2021 GMC Canyon


What kind of vehicle is the 2021 GMC Canyon? What does it compare to?

The 2021 GMC Canyon is a mid-size pickup truck that shares DNA with the Chevy Colorado. It competes with the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, Honda Ridgeline, Nissan Frontier. 

Is the 2021 GMC Canyon a good truck?

Review continues below

It is a good-looking truck with good powertrain options and more configurations than most trucks this size. But it’s getting older, it’s not as efficient as the competition, and it doesn’t fare well in withstanding and avoiding crashes. It gets a below-average TCC Rating of 4.8 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2021 GMC Canyon?

GMC reordered the trim levels for the Canyon and added a new AT4 off-road trim across the entire lineup. On the 2021 Canyon, it can be upgraded with an Off-Road Performance Edition exclusive to the AT4 with a self-leveling suspension, more skid plates, big off-road tires, an Eaton G80 locking rear differential, and hill descent control. 

The rest of the lineup rises in features and price from Elevation Standard, Elevation, AT4, then Denali. GMC gets the reputation of being the upscale GM truck brand, but Chevy has blurred that line recently and the Canyon’s basic cloth seats, plastic interior, and cramped extended cab don’t reverse that trend. The Denali trim exalts the brand with fake wood, chrome, and a long standard features list that includes heated and cooled seats.

The base 2.5-liter inline-4 makes only 200 hp, which might seem better on paper than the 2.8-liter turbodiesel inline-4 that makes 186 hp. But it generates 369 lb-ft of torque to top the towing and efficiency scales of the Canyon with 7,700 pounds of towing capacity and an EPA-rated 30 mpg highway, and it’s expensive. The best bet is a 3.6-liter V-6 with an 8-speed automatic transmission. 

The cabin is a comfy place to be unless wedged into the rear seats in the extended cab, which is better for storage than people. The crew cab is roomy, however, and can be had with a 6-foot-2 long bed or a smaller bed that’s a foot shorter. 

A 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes standard, but automatic emergency braking does not. It can’t even be optioned, underscoring the less than perfect ratings from the NHTSA and the IIHS. 

Options range from heated and cooled leather seats to an 8.0-inch touchscreen. 

How much does the 2021 GMC Canyon cost?

The 2021 GMC Canyon costs $27,595 to start, including $1,195 destination. That’s about $1,000 more than the Chevy Colorado WT. The top Denali trim fitted with a crew cab and long bed, and powered by a diesel engine costs $49,625. We like the new AT4 for about $40,000. 

Where is the 2021 GMC Canyon made?

In Wentzville, Missouri.

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