What Can GMC Do to Boost Sales of the Least Popular Midsize Truck?
The redesigned 2023 GMC Canyon is planned to go on sale very soon, and we have high hopes for this midsize truck. The Canyon could certainly use some good press right now, considering its abysmal sales last year.
How many GMC Canyons were sold in 2022? Is there any hope that the redesigned model will boost the Canyon’s appeal?
Despite a small sales boost, the GMC Canyon still disappoints
GM Authority reports that the GMC Canyon finished off 2022 with 6,408 units sold in the U.S. during Q4. With 27,819 total units sold for the year, the Canyon’s popularity amongst consumers increased by 15% compared to 2021. That year, only 24,125 GMC Canyon units were sold.
However, the GMC Canyon’s sales look grim compared to other trucks in the segment. Even though the Nissan Frontier’s Q4 sales were down compared to last year, it still sold over 76,000 units in total. The Chevy Colorado had a 22% increase in sales this year with almost 90,000 units sold.
Besides the GMC Canyon, the Toyota Tacoma was the only midsize truck with a Q4 sales increase between 2022 and 2021. It also trounced the competition in terms of overall popularity with 237,323 units sold last year.
Where does the GMC Canyon fall short?
On paper, the GMC Canyon looks like it should be able to beat its rivals easily. It actually has a bigger standard engine than the Toyota Tacoma, a four-cylinder that produces 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. The Canyon can also be optioned with either a 181-hp turbodiesel engine or a 308-hp V6.
Equipping the GMC Canyon with the turbodiesel grants you the best gas mileage and towing capacity. With rear-wheel drive, this engine earns 20/30 mpg city/highway and can pull up to 7,700 lbs. This makes it one of the most powerful trucks in the segment, tied with the Chevy Colorado. The only truck that offers more brawn is the Rivian R1T, with a towing capacity of 11,000 lbs.
The turbodiesel is available for the Denali, Elevation, and AT4 Canyon trims. That last choice is the designated off-roading model with 17-in wheels clad in all-terrain tires, a huge front skid plate, and a rough-ready suspension. However, this model doesn’t have the ground clearance to compare with the Chevy Colorado ZR2.
Regardless of trim, the GMC Canyon’s interior quality is below average compared to its rivals. While the Canyon Denali features some faux wood accents and leather seats, it still has several visible plastic switches and hard surfaces. The touchscreen also has an outdated design, sandwiched between two chunky air vents.
Aside from Teen Driver software, the base GMC Canyon doesn’t have any advanced driver safety system features. The Driver Alert package (standard only for the GMC Canyon Denali), adds lane departure warning, rear parking assist sensors, and forward-collision alert.
Has GM fixed these flaws for 2023?
As we can see from GMC teaser photos, the 2023 GMC Canyon’s interior has undergone massive improvements. Higher trims have generous padding on the dashboard and armrests.
Every trim now comes with a snazzier 11-in touchscreen complete with wireless smartphone integration. The standard ADAS safety suite includes forward-collision alert and lane-keep assist, with several more features available.
One of those is a 7-camera monitoring system, including views for both the front and rear underbody. It can be optioned on the all-new Canyon AT4X trim, which has approximately 10.7 in of ground clearance and several extra off-roading enhancements.
However, GMC also reduced the Canyon’s overall customization possibilities. You can now only get this truck with a 5-ft-5-in bed and a crew cab. GMC also cut out the two optional engines, leaving only a 310-hp turbo-four.
Only time will tell if GM’s somewhat risky decision pays off.