Should you Buy a 2019 GMC Canyon?

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2019 GMC Canyon Elevation | Photo: William Clavey

We take a look at the 2019 GMC Canyon to see if it’s a good buy or not.

Now that the midsize truck segment is boiling again in North America, GM’s current pickup duo, the Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon, are suddenly facing new rivals. There’s now a new Ford Ranger and a Jeep Gladiator among us, not forgetting the almighty Toyota Tacoma, currently the sales king. Meanwhile, Honda is still hanging in there with its odd-ball Ridgeline. And we’re convinced you all completely forgot the Nissan Frontier still exists.

Yet, even with so many midsizers standing in the ring, GM’s ageing two-truck punch is still doing well. Last year, The General shipped over 150,000 units across Canada and the US, placing them second behind the Toyota. You’d think their success has something to do with them being on the market before the competition. That’s also the case with the Ridgeline, yet, its sales figures are almost embarrassing compared to GM’s.

No, the GMC Canyon/Chevrolet Colorado success story has more to do with what they offer to consumers, and at what price. The flexibility of their model trims, both on the GMC and Chevrolet side, has allowed them to adapt to all types of midsize truck needs. Plus, with full-size pickups having grown in size, and price, the midsize truck segment suddenly becomes a much more interesting proposition for anyone who doesn’t necessarily need a 10,000-pound pulling work horse.

So, should you buy a 2019 GMC Canyon? We dive deep into the question.


Why You Should Buy a 2019 GMC Canyon

2019 GMC Canyon Elevation | Photo: William Clavey
  • The GMC Canyon comes with a variety of different engines, cabin and bed configurations, a quality some of its rivals don’t offer. Base Canyons are powered by a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder good for 200 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque. Following that is a diesel option, which only the Jeep Gladiator offers. In GMC’s case, it’s a Duramax 2.8-liter four that churns out 181 horsepower and an impressive 369 lb-ft. Finally, there’s a 3.6-liter V6, by far the most popular engine within the Canyon lineup. It develops 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque.
  • Even if the Canyon is getting old, towing capacity is set at 7,700 lb (3,493 kg), which is currently the highest in the segment. Even with the V6 engine, the Canyon will pull 7,000 lb (3,175 kg), which is just 500 lb (226 kg) less than a Ford Ranger.
  • The GMC Canyon offers a high-luxury Denali trim that you can’t get in a Chevrolet Colorado. It gives it an edge of refinement not offered by any of its rivals. Sold at an entry price of $48,600 (before freight and destination), the Canyon Denali features heated and cooled perforated leather seats, fancy exterior Denali trim such as an enormous chromed out grille, bespoke wheels, LED headlights, and a plethora of semi-autonomous electronic safety features such as adaptive cruise control and an automatic collision mitigation system.
  • The GMC Canyon sells for a significantly lower entry price than its rivals. Kicking off at $27,700, it undercuts both the Ford Ranger and the Jeep Gladiator by a significant margin.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2019 GMC Canyon

2019 GMC Canyon Elevation | Photo: William Clavey
  • If you’re looking for the modern convenience typically found in new trucks, such as a push-button starter or even a sunroof, you’ll be disappointed to find out that the 2019 GMC Canyon offers none of that, even when selecting the upscale Denali model. Build quality and cabin materials also lag behind its more modern stalemates, with a dashboard design that appears to come from a vehicle from the early 2000’s.
  • Unlike its identical twin, the Chevrolet Colorado, the GMC Canyon doesn’t offer an off-road-specific model. Sure, there’s the All Terrain variant, but it’s nothing compared to the extreme Colorado ZR2, or even the ZR2 Bison that Chevrolet sells. So if you’re into jumping dunes with your pickup truck, you’re out of luck with the GMC. However, rumour has it that an AT4 model, similar to what’s currently offered with Sierra, will soon be introduced to the lineup.
  • Cabin space remains a Canyon weakness, especially when compared with Ranger, Ridgeline and even Gladiator. Rear leg room is tight due to a compact cabin, and that rear seat is better suited for two instead of three. Furthermore, unless you opt for a Denali, seat comfort and support gets dwarfed by the competition.

What we Tell Our Friends About the 2019 GMC Canyon

2019 GMC Canyon Elevation | Photo: William Clavey

While it’s easy to get carried away with the GMC Canyon’s age, this truck remains an excellent purchase that we’d recommend to anyone looking for a lot of value in a midsize truck. Its excellent packaging is so well executed that GM has cancelled its mid-cycle refresh for the 2020 model year. However, this also means we’ll have to wait a few more years for an all-new Canyon.

That said, it’s hard to argue against class-leading towing capacity, an attainable price and a multitude of available configurations, allowing you to personalize your GM small truck to your liking. Plus, these things have established themselves a solid reputation for reliability, with plenty of available parts to repair them. Consider us convinced.


2019 GMC Canyon Photo Gallery

2019 GMC Canyon Elevation | Photo: William Clavey
2019 GMC Canyon Elevation | Photo: William Clavey
2019 GMC Canyon Elevation | Photo: William Clavey

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