GMC Canyon 2023: forget the crew car

GMC Canyon 2023: forget the crew car

Last February, Chevrolet unveiled a new version of its popular mid-size truck: the Colorado. A few months later, it’s GMC’s turn to arrive with its twin, the Canyon 2023. Let’s clarify from the beginning that it is a non-identical twin since GMC adopts a different strategy from Chevrolet and a product that, however, shares. practically all of its features with Colorado.

this spring, Car Guide we traveled to Asheville, North Carolina to participate in the North American launch of the 2023 GMC Canyon. Here’s a full report on our first off-road performance.

Get rid of the base car

Although the Canyon is a mid-size cargo truck, it’s nothing like a crew truck. GMC positions its Canyon as a higher-end product than what Chevrolet offers. In fact, you should know that Chevrolet sells the Colorado starting at $37,197. GMC has chosen to leave the field open to its sister brand for tow trucks that are mainly used by employees, highways, company fleets, etc. On the other hand, at GMC, there is an Elevation version for $48,497. And you’ll pay a minimum of $62,497 for the Denali and $67,797 for the AT4X. This is more than a lot of money for a car of this size…

Photo: Germain Goyer

Mechanically, GMC takes a strategy that is different from that of Chevrolet. Note that both brands have, unfortunately, discontinued the Duramax and V6 diesel engines. To this end, note that Ford will once again offer a V6 under the hood of the Ranger starting in 2024. Since its return in 2019, the Ranger was only available with a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. Customers demanded a recall for the 6 cylinder and some avoided it because of this technicality.

So, is General Motors going wrong considering the 2.7-liter turbo four-cylinder engine? We think so. Note that the latter is the base engine for the Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks. Chevrolet offers three power levels while GMC, with the new Canyon, has chosen to choose only the most efficient version.

Photo: Germain Goyer

No matter which version you choose, you will be entitled to an engine that develops 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft. Yes, that’s a lot of torque, but it’s delivered at a much higher speed than the old diesel engine. The performance of the engine is more than satisfactory, despite the mechanical sound that lacks inspiration. This unit is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that generally works well.

Unfortunately, there are no drag tests scheduled during this event organized by the GMC. It can tow up to 7,700 pounds provided you choose the Altitude, AT4 or Denali version. As for cargo capacity, it stands at 1,590 pounds for the Altitude. Limited to other versions.

There is no energy gain

Naturally, one would think that GMC abandoned the V6 – which was, by the way, reliable, efficient and popular – to increase fuel consumption levels. However, there is no benefit on this front and it is very disappointing. If he makes the compromise of dealing with a small displacement, the user should, at the very least, benefit at the pump. At the end of our short 68 km test, the on-board computer showed an average of 15.9 L/100 km. For its part, Natural Resources Canada advertises 12.4 liters per 100 km. As an indication, the government agency showed a rating of 12.1 L/100 km in combined driving with the outgoing generation Canyon when choosing the V6. Not only is there no progress, but there is even going back. We can only be disappointed with the energy efficiency of this system. As for the diesel engine, it only burned 10.5 L / 100 km.

We are very curious to see what Toyota will offer with the next generation Tacoma that will benefit from hybrid technology. Let’s hope it shows up in terms of fuel consumption.

Photo: Germain Goyer

One body layout

Just like the Chevrolet Colorado, the GMC Canyon has only one cabin and bed configuration. So you will have to work with a crew cab and a 5-foot body. As far as we are concerned, we prefer that the manufacturer offers more possibilities to the buyers.

For the question of profit and production costs, General Motors used the law of averages. Again, this strategy is different from the current generation Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier, and Toyota Tacoma.

You should also know that the Canyon is not the largest midsize truck on the market. However, it feels less cramped than inside the Nissan Frontier. The dining room is small and the bedroom is closed at the back.

Photo: Germain Goyer

A very convincing version of the AT4X

In addition to testing the Canyon on the paved roads of North Carolina, we were able to venture off-road. Earth, sand, gravel and mud were on the menu for more than two hours, making for a great feast to test the Korongo in its AT4X version.

Seated at the top of the row, this one is recognized as the bravest and bravest. It is distinguished by a sharp appearance, an increase in height of one inch, Multimatic DSSV shock absorbers, Baja driving mode, 33-inch tires designed for off-road driving, electronic locking differentials, lower protection plates and cameras many, including one under the car.

Photo: Germain Goyer

Throughout, we could see the comfort and ease with which the Canyon AT4X handled itself. Indeed, on this narrow track where all-terrain vehicles and motocross are the masters, this version of the Canyon proved to be very adequate.

As the miles went by, it was impressive to see the skillful work done with the shock absorbers. They took the blows without flinching. Additionally, when choosing a powerful off-road vehicle, you often have to sacrifice comfort. This is not the case with the Canyon AT4X. Suspension clearance provides excellent comfort on the pavement. You don’t feel like you’re being tossed around unnecessarily and frequently during normal driving.

And bref

Unlike Ford and Dodge (we’ll remember the late Dakota), General Motors has never left the mid-size truck segment. The American manufacturer remained on the market with Colorado and Canyon. The two were aging and have been updated just now to stay in the race.

However, the competition seems fiercer than ever. While Nissan offers the classic pickup we love so much, Ford is announcing the return of the V6 engine and Toyota is about to lift the curtain on the most promising new Tacoma.

We liked the Canyon’s handling and the Multimatic suspension’s behavior both on and off-road. On the other hand, we are disappointed with the choice of machines and the results of fuel consumption.

See also: presentation of the new 2023 GMC Canyon