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2015 GMC Canyon 2WD SLT V6 Crew Cab Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, GMC, Test Drives


It never really sinks in as to how competitive and vast the truck segment is until you drive up to a local elementary school right after the bell rings at the end of the day. Sure, you see plenty of sedans, SUVs and minivans lacing the car loading rows. Taking up a good majority of the landscape are many variations of pickup trucks, many lacking much unique character until you venture into one-off versions like Ford’s Raptor or the new Chevrolet Silverado High Country. New trucks appealing to many consumers, capturing much attention in the midsized truck segment are in short supply. One particular truck that stands out in the short midsized crowd is the all-new 2015 GMC Canyon.


The new 2015 GMC Canyon has returned after a 3-year hiatus and it is back with a strong attraction for consumers due to its larger dimensions, 7,000-pound towing capability with the new 3.6-liter V6 engine, and the comfort level you expect from an entry-level luxury sedan. GMC has done the due diligence in designing a truck that addresses many highly desired facets of the truck consumer, and after a full week with the new 2015 Canyon I commend them on their accomplishment.

Powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine, as found in my 2015 Canyon SLT Crew Cab test vehicle, the new Canyon eagerly awaits to get the job done in more ways than one. The 3.6-liter V6 pushes out 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque directed through a 6-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels. In the 2-wheel-drive setup of my test vehicle GMC includes a fully automatic locking rear differential, which proved to be quite the handy equipment in my adventures across hilly, loose and wet terrain. The rear wheels alternating power and locking up at the right moment kept my 4,200 pounds of pickup truck moving forward without hiccup. Moreover, it would be prudent to mention that my 2015 GMC Canyon SLT with its standard trailering equipment package can tow up to 7,000 pounds, the best in its class.


On the road the 2015 GMC Canyon SLT Crew Cab 2WD with the longer 6.2-foot box out back projects a subtle driving style. In some ways the Canyon rides like a full-sized sedan with stiff underpinnings. On the other hand, turn in from the electric steering rack does its best to transmit some feel from the road while the coil suspension up front and leaf springs out back coupled with its 17-inch all-season tires smooth out the ride without much truck-like jitter.


Acceleration is strong with a welcomed initial grunt from the V6 engine’s quick-reaching torque curve. Zero to 60 mph comes at you in just over 7 seconds, a great compromise for dry weight runs. Loading up the bed to its max spec payload rating of 1,540 pounds should be no object for retaining decent on-road performance.

The exterior styling of the new 2015 GMC Canyon takes on an approach that was already well received in its bigger GMC Sierra 1500 brethren. The styling is truly welcomed with its projector beam headlights and fog lights up front encased in a familiar front fascia to signify the GMC brand. The 4-door structure of the Crew Cab flows nicely into the long box and ending at the EZ lift and lower elongated tailgate. Chrome accents on the front bumper (and limited shine in the rear) characterizes the Canyon’s smaller dimensions without taking too much away from its bigger-than-ever mid-sized segment proportions.


The interior of the all-new 2015 Canyon takes many other traits from the current line of GMC trucks and SUVs. In retrospect, the interior pulls off a pleasant yet tame trim application with real aluminum pieces and accent stitching on the padded dashboard and seats. Controls are all within close reach with redundant audio toggle buttons on the reverse side of the steering wheel. Other steering wheel controls consist of optional collision warning system gap adjustment, voice prompt, cruise control, and a directional pad for navigating the gauge cluster’s center-mounted color LCD information screen.


The infotainment system, derived directly from other GM trucks and SUVs, combines a user-friendly interface with clear and easy-to-read icons. The system, coupled with the optional GPS navigation system on my Canyon test vehicle, combines just enough options and menu sets to avoid being cumbersome. Additionally, the system is quick in its response through the touch screen and the proper physical knobs and buttons.


Seating and interior space is just right for the midsized truck segment. Out back, being the larger Crew Cab with 4-doors, there is just enough room for two adults and a third, who gets to saddle the subtle drive-shaft hump. Seating comfort up front is quite agreeable on long trips and has just enough support for the Canyon’s truck-like handling demands. Several segment-leading features, found equipped on my Canyon test vehicle, all put the Canyon in a category of its own to stand out from the norm of such a truck segment. Of those features, my 2015 GMC Canyon SLT featured lane departure warning, forward collision alert and 4G LTE WiFi hot spot connectivity. How about that, you can tow up to 7,000 pounds and allow others to in the vehicle to surf the internet at high speeds. It’s a win-win for everyone.


Meshing into the new-age economics of being a relative gas-sipper, the 2015 GMC Canyon SLT 2WD V6 does just fine. The EPA mpg estimates come in at 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined, excellent numbers considering the large size of this midsized crew cab pickup truck.


In the value department the 2015 GMC Canyon represents a bargain with a starting price of about $20,955 not including destination charge for the base direct-injection 4-cylinder model. Moving up from the base trim is the SLE trim adding larger 17-inch wheels up from the standard 16-inchers, an 8-inch color LCD touch screen, OnStar 4G LTE WiFi, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, auto-locking rear differential, fog lights and EZ lift & lower tailgate. Moving up to the SLT trim as my test vehicle sits, the Canyon gets 18-inch polished cast-aluminum wheels, heated leather-appointed front seats, remote vehicle starter, 4-way power front seats and auto climate control. An all-terrain package is available with the SLE trim featuring a Z71 off-road suspension and many of the SLT trim options. At the SLT trim level on a new Canyon Crew Cab V6 the price starts at $33,429 and adding on the options of chrome tubular assist steps, premium Bose audio system, GPS navigation system, and the driver alert package (forward collision alert, lane departure warning), the price comes to an as-tested $36,460 including a $925 destination charge.

Copyright: 2014


  • Price: Base Canyon  $20,995 As-Tested Canyon SLT 2WD V6 Crew Cab Long Box $36,460
  • Engine: 3.6-liter V6 305 hp @ 6800 rpm/ 269 ft-lbs torque @ 4000 rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed Automatic w/manual mode
  • Drive: 2WD w/automatic limited slip differential
  • Wheelbase: 140.5 in.
  • Total length: 225 in.
  • Total width: 74.2 in.
  • Total height: 70.5 in.
  • Ground clearance: 8.6 in.
  • Curb weight: 3,920lbs. 2WD
  • Headroom: f/r-39.5/36.6 in.
  • Legroom: f/r-41.3/28.6 in.
  • Towing: Up to 7,000 lbs. (2WD) w/Trailering package
  • Fuel tank: 21.0 gallons
  • Turning circle: 41.3 ft.
  • EPA mileage: 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway

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