GMC’s midsize pickup truck is beefier and packed with more premium trappings.
GMC has revealed the 2023 GMC Canyon midsize truck, which is a good thing because the outgoing model (along with its Chevrolet Colorado cousin) were the senior citizens in a massively competitive segment. Thankfully, the new Canyon boasts substantial updates focusing on upping design, technology offerings and off-road capability in an effort to push the pickup upmarket.
Bigger styling statement
At first glance, some may notice the new Canyon’s more hulking stance. That’s because every 2023 Canyon comes with a factory lift and off-road suspension package. Base Elevation, AT4 and Denali trims get a 2-inch lift, while a 3-inch lift comes with the(more on that later).
It wouldn’t be a GMC if it didn’t have a menacing grille to go along with the Canyon’s more imposing stance. A big upright grille with X-wing sides pull eyes outward and help highlight the standard LED lights. There’s also more drama in its hood and sides, with way more creases formed into the sheet metal.
The wider track across the entire Canyon lineup calls for wider fender flares made from steel for certain models instead of plastic add-ons. There is still some plastic for the wheel opening moldings that have an integrated light offering style and function to help drivers know where their fenders are at night when backing into tight spaces. Sometimes it’s the little things.
In another nod to function, the Canyon’s tailgate has a trick up its sleeve in the form of an integrated compartment that’s watertight and comes with a drain so it can be used as a cooler when tailgating before the big game. The tailgate also features a midway-open function, allowing for the transportation of standard sheets of plywood and drywall laid flat, while the bed itself features eight standard tie-down points.
No matter the trim, every 2023 Canyon will come in a Crew Cab and short-box configuration.
Worthy interior revamp
Let’s face it, the old Canyon’s cabin was not so good, even when new. Happily, the 2023 Canyon’s interior is a giant upgrade. The dashboard is no longer constructed from acres of hard, boring plastic, but features soft touchpoints, eye-catching brightwork and a healthy dose of style. That’s not to say hard plastic has been eliminated from all major areas. The dash topper and upper door panels are still stiff plastic, but they do have a nice finish and graining.
Folks looking to live the high life will want to spring for full-zoot Canyon Denali trim that features higher-grade leather with quilted stitching, real wood trim and additional firewall sound insulation for a quieter ride.
At the center of the Canyon’s cabin is a standard 11.3-inch touchscreen for infotainment with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, available built-in Google app capabilities and seven-speaker Bose audio setup. The center screen also features up to 10 available camera angles, including front and rear waterproof underbody cameras and off-road performance display to feed real-time, off-road performance data to drivers. In front of the driver is an 8-inch digital gauge cluster on Elevation and AT4 Canyons, while Denali and AT4X versions get a bigger 11-inch display.
In the driver-assistance department, all 2023 Canyons get automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, front pedestrian braking, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, auto high-beams and following distance alert. Additional technology goodies like a 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control, rear pedestrian alert, rear cross-traffic braking and blind-spot monitoring are available. A 6.3-inch head-up display can be had in Denali and AT4X Canyons.
The first Canyon AT4X
With AT4 models accounting for more than a third of Canyon sales, it makes a whole lot of sense for GMC to give its customers something that’s more off-road worthy to play in. Enter the AT4X, which borrows heavily from itsrelative. In addition to benefiting from the wider track that all Canyons receive, the AT4X gets the 3-inch lift, Multimatic DSSV shock absorbers, cast-iron control arms, 33-inch mud terrain tires wrapped around 17-inch wheels, front and rear e-lockers, underbody skid plates and an exclusive Baja drive mode.
Together, all the AT4X’s off-road improvements along with specific front bumper and elimination of the rear corner bumper steps give the 10.7-inches of ground clearance (standard Canyons have 9.6 inches) along with improved approach, departure and breakover angles.