Meaner GMC Canyon premiers as another Hilux and Ranger rival forbidden for South Africa

With just over two weeks having passed since the debut of the updated Chevrolet Colorado, the bowtie’s upmarket SUV and bakkie division, GMC, has unveiled its version in the shape of the revised Canyon.

Touted as being more than a reskinned Colorado, the Canyon, which, apart from its sibling also rivals the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier and Ford Ranger in the United States, sports a more aggressive design thanks to a sharper grille, split headlight motif, an available “segment first” sunroof, a new bonnet and front wings.

Little has changed at the back, though 20-inch alloy wheels are now standard on the pictured flagship Denali.

While the rear carries over largely unchanged, sans a new tailgate with a cooled compartment, again similar to the Colorado, the Canyon’s interior has been dramatically overhauled to “evoke premium craftmanship and precision” according to GMC.

This involves the standard fitting of an 11.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all models, a new-surround-view camera system capable of showing the underside when off-roading, upgraded materials and a 6.3-inch Heads-Up Display on the flagship Denali.

ALSO READ: Chevrolet unpacks updated Colorado as the Ranger and Hilux rival South Africa won’t get

Unlike the Colorado, the Canyon offers a choice of two digital instrument cluster displays; an eight-inch on the Elevation and AT4 and an eleven-inch on the newly added ATX4 and Denali. A seven-speaker Bose sound system is also standard on the latter pair but optional on the AT4.

Standard safety items include Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lead Vehicle Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and Forward Collision Alert.

New tailgate has the same cooled integrated storage area as on the Colorado.

Selecting the optional Safety Plus Package, meanwhile adds Steering Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, with the mentioned camera system, Rear Pedestrian Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control forming part of the so-called Technology Package. Reserved for the ATX4 and Denali is Rear Seat Alert.

As with the Colorado, the biggest addition to the GMC Canyon range is the ATX4 that builds on the AT4 introduced two years ago, and which will take on the new Ford Ranger Raptor destined to arrive in the States for the first time next year.

Introduced two years ago, the standard AT4 remains although without some of the AT4X’s features

Similar to the Colorado ZR2 with the AT4 being the equivalent of the Trail Boss, the off-road focused Canyon AT4X receives unique 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 33-inch mud-terrain tyres, a wider front track, electronically locking front and rear differentials, a heady duty steel front skidplate and a redesigned front bumper with a steel bull-bar.

Standing 25 mm higher than the Elevation, AT4 and Denali, the AT4X also features a bumper mounted winch, and LED light bar, a dedicated Baja mode as part of the drive mode selector – the others being Normal, Tow/Haul, Terrain and Off-Road – under body protection and Multimatic adaptive shock absorbers.

Rugged Canyon ATX4 a new addition aimed squarely at the Ford Ranger Raptor.

Despite GMC not disclosing the approach, breakover or departure angles of the Elevation, AT4 and Denali, it did reveal those of the AT4X – 36.9-degrees, 24.5-degrees and 25-degrees – as well as the ground clearance that increases from 244 mm to 272 mm with all of the mentioned off-road hardware.

Up front, GMC has followed Chevrolet by dropping the normally aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol, the 3.6-litre V6 and the 2.8 Duramax turbodiesel for the 2.7-litre turbo-petrol that originally debuted on the current Silverado three years ago.

Multimatic adaptive shock absorbers a feature of the AT4X.

Like in the Colorado, the unit has three states of tune in the Canyon; 177kW/351Nm in the Elevation and AT4, 231kW/529Nm in the AT4 and Denali and 231kW/583Nm in the Denali and AT4X. The sole transmission option is a new eight-speed automatic.

Like the Colorado, the GMC Canyon is only offered as a double cab and while assembled at the same plant in Wentzville Plant, Missouri, will a higher sticker price of “around $40 000 (R649 852).”

Interior has been thoroughly revised and comes as standard with an 11.3-inch infotainment system on all models.

Although $10 000 (R162 463) more than the projected starting sticker of the Colorado, the Canyon not only comes with more equipment, but boasts four-wheel-drive on all models as standard in addition to not offering a workhorse model similar to the bowtie’s WT derivative.

Going on sale in early 2023, the Canyon will remain exclusive to North America and, therefore, available solely in left-hand-drive.

Related Articles

Also Read