GMC Canyon, the segment's only premium midsize truck, raises the bar for everything from horsepower and efficiency to refinement - and its attributes are drawing accolades.
In 2015, Canyon won Cars.com Midsize Pickup Challenge for its segment-leading capabilities and efficiency, including the latest in safety features, cargo-hauling and trailering versatility. Cars.com also applauded the Canyon SLT, the segment's only premium vehicle, for its performance with a full load, as well as its design and high-end materials.
Autoweek also honored Canyon as the "Best of the Best Truck for 2015," while Wards Auto World recognized the Canyon as one of Ward's 10 Best Interiors for 2015, based on criteria such as design harmony, ergonomics, materials, driver information, safety and comfort.
Canyon returns for 2016 with the segment's best horsepower - 200 horsepower (149 kW) from a standard 2.5L I-4 and 305 horsepower (227 kW) from an available 3.6L V-6 - along with an available maximum trailering rating (when properly equipped) of 7,000 pounds (3,175 kg).
It also offers segment-best highway efficiency: EPA-estimated 27 mpg for 2.5L 2WD models and 26 mpg for 3.6L 2WD models, when properly equipped.
A new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel engine will be offered later in 2016, offering even greater capability. More information will be available closer to the start of production.
Meanwhile, new phone integration technology on 2016 models enhances connectivity and promotes safer driving through Canyon's next generation IntelliLink system. This new technology allows smartphone users to connect with applications such as navigation, hands-free text messaging, entertainment and news through IntelliLink's display screen.
Canyon is offered in base, SLE and SLT models, in 2WD and 4WD, and with an aggressively styled All-Terrain package offered on SLE models. It includes 17-inch painted aluminum wheels wrapped with all-terrain tires, a body-color grille surround with horizontal chrome bars, a body-color rear bumper, front recovery hooks, hill descent control and specific suspension tuning. It also includes a power-adjustable front passenger seat.
Canyon is also the only truck in the segment to offer AutoTrac automatic four-wheel drive, which allows the driver to select manual 4WD engagement or automatic engagement.
Customer-focused technologies include available OnStar 4G LTE connectivity, segment-first available driver alert features such as forward collision alert, lane departure warning and a standard rear-vision camera.
OnStar with 4G LTE and its built-in Wi-Fi hotspot provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the car is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial, whichever comes first.
When it comes to capability, a superior ride and the best in technology and entertainment, nothing quite lives up to the professional grade qualities of GMC Canyon.
Capability and comfort abound
The 2016 Canyon is pure GMC throughout the vehicle, with a quiet, refined interior distinguished by exceptional materials and a commanding exterior presence that emulates the technology-infused design aesthetic.
Bold front-end styling incorporates standard projector beam headlamps and GMC's LED signature lighting. Three body configurations are offered: An extended cab model with a 6'2" bed, a crew cab with a 5'2" bed, and a crew cab with a 6'2" bed. With the tailgate down, the longer bed allows eight-foot-long items to be hauled within the vehicle.
From a refinement standpoint, the Canyon features triple-sealed doors inlaid in the body sides for improved aerodynamic performance and a quiet interior. It also features the segment's first active aero grille shutters, which close at certain highway speeds to enhance efficiency through improved aerodynamics. An aluminum hood reduces mass and improves the front-to-rear weight balance.
Other features include:
Segment-first CornerStep rear bumper design, which is standard. It is chrome on all models, except All Terrain, which is body-color
Segment-first EZ Lift-and-Lower locking tailgate that uses an internal torsion bar to make raising the tailgate easier with one hand, and a damper for more-controlled lowering. It is standard on SLE and SLT models, and available on base models
Thirteen reconfigurable and four stationary tie-down locations throughout the bed for use with available, removable cargo tie-down rings
Available factory-installed spray-in bed liner
Four-wheel disc brakes with Duralife(TM) rotors that can double the service life.
Work and lifestyle accessories were developed in tandem with the Canyon to match the truck's capabilities with integrated functionality and with designs that complement its distinctive styling. The lineup includes the GearOn(TM) system and a variety of accessories designed to make cargo hauling easier and more convenient, as well as exterior styling enhancements and interior items.
The GearOn(TM) system is designed to fit perfectly within the bed, for significant storage and hauling flexibility. It is upgradable, with modular cargo dividers and tiered storage to accommodate 4- x 8-foot sheets of plywood above the wheelhouses. It also uses the box's four permanent and 13 tie-down provisions to allow for a variety of secure and convenient cargo storage options.
Canyon's interior is well-equipped and comfortable, all while delivering the connectivity features essential to customers with active lifestyles. The cabin also boasts exceptional attention to detail and premium materials such as soft-touch materials and aluminum trim on the instrument panel of SLE and SLT models.
"There's an elevation in design and materials in the Canyon's interior that reflects GMC's precision in craftsmanship," said Helen Emsley, executive director of Global GMC Design. "Details such as authentic aluminum trim and high-quality stitching reinforce Canyon's position as the segment's only premium offering, while features such as multiple USB ports and seats designed for long-haul comfort are thoughtful elements."
