2016 GMC Canyon
First to market with the first all-new midsize pickup truck in a decade, General Motors has a hit with the GMC Canyon. This year, a new turbo-diesel engine makes the Canyon even more compelling, but this GMC faces new competition in the form of the redesigned Toyota Tacoma.
Changes for 2016
• Optional 2.8-liter turbo-diesel 4-cylinder engine
• Upgraded IntelliLink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay
• Expanded availability of sliding rear cab window
• Reduced powertrain warranty from 100,000 miles to 60,000 miles
• Reduced free scheduled maintenance program
• Metallic paint now costs extra
2016 Canyon Highlights
GMC offers the Canyon in extended cab and crew cab styles, the former paired exclusively with a long 6-foot 2-inch bed and the latter available with that bed or a shorter 5-foot 2-inch bed. Trim levels include a work-grade SL model, as well as standard Canyon, Canyon SLE, and Canyon SLT trim levels.
People planning to go off-road will want to consider the All-Terrain Package for the Canyon SLE. It comes with special suspension tuning, 17-inch aluminum wheels, all-terrain tires, recovery hooks, and a hill descent control system. Body-color exterior trim helps to identify this version of the truck, which also includes a power front passenger’s seat.
Extended-cab versions come with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine good for 200 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 191 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm. GMC claims that 90 percent of this engine’s torque is available from 2,000 rpm to 6,200 rpm, helping to make the truck feel more powerful and responsive.
A 6-speed manual gearbox is included in 2-wheel-drive models, with a 6-speed automatic optional. A 4-wheel-drive system is also optional, paired only with the automatic. In combined driving, the 2WD models get 22 mpg regardless of transmission choice, while the 4WD models get 21 mpg.
Crew cab models have a 3.6-liter V6 as standard equipment, an engine that is optional for the extended cab models. It generates 305 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 269 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm, and comes only with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy numbers are 21 mpg with 2WD and 20 mpg with 4WD, and the V6 tows up to 7,000 pounds and carries up to 1,620 lbs. of payload.
TEST DRIVE: 2015 GMC CANYON 4WD SLE
New for 2016, and a strong differentiator for the Canyon, a 2.8-liter turbo-diesel 4-cylinder engine is available for the Canyon crew cab. Equipped with common-rail direct fuel injection, ceramic glow plugs for shorter warm-up times, a cooled exhaust gas recirculation system to reduce emissions, and a diesel exhaust brake, the new turbo-diesel is B20 biodiesel compatible.
The engine makes 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm and 369 lb.-ft. at 2,000 rpm. A 6-speed automatic transmission and a 3.42 axle ratio are standard, along with an exclusive trailer brake controller. This engine boosts the Canyon’s towing capacity to 7,700 pounds and its fuel economy rating to 25 mpg with 2WD and 23 mpg with 4WD.
On the technology front, the Canyon offers OnStar subscription services with 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity. GMC’s IntelliLink infotainment system is updated for 2016, and now offers Apple CarPlay smartphone reflection technology. Additional features include dual USB ports, Siri Eyes Free, text messaging support, and Pandora Internet radio. Navigation and a Bose premium sound system are options, and GMC says Android Auto technology is coming soon.
A reversing camera is standard, and OnStar provides access to automatic collision notification service. A forward collision warning system and a lane departure warning system are optional, but are unavailable with the All-Terrain Package.
Inexplicably, the federal government elected to crash-test the extended cab instead of the crew cab that most people buy. It earned a 4-star overall rating, mainly due to 3-star rollover resistance ratings for both 2WD and 4WD models. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the truck a “Good” rating in the moderate overlap frontal impact test, while the forward collision warning system is rated as “Basic” because it lacks an automatic emergency braking system.
In terms of utility, the Canyon has a handy corner step bumper design, an optional EZ Lift-and-Lower locking tailgate, and an optional spray-in bed liner. A line of Gear On cargo bed accessories is also available.
Alternatives to the GMC Canyon
The Chevrolet Colorado is basically the same truck as the GMC Canyon, but with different styling. Other midsize pickup trucks include the ancient Nissan Frontier and the redesigned Toyota Tacoma.
- Engine & Transmission
Base Engine 2.5l Transmission AUTOMATIC 6A Drivetrain rear wheel drive Horsepower 200 Horsepower Torque 191 ft-lbs. Valves 16 Fuel Efficiency (CTY/HWY) 20 MPG City / 27 MPG Highway Fuel Capacity 21.0 Fuel Type regular unleaded Turning Circle 41.3
Front Suspension Classification independent Rear Spring Type leaf springs Independent Suspension front Rear Suspension Classification solid axle Front Stabilizer Bar stabilizer bar Front Spring Type coil springs
- Exterior Dimensions
Overall Width Without Mirrors 74.3 in. Wheelbase 128.3 in. Overall Length 212.4 in. Minimum Ground Clearance 8.3 in. Overall Height 70.7 in. Bed Length Measurement 61.7 in. Overall Width With Mirrors 83.9 in.
- Interior Dimensions
2nd Row Leg Room 35.8 in. 1st Row Hip Room 55.0 in. 2nd Row Shoulder Room 56.2 in. 2nd Row Head Room 38.3 in. 1st Row Leg Room 45.0 in. 1st Row Head Room 41.4 in. 2nd Row Hip Room 53.3 in. 1st Row Shoulder Room 57.5 in.