2015 GMC Canyon First Look
Colorado's Stylish, Squarer Sibling
For every Chevrolet pickup, there is an equal but non-identical GMC pickup. Just as Sierra is to Silverado and Sonoma was to S-10, so is the Canyon to the Colorado, now for their second generation. And, as is the case with the upcoming Colorado, the GMC benefits from changes that were made to the global truck to better suit the American and Canadian markets. The most noticeable visual difference between the Colorado and Canyon is up front, where the Canyon has adopted a smaller version of the new Sierra's prominent square nose. While the rest of the truck clearly resembles the Colorado, it's easy to tell from a glance in the rear-view mirror that the truck you're looking at is a GMC. It uses LED accents above and below the projector-beam headlights, and a three-section grille that's reminiscent of the grilles on the Sierra and Sierra HD. The truck, which rides on a fully boxed frame, will be available as an extended cab with a six-foot bed, or as a crew cab with a choice of a five- or six-foot bed. The regular cab is no longer an option. The Canyon uses a coil-over front suspension and leaf-spring rear, plus it has electric power steering.
Trim levels are base, SLT, and SLE, and all three are available with two-wheel drive or AutoTrac four-wheel drive with the availability of a locking rear differential. There are 16-, 17-, and 18-inch wheels available. Like the Sierra, the Canyon will come with the option of an All Terrain package. Here, it comes with a grille with chrome bars and a body-color surround, 17-inch painted aluminum wheels with all-terrain tires, unique interior color and seat stitching, and suspension tuning that is specific to that trim level.
Power options have the potential to be the best offerings in the segment: GMC announced that the base engine, a 2.5-liter inline-four, will put out an estimated 193 horsepower, and that the optional 3.6-liter V-6 will offer an estimated 302 hp. These numbers would be better than both the Tacoma (159 horses in the four, 236 in the V-6) and the Frontier (152 and 261). GMC anticipates that 90 percent of the four's 184 lb-ft of torque will be available between 2000 and 6200 rpm, and that the V-6 will offer an estimated 270 lb-ft. Both of these engines use direct injection and variable valve timing, as well as an aluminum block, and will be backed by a six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode. There is also a six-speed manual, but only with the 2.5-liter engine, in base extended cab two-wheel-drive models. There will be a third engine option as well, but it won't go on sale until model-year 2016: a version of the Duramax 2.8-liter turbodiesel I-4 that's already available elsewhere in the global version of the truck. That engine option should increase the Canyon's capability even more, while providing excellent fuel economy. Other features that improve the fuel economy of the truck include the use of an aluminum hood (new for 2015), plus active aero grille shutters and careful work on the exterior to improve aerodynamics. And while this truck is heavier than the one it replaces, we anticipate fuel economy will be greatly improved.
GMC expects to hit some fairly impressive capability benchmarks as well, specifically best-in-segment payload (at least 1450 pounds) and towing capacity (at least 6700 pounds). This truck is considerably smaller than the Sierra, yet is still ready for work: the Canyon inherits the Sierra's CornerStep rear bumper as standard equipment, and there are 17 tie-down locations (13 of which are configurable) in the bed. The EZ Lift-and-Lower locking tailgate, also introduced on the half-ton, will be available on the Canyon, as will a spray-in bedliner from the factory. Another feature of the Canyon's cargo box is that it comes standard with two-tier loading: you put a platform in place that essentially splits the bed into upper and lower sections, which can make it easier to hide valuables from view while keeping gear organized.
It isn't all about being a hard-nosed work truck, though. The Canyon's doors are triple-sealed to keep the cabin quiet, and there are plenty of people-friendly amenities that weren't previously offered in this pickup. As in the Sierra, the smaller GMC comes with a 4.2-inch color driver information screen in the instrument panel, and the cabin uses premium materials and has a similar dash and interior styling. The Canyon also has an impressive list of options: an eight-inch touch screen in the center stack; multiple USB ports; navigation system; OnStar 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot; GMC AppShop that allows you to download news, weather, and other apps to IntelliLink; and Siri Eyes Free Mode (for iPhone owners). The storage bin in the center console is said to be big enough to store a tablet, and there is rear under-seat storage as well. The Canyon's seats use dual-firmness foam, and the cloth is stain-resistant, high-wear material. Power driver seat is standard, and heated leather seats are standard on the SLT.
Safety features include standard four-wheel disc brakes with ABS (don't take that for granted -- the previous Canyon had rear drums), six airbags, and StabiliTrak. Optional safety features are forward collision alert and lane-departure warning, both first in the segment, and the All Terrain will come with trailer sway control, hill start assist, and hill descent control. There's also a Teen Driver feature that lets parents set radio volume, speed warnings, and a speed limiter. It also records events that most teenage drivers engage in at some point, such as wide-open throttle and ABS moments, plus the maximum speed at which the truck is driven.
The biggest questions about this truck have yet to be answered: what will the price strategy be? How much is the diesel engine option going to cost? And, most importantly for GMC, will buyers return to the midsize segment now that there are new options available? This truck has the potential to bring people back to the market that may have bought crossovers, because they weren't happy with the pickup truck options that were out there.
|2015 GMC Canyon|
|BASE PRICE||$20,000-$34,000 (est)|
|LAYOUT||Front-engine, 2WD/4WD, 5-pass, 4-door Pickup|
|ENGINE||2.5L/193-hp/184-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4, 3.6L/302-hp/270-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6, 2.8L/195-hp/365-lb-ft (est.) DOHC 16-valve I-4 turbodiesel|
|TRANSMISSION||6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||208.2-224.5 x 73.2-74.3 x 78.7-78.9 in|
|CURB WEIGHT||4000-4400 lb (est)|
|PAYLOAD CAPACITY||1500 lb (est)|
|TOWING CAPACITY||6700 lb (V-6, 4WD)|
|EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON (EST)||20/28 (I-4, 2WD), 17/25 (V-6, 4WD), 22/30 (diesel, 2WD) (est.)|
|ON SALE IN U.S.||Fall 2014|