If a mid-size pickup truck is on your radar, the 2019 GMC Canyon is worth a glance. A sibling of the popular Chevrolet Colorado, the Canyon is offered in six trims, and can be configured 25 different ways. Packed with technology and standard safety features, and available with three engine options, consumers will enjoy the flexibility that the Canyon offers.
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2019 GMC Canyon Overview
What's New For 2019
For the new model year, the GMC Canyon received a mild reboot. Some of the top added features include a new infotainment center with cloud-connect navigation along with automatic software updates. GMC has also added an option for six-way power-adjustable driver seats, 17-inch stylized wheels, parking sensors, and several new premium exterior colors. The 2019 Canyon also adds a digital rearview camera on all but the base Canyon model, expanded availability of a heated steering wheel and wireless charging, and available rear park assist.
Choosing Your GMC Canyon
We’re not going to sugar coat this – choosing a 2019 GMC Canyon is complex. This mid-size truck comes in multiple trim levels, starting with the base Canyon SL and continuing with the Canyon, SLE, All Terrain, SLT, and Denali. The GMC Canyon is offered in a variety of sizes and cab/bed configurations, including an extended or crew cab body (which is a $1,600 difference), and short (5.2-feet) or long (6.2-feet) bed options. The long bed is only available with the extended cab variants.
Under the hood, consumers can opt one of three different powerplants. The base engine is a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. A 3.6-liter V6 engine is also available that returns 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. The final option is a 2.8-liter turbodiesel inline-four that produces 181 hp and an impressive 369 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder, with a six-speed automatic being offered for V6 and diesel engines. Consumers can opt for an upgraded eight-speed automatic with the V6 in either two- or four-wheel drive.
The Canyon returns an EPA-estimated 20 miles per gallon city, 26 mpg highway, and 22 combined when equipped with two-wheel drive and the 2.5-liter four-cylinder (with either the manual or automatic transmission). Moving to four-wheel drive drops these figures to 19/24/21 mpg (city/highway/combined). The turbodiesel increases fuel economy to 20/30/23 mpg.
If flexibility of trim levels is your bag, this is your mid-size pickup. The 2019 GMC Canyon offers a trim and configuration to fit any style, taste, and budget. If you’re looking for comfort, the SLE should be your starting point, as the entry-level Canyons are rather sparse on creature comforts. As with any pickup, consumers in cold-weather climates would benefit greatly from choosing a four-wheel-drive variant.
2019 GMC Canyon Review
The 2019 GMC Canyon manages to stand out with its long roster of standard and premium features. Its suave exterior styling and good interior are among its many strengths. Customers should know that prices can get steep quickly.
The 2019 GMC Canyon is a mid-size pickup truck with room for as many as five individuals. GMC offers this truck in six trims: SL, Canyon, SLE, All Terrain, SLT, and Denali. Customers have a choice of extended and crew cab models and two bed length options: a 5-foot-one-inch or a 6-foot-two-inch bed. The 2019 Canyon comes with standard rear-wheel drive and available four-wheel drive.
Customers have a choice of three engines, including a turbodiesel. Each engine works with an automatic transmission, although a manual transmission is standard on base models. Payload capacity ranges from 1,459 to 1,605 pounds. This model’s maximum trailering capacity ranges from 3,500 to 7,700 pounds.
Standard features include halogen headlights, daytime running lights, folding side mirrors, assist steps, 18-inch wheels, and a lockable tailgate. Inside, this model has cloth seats, air conditioning, a six-speaker audio package with a seven-inch display, two USB ports, and a rearview camera.
Here's how we'd build our best value Canyon:
- Model: 2019 GMC Canyon SLE Crew Cab Short Box
- Engine: 3.6-liter V6
- Output: 308 hp / 275 lb-ft
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
- MPG: 17 City / 24 Hwy
- Options: SLE Convenience Package ($575, remote start, sliding rear window, single-zone automatic climate control), Driver Alert Package ($690, forward collision warning, rear park assist, lane departure warning)
- Base Price: $36,895 (all prices include the $995 destination charge)
- Best Value Price: $38,160
Our choice of engines is the V6 as it offers a very good combination of power, trailering, and price. The base engine should be sufficient for people who will use their Canyon as standard transportation. The available turbodiesel is efficient and strong, but it'd cost you thousands of dollars more to upgrade. That’s a cost we cannot justify.
The 3.6-liter V6 is a workhorse, with an output of 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. GMC pairs this engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This engine supplies power willingly, while the transmission shifts cleanly between gears. The V6 delivers robust step-off acceleration and capable passing power, which imbue confidence. If you have to tow, you have 7,000 pounds to work with.
We opted for four-wheel drive, as this system is the favorite of sports-minded people, whether you tow or not. Its off-road capabilities are noteworthy, although its chops don’t match the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. That said, if the road ends and you need to keep going, a four-wheel-drive Canyon should get you there.
It's hard not to compare the GMC Canyon with its Chevrolet Colorado twin. The canvas is the same, but what GMC does to it is impressive. We like its squared-off edges, bold, upright grille, and square headlights. The look is edgy, yet in a refined sort of way. The Denali brings the bling, but you’ll have to pony up some serious cash to get one.
Inside, you’ll find a comfortable cabin. It isn’t as refined as some may think a GMC should be, but the soft-touch materials across the dash and filling the door inlays along with the leather-trimmed seats (beginning with the SLE trim) give this model a good interior.
Our choice of cabs is the crew cab, mostly for the opportunity to provide room for four in comfort. You can squeeze adults in the back of the extended cab, but it comes at a cost to leg room and seat comfort. Go with the crew if you want the additional space and have no need to upgrade to the GMC Sierra 1500 model.
The Best and Worst Things
The GMC Canyon offers very good tech features, especially beginning at the SLE trim level. GM’s OnStar system is included. You’ll also find a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot and get 10 years of connected service. The infotainment system is one of the best on the market and comes with an eight-inch screen.
What's disappointing to us is the lack of advanced driver-assist safety features. We chose the available package which adds forward collision and lane departure warning, but you can’t get features such as lane keeping assist, forward automatic emergency braking, or adaptive cruise control.
Right For? Wrong For?
The Canyon is right for the person who wants a truck that's smaller than the GMC Sierra 1500. It doesn’t have the weight and girth of its larger stablemate, although it isn’t small by any means. On the other hand, if you’re a Ford fan, the wait for an all-new Ranger is over. In fact, the order books are now open on the 2019 model.
The Bottom Line
The 2019 GMC Canyon offers a solid presence, a nice interior, and a comfortable ride. The Denali line goes where no other mid-size truck attempts, which gives GMC an edge in the segment. However, the Canyon costs more than its Chevrolet twin and, if you’re serious about off-roading, the Colorado ZR2 is your best choice.
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