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2018 GMC Canyon Overview

The 2018 GMC Canyon is a sharp-looking option among midsize pickup trucks, especially if you are looking for a compact pickup that embodies the flair and style of its full-size brethren. The Canyon provides that style with plenty of available options and packages, ranging from the capable All-Terrain X to the chrome-clad Denali trim.

Squared off styling and an imposing grille characterize the design of the Canyon, harkening to its full-size stablemate, the GMC Sierra 1500. The Canyon is available in one of three bed/cab configurations. The base setup is the extended cab with the long bed, featuring clamshell rear doors that give way to a rear seat area that might be more well suited to kids for longer drives.

For more space, the Crew Cab model is available with either the short or long bed. All versions of the Canyon come standard with helpful steps cut into both sides of the rear bumper. These steps are a simple but effective way to help you climb into the bed more easily.

The cabin of the Canyon is attractive and well laid out, with easy-to-locate controls and sensible placement for key functions like the radio and climate controls. Above those controls is the standard 7-inch touchscreen or available 8-inch touchscreen for the IntelliLink infotainment system.

Like the tactile controls, IntelliLink has a very logical layout, with helpful home buttons for music, navigation, phone, and vehicle settings.

Trims for the Canyon are SL, Base, SLE, SLT, and Denali. The SL actually slots in under the “Canyon” trim, or what is typically considered the “base” trim. The SL comes standard with 16-inch aluminum wheels, a chrome rear bumper, halogen headlights with LED accent lighting, a dash-mounted USB port, and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity. This trim also includes a locking tailgate and a power driver’s seat.

The base Canyon trim is nearly identical, but adds carpeted floor mats and the availability of a host of features like cruise control, remote keyless entry, and a tonneau bed cover. If you opt for the SLE, all of these features come standard.

The SLT adds 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels, a manual-sliding rear window, automatic climate control, remote start, and heated front seats.

GMC is known for bringing luxury to trucks and SUVs, and the Canyon is no different. The high-end Denali trim comes with a unique chrome grille, 20-inch Ultra-Bright machined aluminum wheels, and a Bose 7-speaker sound system. You can get this trim with a host of options like leather seats, chrome tow hooks, and added underbody armor.

If you aren’t into the miles of chrome offered on the Denali, GMC offers the All-Terrain, swapping out the chrome for dark finishes that give the truck a more aggressive appearance. It features a dark grille, body color bumpers and door handles, a shield for the transfer case, and off-road suspension.

True off-roaders will opt for the All Terrain X package, which features all-terrain tires, spray-on bed-liner, all-weather floor-mats, and black 3-inch side-step bars, with the option of an awesome-looking angular sport bar over the bed.

The Canyon can be equipped with one of three engines. The base 2.5-liter inline-4 makes 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque, while the available 3.6-liter V6 generates 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque.

For optimum towing capability, GMC offers a 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel inline-4. It makes 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, a Canyon with the Duramax can tow up to 7,700 pounds, 700 pounds more than a well-equipped V6.

The rear-wheel drive Colorado with the 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine mated to the 6-speed automatic has fuel economy of 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, 25 mpg combined. Fuel economy for the 2.5-liter inline-4 with the 6-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive is 20, 26, and 22.

If you select the 3.6-liter V6, fuel economy falls to 18, 25, and 20 with RWD and 17, 24, and 19 with 4x4.

Standard safety equipment includes a full array of front and side impact airbags, StabiliTrack stability control, and a reversing camera. The Canyon is also available with features like forward and reverse parking sensors, forward-collision warning, and lane-departure warning systems.

Buyers expect midsize trucks to offer compact capability, but the GMC Canyon provides the style and luxury to truly stand out– not only in this segment, but on the trail and the open road!


From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine,, Hemmings Classic Wheels,, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

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