrades in GMC Canyon trim levels and options. The SLE, All Terrain and the Denali trims are now available with the 6-way power driver’s seat, while all base models are standard with a new HD back-up camera. Options that have been around on other popular trucks are now being offered as options, including rear park assist, a heating steering wheel, and a new GMC Infotainment systems with a more intuitive interface. 

This reviewer liked the GMC Canyon’s V6 and diesel engine options that provide a higher towing capacity. And with three engine options, you can choose your own level of fuel economy. Also, depending on your choice between six trim levels, you can get extended or crew cab bed styles, remote keyless entry, an auto-dimming mirror, hill-descent control, and a driver assist package with forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning.

What this reviewer did not like – the drive and ride experience. He found the ride to be bumpy and the front-seat comfort was lacking. By no means does he feel the GMC Canyon can equate to the Chevy Colorado ZR2.