Capable towing capacity. Midsize pickup trucks like the 2022 GMC Canyon aren’t nearly as capable as full-size options, but GMC’s smallest option is one of the more capable pickups in the class. When properly equipped, the Canyon is rated to tow up to 7,700 pounds. That matches the Chevrolet Colorado for the most in the midsize class. It’s also more than the Jeep Gladiator, Ford Ranger, Toyota Tacoma, and Nissan Frontier.

The Canyon’s class-leading towing capacity is enough of a reason to purchase the midsize truck. The truck’s capability comes from its punchy engines, though you’ll want to upgrade to one of the available ones as the base engine is unappealing.

A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is standard with the Canyon. It makes 220 horsepower and is rated to tow 3,500 pounds. The standard engine is an engine we recommend skipping. Instead, look toward the 3.6-liter V8 engine. It’s rated at 308 hp and feels like a major upgrade, shuttling the Canyon down the road with brisk performance.

Lastly, there’s a turbocharged 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine. It posts the best fuel economy figures of the bunch and has the best towing capacity. But it can be sluggish around town and is a pricey upgrade on most trims.

Semi-upscale to rugged. Colorado offers the Canyon in four trims, but they all feel different. From the base Elevation Standard, which feels like a true barebones work truck, to the semi-upscale Denali, the Canyon can appeal to a wide range of consumers. Out of the lineup, the rugged AT4 and Denali trims are the most interesting ones.

The AT4 is the most capable Canyon for off-roading. It features 31-inch Goodyear tires, heavy-duty skid plates, off-road-tuned suspension, an electronically controlled locking rear differential, and red-painted tow hooks. While the Canyon AT4 isn’t as capable as the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, it’s more than capable enough for the majority of consumers looking to hit some trails.

Then, there’s the range-topping Denali trim. It may not be as luxurious as some of GMC’s other Denali trims, but it still feels high-end for a midsize pickup truck. Chrome accents, 20-inch wheels, genuine leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a Bose audio system, and a wireless charging pad are standard on the trim. For 2022, there’s a new Denali Black Edition package that gives the Canyon a blacked-out look.

Good infotainment system, lackluster cabin. The upside to the Canyon’s straightforward design is that its infotainment system follows the same trend. The standard infotainment system is a seven-inch touchscreen that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, six audio speakers, satellite radio, two USB ports, and Bluetooth. Simple menus, physical controls, and quick inputs make the Canyon’s infotainment system easy to use.

Higher trim levels come with a larger eight-inch touchscreen, but it’s just as easy to use. The eight-inch screen is available with more high-tech features, like a Wi-Fi hot spot, a wireless charging pad, two extra USB ports, and a Bose audio system. We think upgrading to at least the Elevation trim, which is the first in line to come with the eight-inch screen, is worth the extra money.

Unfortunately, while the Canyon comes with an infotainment system that’s easy to use, the interior is drab. It’s the major downfall of the pickup truck. Plastic switches, rough materials, and an ungainly design stop the Canyon from feeling anything else like a work vehicle. Even the upscale Denali fails to feel truly upscale. The interior also fails to impress with interior space, as the rear seats offer limited legroom. The Canyon is entering its eighth model year on sale, which is easy to see from the interior.

Too much Chevrolet? GMCs have earned a reputation for being more expensive Chevrolet’s with nicer interiors. While GMC is working hard to prove that stereotype wrong, it’s true with the Canyon and Colorado. The main issue with the Canyon is that the Colorado exists. It offers the same styling, features, powertrains, and capability for less. If the Denali trim felt more luxurious, then we could see a reason for choosing the Canyon. But it doesn’t. If we had a choice between the two, we’d pocket the savings and go with the Colorado.

The Canyon is in need of an upgrade when it comes to advanced driver-assist features. A rearview camera and a teen driver system are standard on the pickup truck. That’s it and it’s the bare minimum for what passes on a modern vehicle these days. Even the Canyon’s list of available safety features is scarce with the optional features being rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, and forward-collision warning. The Toyota Tacoma, Honda Ridgeline, and Nissan Frontier offer far more in the way of safety.

Final thoughts. Despite its lack of safety features and subpar interior, the 2022 GMC Canyon is a good midsize pickup truck. Its stout towing capacity rating, wide range of engines, intuitive infotainment system, and impressive lineup make it a good option against newer trucks.

For consumers wanting to do some serious off-roading, there’s the Jeep Gladiator. It’s built to go off-roading with powerful engines, impressive off-roading features, and a purpose-built design. The Honda Ridgeline is a pickup that’s actually comfortable to drive. It also features a spacious cabin, innovative features, an efficient V6 engine, and standard all-wheel drive, making it a standout choice for daily use.

Check prices for the 2022 GMC Canyon