The interior design blends elements of Canyon's full-size sibling, the Sierra, with those typically found in more personal vehicles such as sports coupes - including standard front bucket seats and a center console with a floor-mounted shifter.
Comfort is enhanced with technologies, connectivity and other features that support owners' daily and recreational lives, including a 3.5-inch-diagonal driver information screen in the instrument cluster (4.2-inch-diagonal multi-color display on SLE and SLT).
Interior colors include Jet Black, Jet Black/Dark Ash, Cocoa/Dune and Jet Black/Cobalt Red (All Terrain). Additional content for Canyon's base, SLE and SLT models includes:
4.2-inch-diagonal color radio and USB port; six-speaker audio system
Driver information center
Power windows with driver's express up and down
Rear-vision camera system
Driver's four-way power-assisted seat adjuster with manual recline
Cloth seating surfaces (vinyl available)
Tilting steering wheel
Available OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot
Available Convenience Package adds remote keyless entry, cruise control, rear defogger, theft-deterrent system and EZ-Lift tailgate.
Canyon SLE - all of the standard features of the base model, plus:
Eight-inch-diagonal Color Touch radio with GMC IntelliLink; six-speaker audio system
SiriusXM satellite radio (includes three-month trial)
Available navigation system
Available Bose(R) premium seven-speaker audio system
Two USB ports for charging located on the rear of the center console in addition another USB port inside the console
Multi-color driver information center display
Soft-touch instrument panel with aluminum trim
Dual reading lights
Body-color door handles
Auto-dimming inside rearview mirror
Remote keyless entry
Driver and front passenger four-way power seat adjusters with power lumbar control (All Terrain only)
Heated front seats (All Terrain only)
Tilting and telescoping steering column
Leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls
Available Convenience Package adds rear-sliding window, automatic climate control and remote vehicle starter system
Available sliding rear window (requires SLE Convenience Package)
Available Driver Alert Package includes forward collision alert and lane departure warning (not available on All Terrain).
Canyon SLT - all of the standard features of the SLE model, plus:
Automatic climate control
Remote vehicle starter system
Driver and front passenger four-way power seat adjusters with power lumbar control
Heated front seats
Available navigation system
Available Bose(R) premium seven-speaker audio system
Available Driver Alert Package includes forward collision alert and lane departure warning.
Phone integration technology
New for Canyon in 2016, GMC's IntelliLink system with an 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen is compatible with Apple CarPlay, a phone integration technology that puts iPhone features (iPhone 5 and later) on the display in a smart, simple manner. Apple CarPlay makes it easy to connect to the features smartphone users rely on most.
The features allow customers to display select apps onto and control them through the touchscreen interface of GMC's IntelliLink system. Many features can be controlled via voice commands through a button on the steering wheel, helping drivers spend more time with eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Apple CarPlay supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third-party apps. A full list of those apps can be found at Apple.com/ios/carplay.
Android Auto compatibility will be available later in the 2016 model year.
Connectivity on the road
GMC IntelliLink is standard on SLE and SLT models, and available on the base model. It combines with OnStar to bring infotainment technology to Canyon as more and more consumers have smartphones. IntelliLink extends the OnStar experience from safety and security to information and entertainment by seamlessly integrating the capability of a smartphone into the vehicle so that hand-held phones may be safely stowed while driving.
Enhanced connectivity and convenience with IntelliLink includes text message support and Siri Eyes Free. With text message support, the driver can be alerted to new messages and can have them read aloud, view and respond to them with preset messages by voice (functionality depends on the smartphone). Siri Eyes Free enables iPhone 4S and later users to access Siri via the steering wheel controls and check calendar entries, have text messages read and respond to them, place calls or call up music.
Android phone users can also use the steering wheel controls to access their phone's voice recognition features.
Additional IntelliLink features include:
Hands-free voice control system, which allows simple voice commands to initiate phone calls and select radio stations or media from portable MP3 players and smart phones
Pandora Internet radio allows users to create personalized radio stations based on favorite artists or genres (data rates apply)
USB connectivity adds the ability to play music files directly from flash memory devices, and gives the customer the ability to update IntelliLink with future enhancements.
Connectivity abounds in the Canyon with OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. It provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial, whichever comes first.
4G LTE is the most current and fastest mobile data network - 10 times faster than 3G and 100 times faster than the 2G network. With OnStar, customers have a powerful antenna built right in to the vehicle's electrical system.
At the time of purchase, six months of OnStar Guidance includes all of OnStar's advisor-based safety and security features, including Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Assistance, as well as Turn-by-Turn navigation.
Five years of OnStar Basic Plan includes RemoteLink Key Fob Services, allowing owners to remotely start and lock/unlock a car (if properly equipped), and activate the horn and lights from anywhere with a data connection. It also includes OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics, which runs monthly checks of vehicle systems - including the engine, transmission and anti-lock brakes - and sends a diagnostic update to the owner via email; and Dealer Maintenance Notification, which sends a diagnostic report directly to a preferred dealer to simplify service scheduling. Basic plan does not include any emergency services.
