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2020 GMC Canyon Overview

The midsize truck market has made quite the comeback in the past decade. Many of the traditional big-truck players are back to offering smaller pickups, imbuing them with the latest technology and additional creature comforts. One of the more capable and comfortable options in this segment is the 2020 GMC Canyon.

Given that it’s been around for half a decade, the Canyon’s styling is still quite contemporary. The rear bumper of the Canyon features helpful steps cut into the corners that operate as tailgate step-ups without the need for complicated mechanized steps.

There are three engines available in the 2020 Canyon, a gas 4-cylinder, a gas V6, and a diesel 4-cylinder. The base 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gas engine makes 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with a 6-speed automatic. The 3.6-liter gas V6, which puts out 308 hp and 275 lb-ft, comes standard with an 8-speed automatic.

The Duramax 2.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine joined the engine lineup in 2016. It makes 181 hp and an impressive 369 lb-ft. When properly equipped, the diesel Canyon can tow up to 7,700 pounds, which is among the best in the midsize-truck class. The gas V6 can tow up to 7,000 pounds, while the gas 4-cylinder can tow 3,500 pounds.

The most efficient version of the 2020 Canyon is the turbo-diesel with rear-wheel drive (RWD) and the 6-speed automatic. It returns fuel economy of 20 mpg city, 30 highway, 23 combined. The least efficient combination is the gas V6 engine with 8-speed automatic and 4WD. It returns 17/24/19.

The Canyon is available in Extended Cab and Crew Cab configurations. The Extended Cab has rear half-doors and minimal space behind the front seats, while the Crew Cab is a full 4-door truck. Trims for the Canyon are Base, SLE, SLT, All Terrain, and Denali.

The base Canyon comes pretty well equipped, with features like two USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also comes with a reversing camera and GM’s Teen Driver System.

The SLE adds the EZ lift-and-lower tailgate, satellite radio, HD radio, WiFi hotspot capability, and a larger 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The SLT trim also adds the largest engine as standard equipment.

GMC also offers an All Terrain trim, which adds some off-road-ready gear, such as off-road suspension, hill-descent control, and a shield for the transfer case.

The Denali is the luxury truck, and its reputation precedes it. The Denali is loaded with leather, heated and cooled seats, chrome details inside and out, and fetching woodgrain interior panels.

A new addition for the 2020 Canyon is the availability of a Driver Alert Package. This package includes forward-collision warning and avoidance, as well as lane-departure warning. The All Terrain package also adds standard Tire-Fill Alert.

The GMC Canyon, and its sibling, the Chevrolet Colorado, have both been around for a while now. Minor updates hold us over until a refresh, which could be as early as 2021.


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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