What Are the Differences Between the GMC and Chevy Small Trucks for 2023?

Chevy and GMC both make great smaller trucks that share the same frame, most body panels, and interior trim and engines. They’re immensely similar, but they also have some key features that differentiate them from each other. GMC trucks are generally more feature-packed, and Chevys are generally less expensive. Generally. For 2023, both the Chevy and GMC twin small trucks, the Canyon and the Colorado, got redesigned and are throwing the old rules out the window that differentiate these two small trucks.

Small trucks like the GM twins do more than ever

Three versions of the 2023 GMC Canyon parked on a dirt area.
GMC Canyon in AT4, AT4X Edition 1 and Denali | GMC

Small trucks are great and for most of us, they do all the truck things we need. Today’s small trucks can tow, haul, and even accelerate as well as yesterday’s giant V8-powered full-sized trucks. But they’re easier to park, get better mileage, and can cost less.

Chevy and GMC, though, have struggled to compete with other compact trucks like the Ford Ranger, the Toyota Tacoma and to some extent even the Nissan Frontier, so for 2023, GM decided to update these twins. But, according to TFL Truck, the two brands will have a lot of ground to cover to make up the sales difference. Gone for 2023 is a two-door extended cab version and instead, all GMC Canyons and Chevrolet Colorados are four-door trucks.

What’s the same in the two trucks?

For 2023, both trucks can tow up to 7,700 pounds. They come with three engine options, all of which are turbocharged four cylinders that made their debut in the Sierra and Silverado trucks in 2022. You can get the 2.7-liter four-cylinder in Turbo, Turbo Plus and Turbo High-Output versions, with 237 or 310 horsepower. The High-Output version has the same horsepower, but most torque with 430 lb.-ft.

Both trucks get an eight-speed automatic. Two or four-wheel drive is available. There is so much the same, that it’s easier to just point out the few differences between them.

What are the exterior differences between the GMC and the Chevy?

On the outside, the two trucks are pretty hard to tell apart from one another. But, so far all of the images GMC has released of the Canyon show that it has a flat grille, in either chrome or black trim, while the Chevy Colorado gets a large bar across the top of its eggcrate grill that brings to mind the Silverado’s grille. Also, the contours of the Chevy’s hood are more complex than the long flatter grille of the GMC. The Canyon has interesting C-shaped black plastic surrounding the lower headlights lights, but the Chevy has simpler inside lamps set inside black trim.

The GMC has no air dam underneath the grille, where most Coloroados have a plastic air dam to funnel air around the front tires. Most off-roaders remove air dams for clearance, anyway.

What are the interior differences between the GMC and the Chevy?

The base versions of these trucks come, basically, as the same truck. There are some small differences, though. The Chevy Colorado’s A/C vents look like large circular airplane jet engine outlets. The GMC Canyon has trapezoidal vents. Other than that, it’s pretty hard to spot the differences between these two. Pricing for the 2023 versions has not been released, but we expect GM to follow the same pricing convention it has for years, which means that the GMCs will be slightly more expensive.

Each brand has one distinctive trim

Each brand, though, does add a distinctive trim to the trucks to set it apart. GMC is, like most of its other vehicles, taking a luxury tack. GMC adds in Canyon Denali trim that gets the most distinctive interior of the GMCs. Like the larger Sierra Denali truck, it gets a giant horizontal 11.3-inch touch screen, and its own wood trim, a seven-speaker Bose stereo, and a quilted leather dash pad.  

Chevy’s distinctive trims are the closely related ZR2 Desert Boss and Trail Boss versions that add some off-road cred to the small truck. Like the Canyon, these versions get upgraded interiors, but instead of wood and leather, you get access to up to 10 camera views in the touch screen that show the data you’ll need when you’re off road, including g-forces, wheel slip, trail guidance and more. GMC, though, offers the AT4X version of the Canyon that offers the same options, including 17-inch beadlock tires and wheels.

The Work Truck version is unique to Chevy

2023 Colorado WT at a construction site
The 2023 Chevy Colorado WT | Chevrolet

For 2022 you can order a basic extended cab version of the GMC Canyon truck that it calls the Elevation Standard. You can get it with plain black vinyl seat trim, the standard 3.6-liter V6, and not much else, for less than $31,000. Chevy sells several of its trucks to fleets, and many of them ask for a work truck that has just the basics. For 2022, you can order the WT that has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder for about $28,000. The popular WT package will return for 2023, though Chevy has not released pricing for the new truck.

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