2021 GMC Canyon AT4 review: An old truck with a few new tricks

The Canyon has looked fantastic since its inception.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Feel of the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 as a Chevy Colorado ZR2 for people who have in no way eaten Monster strength drinks. It truly is a minimal calmer, a minimal much less rugged, and although it is finding very previous, it however makes for a solid off-street-oriented midsize pickup.


  • Burly exterior
  • Adequately sleek on-street
  • Constantly-very good infotainment

You should not Like

  • Aging plastic-excellent inside
  • A minimal light on creature comforts
  • Lacking driver assists

Butch exterior, blah inside

I’ve often appreciated the GMC Canyon’s style and design about its sibling, the Chevy Colorado. The fancier of the two has withstood the take a look at of time a minimal improved, many thanks to a reliance on butch rectilinearity that will not glance virtually as aged as the Colorado’s massive-headlight mug. My tester’s $three,195 Off-Road Effectiveness Version Offer zhushes points up a minimal further with seventeen-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, skid plates, black badges and a spray-on bedliner. The beefy 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires glance very boss, as well. The in close proximity to overall absence of chrome will not harm, both.

Though the exterior has held up, I can not say the exact for the inside, which is just as Playskool plastic excellent as virtually just about every other Canyon and Colorado trim. My AT4 tester attempts to perk points up with some great leather-based entrance seats, and I like how the headrest appears integrated into the seat, but the cloth-seat AT4 prices $one,800 much less, which is value noting for prospective buyers making an attempt to adhere to a spending budget. There is some fake stitching close to the sprint, but I can run a finger about virtually any area and it typically feels difficult and low-cost, which is a little bit of a bummer on a $forty,000 truck. If you want a little something resembling plushness, you may have to choose for the $forty five,000-furthermore Denali getup.

There is certainly some practicality to be found in the Canyon, but not a ton. The glove compartment and centre console armrest cubby are both of those a lot sizable, but the doorway pockets are very small, and the optional wireless charger can not accommodate modern day Max-measurement iPhones ($385 at Amazon), a solid giveaway that this inside is finding all set to collect Social Safety checks. The cup holders will hold a 24-ounce plastic bottle, but practically nothing larger, so Nalgene followers will have to determine a little something out. The crew cab’s rear seats are a minimal light on legroom, but maybe we have been spoiled by all the entire-measurement crew taxi vehicles and their limousine-caliber next rows.

Perky V6, soft suspension

The Canyon AT4 can be had with a two.8-liter turbodiesel inline-4, but most will probable sport the three.6-liter gasoline V6, which generates 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, routed to all four wheels by an 8-speed automated transmission. This mixture works perfectly, offering a lot of small-close grunt with an unladen mattress, although the transmission operates smoothly, hardly ever searching for gears or taking extended than it demands to. It will get up and go every time necessary.

Gasoline financial system is very first rate, as well, and the truck has no problem achieving its EPA-believed figures of seventeen mpg city and 24 mpg highway. These are solidly aggressive figures, as well, beating four-wheel-generate Toyota Tacoma variants by one to three mpg on the highway (many thanks in component to cylinder deactivation), although the Taco proves outstanding in the city by about the exact delta.

On-street efficiency is damn fantastic for a entire body-on-body pickup. The off-street suspension is a minimal on the soft facet, so although it does a very good work absorbing what ever crappy Michigan roads have to give, it can sense a minimal boaty-floaty on expressway curves, and the off-street tires can wander a little bit about selected styles of pavement. The steering is properly balanced, and the brakes have very good grip and pleasant modulation.

The AT4’s inside is fantastic, but I’m not sure if GM’s definition of fantastic cuts it in 2021.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Though I did not get a prospect to set the AT4 by its entire off-street paces, you will find a lot of package in below to make it happen. All AT4s come with an off-street-tuned suspension, hill descent management, a locking rear differential, a two-speed transfer circumstance, and my tester ramps that up further with the $three,195 efficiency pack that provides a entrance air dam delete, a one-inch lift up entrance and added underbody safety. It truly is not as purely concentrated as the Colorado ZR2 with its entrance locker and even beefier suspension, but it is very darn shut, and a majority of prospective buyers will find the AT4 a lot more than able ample to meet up with their demands.

You should not worry, the Canyon AT4 is however solid for frequent truck stuff, as well. You can purchase it in a crew taxi configuration with a choice of 61.seven-inch or seventy four-inch beds. It will tow up to seven,000 kilos, and it will haul about one,five hundred pounds’ value of stuff in the mattress.

Tech hits and misses

Each individual GMC Canyon will come with an 8-inch touchscreen jogging Chevrolet’s latest infotainment process, and that is fantastic. The setup is simple, it is uncomplicated to navigate and it consists of both of those Apple CarPlay and Android Auto if you you should not want to plunk down an added $995 for manufacturing facility navigation. OnStar’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is normal, as well, which I’ve often appreciated. The $395 Bose audio process improve is just not as well shabby, both, and would seem like a very good offer for people who are often in their vehicles.

And then you will find the driver-aid tech. Chevrolet, and GM in normal, has often taken a a lot more conservative technique to these devices, once in a while relying on much less highly-priced digital camera-primarily based ahead collision warning (radar ain’t low-cost) or locking virtually all devices powering a paywall. That’s regrettably however the circumstance with the Canyon AT4, which gives non-adaptive cruise management and rear parking sensors as normal. The only improve prices $395 and provides ahead-collision warning, lane-departure warning and… that is it.

GM’s infotainment keeps finding improved, but it is already accomplishing a lot perfectly for by itself.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Any actually modern day conveniences like adaptive cruise management and automated unexpected emergency braking have to have a vacation to the Toyota dealership, mainly because that stuff is normal on just about every solitary Tacoma that rolls off the line. Get with the periods and stop the relentless bean counting, GM. Very seriously. Some truck prospective buyers would likely ditch airbags if it meant conserving $five hundred on the window sticker, but at times you have to avert people from becoming their have worst enemy.

Down to brass tacks

Thinking about the normal new-auto transaction value has eclipsed $forty,000, I guess I can not call the Canyon AT4 highly-priced, but it sure feels it. Starting at $39,595 (which includes vacation spot) with cloth seats, my leather-based-bedecked tester rings in with alternatives at $forty five,780.

Why GM will not just take Toyota a lot more significantly as an existential risk is further than me. If you blend (and, at times, double) the product sales of the GMC Canyon and the Chevrolet Colorado, they however can not match the providing electricity of Toyota’s venerable midsize pickup. 

For what it is, nevertheless, the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 is solid. It truly is an interesting pickup truck that gives a lot more off-street prowess than your normal midsizer, with no demanding a deep-close leap into a little something a lot more intent-constructed like the ZR2. Let’s just hope a new era is on the horizon.

Maria J. Danford

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