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Pickup Truck of the Year Walk-Around: 2016 GMC Canyon SLT Duramax

The Sweet Spot

Dec 16, 2015
Photographers: Truck Trend Editors
With nearly 370 lb-ft of torque at its disposal, the GMC Canyon SLT’s Duramax turbodiesel I-4 makes light work of anything we threw at this accomplished midsize pickup. Immediately upon its arrival in the Truck Trend parking lot, the Canyon started winning over our 2016 Pickup Truck of the Year judges with its handsome styling, nice interior, flawless over-the-road manners, and all that juicy torque.
Last year, we spilled a fair bit of ink over the Colorado and Canyon’s lackluster engine and transmission performance, but we could make no such complaints about this year’s little GM trucks. The combination of low-end torque and reasonably brief turbo lag match the six-speed automatic transmission’s shift logic perfectly.
While the gas V-6 in lesser Canyons is a decent around-town engine, the transmission had a hard time selecting the right gear for the engine’s torque curve while climbing highway grades and towing. There’s no such problem with the Canyon Duramax, whose torque profile is as flat as a cornfield. With a wealth of twist available just beyond idle, moving the Duramax around on the highway was a drama-free affair.
Will its winning styling and great road manners transform the Canyon Duramax into a winner? We’ll find out December 22.
2016 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 4WD Duramax Diesel
Engine: 2.8L/181hp/369-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Axle Ratio: 3.42:1
Curb Weight: 4,793 pounds
Wheelbase: 128.3 in
Length x Width x Height: 212.7 x 74.3 x 70.6 in
GVWR: 6,200 lbs
Total Payload: 1,354 lbs
Tested Payload: 1,300 pounds
GCVWR: 12,700 pounds
Trailer Weight: 7,600 pounds
Tested Trailer Weight (75% Max Rating): 5,450 pounds
EPA City/Highway/Combined Fuel Economy: 20/29/23 mpg

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