2019 GMC Canyon Introduction

Enhanced by hints of upmarket flair, GMC’s solid midsize pickup exudes an impressively classy tone for a truck. Close cousin to Chevrolet’s Colorado, the Canyon also benefits from a refined interior and a trio of excellent powertrain options.

Last redesigned as a 2015 model, the Canyon gets some equipment revisions for the 2019 model year. A new infotainment system with automatic software updating can be augmented by optional cloud-based navigation. Rear parking sensors are now available, and a high-definition rearview camera replaces the prior analog unit on all except the base model. Upper trim levels can get a power driver’s seat, and SLE versions have a new wheel design.

Trim levels stretch from utilitarian to near-luxury: specifically, SL, Canyon, SLE, All Terrain, SLT, and Denali. All Terrain trim stresses off-road styling details; but unlike Chevrolet’s Colorado ZR2, off-pavement potential is limited.

Engine choices include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 3.6-liter V6, or turbodiesel 2.8-liter four-cylinder. The 2.5-liter engine makes 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. Some four-cylinder rear-drive models have a standard 6-speed manual gearbox A 6-speed automatic transmission, standard with four-wheel drive, mates with both gasoline and diesel four-cylinders.

Canyons with V6 power get an 8-speed automatic. Developing 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, the V6 is the most popular choice.

Diesels have their issues these days, but they’re hard to beat for massive torque and fuel-efficiency, along with refined performance. The diesel four produces only 186 horsepower, but a musclebound 369 pound-feet of torque.

Safety is not a selling point for the otherwise modern Canyon, which is short of valuable active-safety features and has earned marginal crash-test scores.

A rearview camera is standard. An optional Driver Alert Package includes forward-collision and lane-departure warnings, but lacks automatic emergency braking. Standard on Denali, the package is optional for SLE and SLT trim levels.

In crash-testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Canyon earned a five-star rating for side-impact, but only four stars overall and for the frontal collision. Rollover prevention earned just three stars, but that’s calculated figure, not based upon testing.

Only partial crash-testing has been done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Canyon earned a “Good” rating in the moderate-overlap test, but only “Acceptable” for small-overlap and side-impact tests, Headlights were rated “Poor.”

1Dealer Discount applied to everyone.

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