Strength and capabilities
GMC Canyon delivers the capability expected of a GMC truck, including offering a greater maximum payload - 1,620 pounds (735 kg) - than competitors and the segment's best trailering rating: 7,000 pounds (3,175 kg), when properly equipped.
A fully boxed perimeter frame provides the strength to support its capabilities, and a ride designed to be smooth and quiet. Like the full-size Sierra's frame, Canyon features three sections - or bays - with specific strength and support characteristics, including a front bay made of hydroformed side rails and an integrated four-point front axle mounting system designed to reduce vibration.
A coil-over-shock front suspension and the segment's first electric power steering system help give the Canyon a very responsive driving quality, with a direct feel to driver inputs.
The front suspension uses aluminum steering knuckles that are low in mass and high in strength, contributing to the responsive driving experience and enhancing efficiency. The electric power steering system also enhances efficiency because it does not draw power from the engine. The Canyon has a tight turning radius of 41 feet (12.6 meters), making it easier to maneuver when parking or backing into tight spots, such as garages or campsites.
The rear axle is available with the GM's venerable "G80" locking differential, which gives drivers a traction advantage when needed and everyday comfort when it's not. It reacts in milliseconds in low-traction situations to improve safety and confidence on wet, snowy or muddy surfaces. Without driver input of any kind, the rear axle engages when a wheel speed difference of 100 rpm or more is detected between the left and right wheels, providing instant traction for confident driving. During normal driving conditions, the differential functions as a conventional light-bias limited-slip axle.
The G80 axle is standard on SLT and 4WD SLE models, as well as the All-Terrain package. It is available on other configurations.
Canyon is also offered with AutoTrac automatic four-wheel drive. It's a segment-exclusive feature, employing an electronically controlled, two-speed transfer case that allows the driver to shift from 2WD to 4WD. The driver can select four modes, 2WD, Auto, 4WD HI, or 4WD Lo. By selecting Auto mode, the transfer case will operate in 2WD and will automatically apply traction to the front wheels (4WD) when the vehicle senses wheel slippage.
Duralife(TM) brake rotors
Four-wheel disc brakes with four-piston front calipers are standard on Canyon and feature segment-first Duralife(TM) brake rotors. They can offer up to double the service life and enhance braking performance thanks to a GM-exclusive process that protects against rust that, over time, can lead to steering wheel shudder. It involves super-heating the rotors to more than 1,000 degrees F (560 C) for an entire day in a special oven, where the nitrogen-rich atmosphere promotes nitrogen atoms to bond to the rotors' surfaces, hardening and strengthening them.
The vented front brake rotors measure 12.2 inches (310 mm) in diameter and are complemented by 12.75-inch (324 mm) rear rotors. They're optimized for the Canyon's mass, wheel size and other chassis dynamics.
Canyon also features auto grade braking, which uses the engine and transmission controls to slow the vehicle on a long downgrade, helping maintain vehicle speed and reducing the need for the driver to use the brakes.
Canyon delivers the most horsepower in its segment and the best V-6 efficiency, allowing owners to haul and tow more while using less fuel than competitors' midsize trucks.
A 2.5L I-4 is standard and SAE-certified at 200 horsepower (149 kW) and 191 lb-ft of torque (259 Nm), with approximately 90 percent of the peak torque available from 2,000 rpm to 6,200 rpm. It also offers EPA-estimated 27 mpg on the highway (2WD), when properly equipped.
Canyon also offers a 3.6L V-6 certified at 305 horsepower (227 kW) and 269 lb-ft of torque (365 Nm) - and an EPA-estimated 26 mpg on the highway (2WD), when properly equipped.
Both of Canyon's engines are based on award-winning engine families and tuned to deliver the low-rpm torque customers depend on for hauling and towing. Each incorporates features that enhance smoothness and quietness, contributing to the new truck's exceptional refinement; and each is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual is available with the 2.5L engine in base extended cab/2WD models.
Advanced technologies including direct injection and continuously variable valve timing, improve power and efficiency. An aluminum block, forged-steel crankshaft, dual-overhead camshafts and jet-spray piston cooling are additional engine traits.
With 360 degrees of available active and passive safety technologies, Canyon is designed to help keep occupants safe on the road, with standard features including:
Six air bags, including head curtain side air bags that can also reduce the risk of occupant ejection
Large rearview mirrors and rear-vision camera system for greater visibility
StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control, hill start assist and hill descent control (All Terrain).
A Driver Alert Package is available on SLE and SLT models (except All Terrain), and includes segment-first Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning.
GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering excellence built into all GMC vehicles. The brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC's highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the first full-size pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model year. Details on all GMC models are available at http://www.gmc.com/, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at http://www.facebook.com/gmc.