2015 GMC Canyon: All-terrain ready

Staff reports
Farm Forum

GMC’s all-new 2015 Canyon provides work-truck capability and upscale amenities in a practical midsize package — which meets the needs of a large segment of pickup buyers.

The Canyon is a formidable-looking truck with exterior dimensions slightly smaller than a full-size GMC Sierra, efficient powertrains providing better fuel economy than its bigger sibling’s engines and a significantly smaller price tag than comparably equipped Sierras.

Another plus for the 2015 Canyon is that it’s a handsome truck, exuding considerably more macho than the past-generation Canyon. With its GMC nameplate comes more amenities and premium touches than offered by its Chevrolet Colorado counterpart.

The test vehicle, an SLE crew cab 4WD model with a 6-foot-2-inch long box, is a prime example of a pickup outfitted to address work-truck and passenger-hauling needs. Upping the ante, its off-road credentials, appearance and comfort get a boost with the $1,190 All-Terrain Package.

Base priced at $34,235, the truck spans the tape at 225 inches long and 74.20 inches wide, compared to the Sierra crew-cab standard-box dimensions of 239 inches long and 80 inches wide. The size difference is significant enough to make the Canyon more convenient to slip into a garage or tight parking spot.

Of course there’s a sacrifice in cab size versus the Sierra’s larger six-passenger interior, but the Canyon has a respectable-size five-place cab. Like the Sierra, it gets premium touches such as aluminum trim, contrast stitching and soft-touch instrument panel materials.

As part of the All-Terrain Package, the Canyon is upgraded with Jet Black cloth seats and Cobalt Red stitching. The package ups luxury with driver and front-passenger heated seats, four-way power front-passenger seat (driver seat gets standard four-way power), and power-lumbar adjustments for both front seats. Made with shape-holding dual-density foam, seats are firm and comfortable.

Among the standard features keeping the cab quiet are rear wheelhouse liners, inlaid door design, triple-door seals, liquid-applied sound deadener and shear-style body mounts.

The test-truck’s premium treatment continues with a $500 Premium Bose Audio System and a $495 navigation/IntelliLink system with an 8-inch color touchscreen. Canyons become a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot with OnStar 4G LTE service featuring a hotspot that extends up to 50 feet beyond the vehicle. Canyon SLE models come standard with three months or 3GB of Wi-Fi service. Connectivity is made easier with four USB ports and a 12-volt charging outlet.

Canyons with the All-Terrain Package are distinguished with exterior pluses: 17-by-8-inch Dark Argent Metallic Wheels wrapped with P225/65R-17 all-terrain tires, body-colored rear bumper, and All-Terrain badging on the doors and tailgate. Making the climb into the cab easier are black tubular off-road assist steps that add $745 to the price.

Confidence in taking the Canyon off-road comes with All-Terrain Package extras that include a Z71 off-road suspension, hill-descent control and transfer-case shield. An automatic locking rear differential and front tow hooks come on 4WD Canyon SLE models, and 2WD SLE models with the All-Terrain Package. Canyon offers a segment-first AutoTrac 4WD system that gives the driver the choice of manual or automatic engagement.

Standard power for crew cab models with the long box is a 3.6-liter V-6 engine mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. The V-6 generates 305 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft. of torque. Estimated 4WD fuel economy is 17 miles per gallon city, 24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. Equipped with the $250 Z82 Trailering Equipment Package, which includes a 3.42 rear-axle ratio, the test truck’s trailering capacity is 7,000 pounds. Payload capacity is 1,470 pounds.

Loading cargo is more convenient with a standard corner-step rear bumper and an SLE-standard EZ Lift-and-Lower locking tailgate. Two-tier loading is standard, as well as 13 tie-down locations that can be used with optional movable cargo tie-down rings.

The Canyon’s practical character also is shown with an impressive list of standard safety features. GMC’s Canyon gives consumers the option of buying an efficiently sized premium pickup with big-truck attributes and long list of technological pluses.