Reviewed: 2016 GMC Canyon Diesel

Trucks are the ultimate utility vehicle. Whether it’s helping a friend move or stopping by the home improvement store for the latest project, a wide open utility bed with no height limit makes moving anything from place to place so much easier.

The basic utility of trucks has pretty much remained the same. What the engineers at GMC/Chevrolet focused on was making the truck much more livable day to day.

That’s why we asked for the new diesel variant, because fuel economy is not a strong suit of most gasoline trucks. GMC claims the Canyon’s 2.8L 4-cylinder Duramax diesel burns at the slow rate of 20 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway. With a 21 gallon tank, that’s over 600 miles of range between fill-ups on the highway.

Across our week, we averaged 26.7 mpg, besting the combined EPA number by almost 4 MPG!

The 6-speed auto is much better matched to the diesel engine than the gas one, with more torque off the line and less upshifting to the highest gear. Engineers don’t need to worry about fuel economy as much with the diesel, so the transmission stays in the appropriate gearing instead of quickly going to the highest gear as the gas model does.

Just as much effort went into the design, with a blocky look that gives the Canyon a strong resemblance to its big brother Sierra.

An LED signature flanks the upper and lower parts of the projector headlight housing, while our two favorite functional features, a soft-open tailgate and integrated corner steps in the rear bumper make hopping in and out MUCH easier.

GMC offers a factory spray liner, a factory applied finish we’d highly recommend.

Inside, power front seats make finding just the right position easy. A tilt/telescope wheel is standard too.

Steering-wheel audio controls are easy to use, with hidden volume and tuning buttons on the back side of the wheel. Other buttons on the front control the Driver Information Center (DIC) and collision warning settings.

Large switchgear in the center stack work with gloved hands.

Our tester featured the 8″ touchscreen with nav and IntelliLink, which also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, our favorite smartphone integration systems. CarPlay worked perfectly during our week of testing, providing access to Maps, Spotify playlists and messaging through Siri dictation. Siri is available at any time with a long press of the voice button on the steering wheel.

Storage space is plentiful with larger cupholders, cubbies, a deep glovebox and center console. Two USB ports are up front, while two more and a 12V port are in the rear.

The rear seats are perfect for a 6′ adult, with plenty of headroom and legroom. Three people wouldn’t have any issues sitting side to side.

Rear seats flip up to unveil hidden storage or more room without worrying about damaging the seats.

Soft, well-grained materials and wood trim throughout complement the good looks of the Canyon.

Make: GMC
Model: Canyon
Trim Level: 4WD SLT Crew Short Box
Engine: 2.8L 4-Cyl Turbo Diesel
Transmission: 6-Speed Auto
Observed Fuel Economy: 26.7 MPG (mixed driving)
Available Packages: Driver Alert and various cosmetic/utility pkgs
Base Price: $21,880
As-Tested Price: $43,945

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