2015 GMC Canyon

Starting MSRP: $20,995 - $37,250

Estimated MPG: 19 city / 26 hwy

2015 GMC Canyon Review

The 2015 GMC Canyon is a midsize pickup truck, sold in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations. It is offered in extended and crew cab configurations as well as in standard and extended truck bed arrangements.

By Matt Keegan
Last Updated 05/03/2016

After a three-year hiatus, the GMC Canyon returns larger and better than ever. The latest edition offers two engine choices, two cabin options, two truck bed lengths and is sold in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations. The 2015 Canyon is available in standard, SL, SLE and SLT trim levels.

Exterior

Exterior
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The GMC Canyon is twin to the Chevrolet Colorado. Both models correspond to larger models, the Canyon to the GMC Sierra and the Colorado to the Chevrolet Silverado. Of the two midsize models, the Canyon is closer in appearance to its larger sibling.

From the front fascia to the tailgate, the Canyon mimics the larger Sierra with its broad, upright horizontal grille flanked by pronounced headlamps with distinctive LED daytime running lights. On upgraded models, this truck has fog lamps and lower grille chrome ornamentation.

The extended cab model has two regular doors and a pair of smaller rear-hinged doors providing access to the rear seat. Crew cab editions have four doors with slightly smaller rear doors that are front-hinged. All Canyon models feature a slab side with strong shoulders, upright middle and rear pillars and arched wheel wells. To the rear is the truck bed with side step bumpers.

Interior

Interior
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Seating is for up to five people with the 2015 GMC Canyon. Rear seating is cramped for adults in the extended cab and is still tight in the crew cab. Work crews may find the Chevrolet Silverado Crew Cab more to their liking.

Despite the rear seating room constraints, the driver and front passenger will find excellent seating and interior room. The instrument panel is marked by a four-analog display with larger tachometer and speedometer dials on either side of oil pressure and gas gauges.

Upper trim level models have a tilt and telescopic steering column with steering wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls.

The center stack comes with a color display featuring the available GMC IntelliLink system that enables phone pairing, audio system access and navigation. The system operates by voice or touch; secondary knobs and switches beneath the display also provide access. Climate control knobs, heating and cooling switches, a 12-volt outlet, a USB port and an auxiliary input port follow.

Between the seats are the transmission shifter and two cup holders. A thickly padded arm rest and a deep storage compartment separate the front seats. In-door pocket holders with drink holders, vanity mirrors and a deep glove box are also present.

For the rear seat, the middle position can be folded and used as an arm rest with two cup holders. Both outboard seating positions are suitable for holding car seats.

Performance

Performance
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The standard engine for the GMC Canyon is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 200 horsepower. Shoppers can also consider a 3.6-liter V6 engine making 305 horsepower. The base engine is paired with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The V6 model comes with the automatic transmission.

The 2015 GMC Canyon is rated 20/27 mpg city/highway for the in-line four and 18/26 mpg city/highway for the V6. Both models take regular grade gasoline.

As tested, the GMC Canyon 4WD Crew Cab was powered by the V6 engine.

That V6, available in a variety of GM applications, provides excellent off-the-mark acceleration. The transmission shifts smoothly up and down through the gears. Pickup trucks are built to get the job done, but this smaller GMC seems lighter on its wheels and has a tighter turning radius than its big brother. Braking seems average.

Trailering capacity is 3,500 pounds across the model line. However, with the Z82 trailering package, the V6 model’s capacity doubles to a robust 7,000 pounds.

Technology

Technology
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GMC IntelliLink is one of the better infotainment systems on the market, easily beating what Ford offers in usability. The system makes it easy to connect your smartphone, stream your music or access SiriusXM satellite radio or Pandora radio.

Its voice recognition system doesn’t always understand your speech on the first try, but it can usually comprehend what you are saying on follow up attempts. Your home page is fully customizable to place your most used features first.

All Canyon models except for the base edition come with a six-month trial subscription to the OnStar directions and connections system. It comes with automatic crash response, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation. Also available is a 4G LTE connection with built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, providing Internet connectivity for multiple devices no matter where you are.

Safety

Safety
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In crashworthiness testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2015 GMC Canyon received a “Good” mark for moderate overlap front testing. The remaining tests are still to be conducted.

Federal government testing was more comprehensive, at least for the two-wheel drive models. Both the extended and crew cab models received four out of five stars overall, with five stars for side crash tests, four stars for frontal crash tests and three stars for rollover testing.

All GMC Canyon models come with electric power steering, traction control, stability control and a suite of air bags. A driver alert package, containing forward collision alert and lane departure warning, is available with the SLE and SLT editions.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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Pricing for the 2015 GMC Canyon begins at $20,995, but rises sharply when 4x4, crew cab and upper trim level models are selected. As tested, the Canyon 4WD Crew Cab All Terrain edition came in just shy of $40,000. At that price point, a larger Sierra Crew Cab with a short bed can be had.

A well-equipped 4x4 model with the features you desire should run about $35,000. That’s similar to the pricing level of the Canyon’s two chief competitors.

Overall

Overall
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The GMC Canyon is back and better than before. Its look, interior room and trailering capabilities make it an effective workhorse on a smaller scale than the GMC Sierra. Its top competitors are formidable and are comprised of the Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier.