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.

Best Value

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

Performance

GMC Canyon

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.

Style

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?

GMC Canyon

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.