2021 GMC Canyon AT4 is an old truck with a few new tricks

    The Canyon has regarded nice since its inception.
    Andrew Krok/Roadshow
    Think of the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 as a Chevy Colorado ZR2 for individuals who have by no means consumed Monster vitality drinks. It’s slightly calmer, rather less rugged, and whereas it is getting fairly previous, it nonetheless makes for a strong off-road-oriented midsize pickup.

    LikeBurly exteriorSufficiently easy on-roadAlways-good infotainment

    Don’t LikeAging plastic-fantastic interiorA little gentle on creature comfortsMissing driver assists

    Butch exterior, blah insideI’ve at all times appreciated the GMC Canyon’s design over its sibling, the Chevy Colorado. The fancier of the 2 has withstood the take a look at of time slightly higher, because of a reliance on butch rectilinearity that does not look almost as aged because the Colorado’s big-headlight mug. My tester’s $3,195 Off-Road Performance Edition Package zhushes issues up slightly additional with 17-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, skid plates, black badges and a spray-on bedliner. The beefy 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires look fairly boss, too. The close to whole lack of chrome would not harm, both.While the outside has held up, I can not say the identical for the inside, which is simply as Playskool plastic implausible as almost each different Canyon and Colorado trim. My AT4 tester tries to perk issues up with some cool leather-based entrance seats, and I like how the headrest appears to be like built-in into the seat, however the cloth-seat AT4 prices $1,800 much less, which is value noting for patrons attempting to stay to a finances. There is a few fake stitching across the sprint, however I can run a finger over almost any floor and it largely feels onerous and low cost, which is a little bit of a bummer on a $40,000 truck. If you need one thing resembling plushness, you may must go for the $45,000-plus Denali getup.

    There’s some practicality to be discovered within the Canyon, however not a ton. The glove compartment and heart console armrest cubby are each loads sizable, however the door pockets are tiny, and the non-obligatory wi-fi charger cannot accommodate fashionable Max-size iPhones ($389 at Amazon), a strong giveaway that this inside is on the brink of accumulate Social Security checks. The cup holders will maintain a 24-ounce plastic bottle, however nothing bigger, so Nalgene followers should determine one thing out. The crew cab’s rear seats are slightly gentle on legroom, however maybe we have been spoiled by all of the full-size crew cab vehicles and their limousine-caliber second rows.Perky V6, smooth suspensionThe Canyon AT4 will be had with a 2.8-liter turbodiesel inline-4, however most will doubtless sport the 3.6-liter fuel V6, which produces 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, routed to all 4 wheels via an eight-speed computerized transmission. This mixture works properly, offering loads of low-end grunt with an unladen mattress, whereas the transmission operates easily, hardly ever looking for gears or taking longer than it must. It’ll rise up and go each time wanted.

    Fuel financial system is fairly respectable, too, and the truck has no situation reaching its EPA-estimated figures of 17 mpg metropolis and 24 mpg freeway. Those are solidly aggressive numbers, too, beating four-wheel-drive Toyota Tacoma variants by 1 to 3 mpg on the freeway (thanks partially to cylinder deactivation), though the Taco proves superior within the metropolis by about the identical delta.

    On-road efficiency is rattling wonderful for a body-on-frame pickup. The off-road suspension is slightly on the smooth facet, so whereas it does a superb job absorbing no matter crappy Michigan roads have to supply, it may well really feel slightly boaty-floaty on expressway curves, and the off-road tires can wander a bit over sure varieties of pavement. The steering is properly balanced, and the brakes have good grip and good modulation.The AT4’s inside is okay, however I’m undecided if GM’s definition of wonderful cuts it in 2021.
    Andrew Krok/Roadshow
    While I did not get an opportunity to place the AT4 via its full off-road paces, there’s loads of equipment in right here to make it occur. All AT4s include an off-road-tuned suspension, hill descent management, a locking rear differential, a two-speed switch case, and my tester ramps that up additional with the $3,195 efficiency pack that provides a entrance air dam delete, a 1-inch carry up entrance and extra underbody safety. It’s not as purely targeted because the Colorado ZR2 with its entrance locker and even beefier suspension, however it’s fairly darn shut, and a majority of patrons will discover the AT4 greater than succesful sufficient to satisfy their wants.Don’t fear, the Canyon AT4 continues to be strong for normal truck stuff, too. You can order it in a crew cab configuration with a alternative of 61.7-inch or 74-inch beds. It’ll tow as much as 7,000 kilos, and it will haul about 1,500 kilos’ value of stuff within the mattress.Tech hits and missesEvery GMC Canyon comes with an 8-inch touchscreen working Chevrolet’s newest infotainment system, and that is nice. The setup is simple, it is simple to navigate and it consists of each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in case you do not wish to plunk down a further $995 for manufacturing unit navigation. OnStar’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is customary, too, which I’ve at all times appreciated. The $395 Bose sound system improve is not too shabby, both, and looks like a superb deal for people who find themselves at all times of their vehicles.And then there’s the driver-assist tech. Chevrolet, and GM normally, has at all times taken a extra conservative method to those methods, sometimes counting on cheaper camera-based ahead collision warning (radar ain’t low cost) or locking almost all methods behind a paywall. That’s sadly nonetheless the case with the Canyon AT4, which presents non-adaptive cruise management and rear parking sensors as customary. The solely improve prices $395 and provides forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning and… that is it.GM’s infotainment retains getting higher, however it’s already doing loads properly for itself.
    Andrew Krok/Roadshow
    Any really fashionable conveniences like adaptive cruise management and computerized emergency braking require a visit to the Toyota dealership, as a result of that stuff is customary on each single Tacoma that rolls off the road. Get with the instances and cease the relentless bean counting, GM. Seriously. Some truck patrons would in all probability ditch airbags if it meant saving $500 on the window sticker, however generally you must forestall folks from changing into their very own worst enemy.Down to brass tacksConsidering the common new-car transaction value has eclipsed $40,000, I suppose I can not name the Canyon AT4 costly, however it positive feels it. Starting at $39,595 (together with vacation spot) with material seats, my leather-bedecked tester rings in with choices at $45,780.Why GM would not take Toyota extra significantly as an existential menace is past me. If you mix (and, generally, double) the gross sales of the GMC Canyon and the Chevrolet Colorado, they nonetheless cannot match the promoting energy of Toyota’s venerable midsize pickup. For what it’s, although, the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 is strong. It’s a gorgeous pickup truck that gives extra off-road prowess than your common midsizer, with out requiring a deep-end leap into one thing extra purpose-built just like the ZR2. Let’s simply hope a brand new era is on the horizon.

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