GMC Canyon has heart of truck, soul of car

2018 GMC Canyon.  Do you need a car if you only own a pickup? If it’s a GMC Canyon Denali, a car seems pointless.The Canyon is well rounded enough to say nay to a car. Its feature loaded, drives well and will not get you kicked out any place for not looking good.

The Canyon is a mid-size pickup that has the good looks of General Motors’s much larger pickups. It is essentially a more upscale version of the Chevrolet Colorado pickup. Throw in its Denali package and it’s way more upscale than a Colorado. My test vehicle’s red quartz tint-coat was an exceptionally deep hue which enhanced the truck’s luxury look. The 20-inch ultra bright machined aluminum wheels add a bit of bling.

The interior continues the upscale theme. The woodgrain trim is plastic but the leather is real and comfortable. Denali is inscribed on the kick plates and embroidered on the seat’s headrests. The steering wheel and gear selector are leather wrapped, while the front passenger seats are heated, cooled and have various power adjustments. An eight-inch dash mounted touch screen allows access to GMC’s infotainment system and navigation.

The Canyon Denali is powered by a 3.6-liter DOHC V6 cranking out 308 horsepower and 275 pounds feet of torque. That’s a lot of go-power, even for a truck. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic which you can manually shift.

The Canyon accelerates briskly. Those three hundred horses can press you back into the seat. It never feels overpowering or brutish, but just from driving you get the impression this truck could put in some work if needed. It can also tow 7,700 pounds. 

The Canyon’s interior is inviting.

The truck comes standard with four-wheel drive but I didn’t feel the need to scratch the paint or put any dents in this pretty thing to prove it can handle some off-roading. It can, and if you buy one, be my guest. On regular roads the Canyon provides a very comfortable ride. It can get a bit fidgety on uneven pavement but it never looses control. It’s handling is also better than expected. Even mid-size trucks can feel a bit cumbersome on the road, but the Canyon does not have this problem. Yes, it’s still a bit hard to park, but on the road it feels like a tall car.

The Canyon Denali comes with a long list of standard equipment, which includes keyless entry, remote start, stability control, four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, backup camera, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, power passenger seats, heated and cooled front seats, auto climate control, 8-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, WiFi-hotspot, power package, Bose stereo system, ONSTAR and cruise control.

My test vehicle came with a dealer installed bed mounted sport bar which I did not notice or use. It was a $1,145 option. The paint was also an extra $495.

With options and destination, my vehicle’s as-tested price was $45,935. Canyon is available for a lot less if you don’t need a Denali, four-wheel drive or a host of other options.

If you like all of this stuff, then the Canyon Denali is worth a look. You could do worse.

cross@alldaytech.com