The GMC Canyon and the Chevrolet Colorado are a couple of trucks that will actually fit in your garage. Both are capable and durable haulers, but if you’re looking for a more refined interior the Canyon might be just what you’re looking for, especially in the Denali trim.
Truth be told, the 224.6-inch-long Canyon crew cab with the long bed is about the size a full-size pickup truck used to be.
GMC’s new mid-size truck gets a new more powerful V6 engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission for 2017. Discriminating buyers will have three engine choices in the 2017 Canyon. In addition to the 3.6-liter V6, the Canyon can be had with a 2.5-liter Inline 4-cylinder and a 2.8-liter turbodiesel.
Last year, GMC introduced the Duramax turbodiesel engine, a superb power plant that can trailer a segment leading 7,700 pounds. The diesel engine delivers 181 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque, and a segment-leading 31 miles per gallon on the highway (2WD).
The 2.5-liter 4-cylinder produces 200 horsepower and 191 lb.-ft. of torque while the new 3.6-liter V6 kicks out 308 horses and 275 lb.-ft. of torque.
The Canyon is offered for 2017 in SLE, SLT and Denali models. Cab and bed configurations include an extended cab model with a 6-foot-2 bed, a crew cab with a 5-foot-2 bed and a crew cab with a 6-foot-2 bed.
My test truck had the new V6 hooked to the 8-speed automatic. The heaviest thing I had in the bed during my week with the Canyon was about 200 bricks. The V6 and the suspension system didn’t seem to care that there was anything in the bed, effortlessly motoring from the Felicianas down to south Baton Rouge. Maximum payload for the crew cab with the 6-foot-2 box is 1,570 pounds. The crew cab with the 5-foot-2 box can carry up to 1,620 pounds.
And of course, any GMC product with the word Denali attached to its name is going to be upscale and luxurious. The Denali gets 20-inch wheel upgrades, heated and ventilated seats and other special trim and features as standard equipment.
Also standard is a new Teen Driver feature that allows parents to see how the truck has been driven: how fast it has gone, how far it has gone and what active safety features were engaged during a drive. It’s a great tool for parents with young drivers.
The Canyon Denali’s cabin is awash in features and content. GMC’s IntelliLink is the connectivity and infotainment system. It’s one of the best on the market, simple and intuitive to use. Graphics on the 7-inch touch screen are crisp and clear. When navigation is included, the touch screen is 8 inches diagonally.
The 4-way bucket seats in front are firm and supportive, with Denali embroidered across the headrests. Contrasting stitching is a nice touch on the seats and across the dash. Buttons and gauges are large and easy to read.
There are four standard USB ports on the upper Canyon trims, including one on the dash, one inside the center console and two on the back of the center console for rear seat passengers. The cabin is also a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot.
The truck bed came with a durable factory spray-in bed liner and a standard locking tailgate. The tailgate has an available EZ Lift-and-Lower feature that allows you to pull the handle and let it go while the tailgate gently lowers. The feature also makes putting the tailgate back up a breeze, even with one hand.
In government safety tests, the 2017 GMC Denali gets four overall stars and five stars in side crash tests. Six airbags are standard, including side curtains. A rearview camera is also standard.
2017 GMC Canyon 4WD
Crew Cab Denali
308 / 275 lb.-ft.
$42,820 ($44,155 with options & freight)
EPA mileage estimates:
17 mpg city/24 mpg highway/19 mpg combined
Estimated highway range: