2017 GMC Canyon Denali is a luxury pickup truck
In the world of pickup trucks, GMC generally stands for luxury, and the Denali trim on any GMC is the top level of an already great package. One of the most affordable ways to get yourself into a Denali is to choose the midsize Canyon pickup.
There are a lot of reasons to choose a pickup over an SUV. For one thing, most trucks now offer four full-size doors and seating for five. Plus you get that useful bed area that you can hose out if you need to clean it.
The GMC Canyon comes with your choice of three engines. You can get the 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. You can upgrade to the 3.6-liter V6, which has 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque for towing and hauling. Or you can really plus up the Canyon with the 2.8-liter Duramax diesel four-cylinder, with 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.
I've driven all three engines in the Canyon, and the Duramax and V6 are comparable. What's surprising is that the basic four-cylinder is fun to drive, too. They're all good options depending on your needs and budget.
The most basic four-cylinder Canyon SL with rear-wheel-drive comes with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard equipment, with an automatic as an option. If you select 4WD you get a 6-speed or 8-speed automatic depending on your engine choice.
The most affordable Canyon starts at just $21,880, which is a great deal on a pickup truck these days. Of course, by the time you climb up to Denali trim, things are more expensive. As tested, this week's Canyon Denali with the V6 engine and 4WD came to $44,155. But for that money you're getting working features like tow/haul mode, trailering package, automatic locking differential, and an electronic two-speed transfer case.
The Denali is as appealing inside as it is on the spec book. The seats are supportive and comfortable. All the upholstery is perforated leather and the power-adjustable seats are both heated and ventilated. You get automatic climate control, rear vision camera, GPS navigation on an 8-inch touch screen, wi-fi in the truck, and all the infotainment sources you want, like satellite and HD radio.
On the road, the Canyon is a delight to drive. Midsize trucks are bigger than they used to be, so you can expect it to be about the same size as a full-size half-ton truck of 20 years ago. But the Canyon is solidly planted on the road, drives smooth, and has plenty of power. The GMC Canyon is a truck you can really love, and it's worth your consideration.
2017 GMC Canyon Denali
Base price: $18,460
Price as tested: $44,155
Type: Midsize pickup
Engine: 3.6-liter V6 (308 hp, 275 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 17/24
Overall length: 212.4 inches
Curb weight: 4,150 pounds
Final assembly: Wentzville, Missouri