The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

2019 GMC Canyon Crew Denali (short bed) Review By John Heilig - It's E15 Approved!

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

By John Heilig
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Mid Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED VEHICLE: 2019 GMC Canyon Crew Denali (short bed)
ENGINE/TRANSMISSION: 3.6-liter DOHC V6/8-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 308 hp @ 6,800 rpm/275 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm
WHEELBASE: 140.5 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 224.6 x 74.3 x 70.5 in.
TIRES: P255/50R20
CARGO CAPACITY: 1,459 lb. payload
ECONOMY: 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway/18.3 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 21.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 4,212, lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Honda Ridgeline, Nissan Frontier, Toyota Tacoma
STICKER: $48,025 ($995 delivery, $3,230 options)
BOTTOM LINE: The GMC Canyon, and its Chevrolet twin the Colorado, are designed to compete with the Japanese smaller pickups and they do it quite well, with options galore and good power and handling.

When GMC introduced the Canyon mid-sized pickup at the Philadelphia Auto Show a few years back, the spokesman said that GMC was returning to the compact pickup market especially to compete with its Japanese rivals from Toyota and Nissan. GMC (and Chevrolet) had been out of the smaller pickup segment for a couple of years and their return, as shown by the Canyon, is welcome. The Canyon platform is also used as a basis for smaller SUVs.

Even with its shorter bed, the Crew Cab Canyon looked bigger, however, access is more along the lines of a smaller truck. Running boards, and an assist handle on the A-pillar help the front passenger, while the driver has to grab onto the wheel for easier entry. There are no assist handles over the front doors, while there are a pair over the rear doors.

There’s good power from the 3.6-liter V6. Acceleration is good, but with the bogey of significant noise. In general,the Canyon is not a particularly quiet-running vehicle, except on newly paved roads with smooth surfaces.

But, the Canyon IS a truck. Ride quality is truck-like firm, meaning hard but not harsh. However, the up side is the ability to haul a lot of stuff. This is a great Costco or Home Depot vehicle.

Canyon is big, with a 140.5-inch wheelbase and 18-plus foot overall length, but it’s fairly easy to park in shopping center lots. The rear view camera helps with backing up, since the back bumper is invisible.

The driver grips a nice fat wheel with all the functions. The instrument panel is clear with full instrumentation, although the dash is uninspired with flat surfaces. The infotainment screen is clear, although we had trouble turning off the sound.

Just aft of the cup holders and ahead of the deep console/arm rest is a Qi charging platform that was useless to me with my older-generation iPhone. For storage there’s a large cubby at the base of the center stack with 12-volt, two USB, AUX and sD outlets.

We found the HVAC to be excellent. We drove the Canyon in some cold weather, but we were comfortably warm. Toggles below the HVAC control towing, traction control, flashers, the bed light, lane keeping assist and park assist. Four-wheel drive controls are on the dash as are trailer braking controls.

Front seats are flat. The rear seats offer cozy leg and knee room. Rear doors have multiple storage capabilities. The EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate uses an internal torsion bar to make raising the tailgate easier with one hand, and a damper for more controlled lowering. In addition, there are 13 tie-down locations within the bed, that had a spray-on liner in our tester.

The GMC Canyon is ideal if you really don’t need the full-size Sierra. It can probably handle the large majority of hauling projects. The Denali version adds a touch of luxury.

(c) 2018 The Auto Page Syndicate

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)