The GMC Canyon is a good looking pickup that is perfectly sized between a compact pickup with too little utility and a fullsize pickup with too much bulk.
As with most pickups, Canyon offers an assortment of different cab styles, bed lengths, engines, transmissions, trim levels and two-wheel or four-wheel drive.
There is an extended cab model with a 6-foot-2 bed and a crew cab with 5-foot-2 or 6-foot-2 bed.
Engines include a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder, a 3.6-liter V6, and a turbodiesel 2.8-liter inline four-cylinder. In the same order, horsepower ratings are 200, 308 and 186, and torque ratings are 191, 275 and 369. Fuel economy ratings (city/highway) range from 17/24 mpg for the V6 engine with 4WD to 20/30 mpg for the turbodiesel engine with 2WD.
Transmission choices are a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic, standard or available depending on model configuration.
There are six trim levels: SL, Canyon, SLE, All Terrain, SLT and Denali. Base pricing including a $995 destination charge starts at $22,395 and builds up to $44,795.
My tester was a 2019 Canyon crew cab model in the Denali trim with a short bed, V6 engine and four-wheel drive. That’s the objective description of the tester. The subjective description would be the tester was a midsize pickup with an all black exterior, all black interior, black 20-inch wheels, and almost too beautiful to bear.
As the high-end trim level, the Denali’s standard equipment includes all the new features added to the Canyon for 2019. The upgraded infotainment system has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, enhanced voice recognition and a second hands-free microphone, Wi-Fi hotspot and automatic software updates. It remains uncomplicated and therefore still likable. Ditto for the navigation system. A high-def rear vision camera replaces the previous analog camera, and the driver’s seat has six-way power adjustability.
A spray-on bedliner is standard on the Canyon Denali, optional on all other models. Based on my personal experience loading two 30-gallon galvanized steel trash cans into the Canyon bed, which required more sliding than lifting of the cans because they were so heavy, I feel confident in saying the Canyon bedliner is indestructible. Anecdotal evidence, of course, but good enough for me. There wasn’t even the teeniest hint of a scratch on the bedliner after the trash can ordeal that I know would have left a mark on lesser bedliners.
The test week included a trip to see family in the Lake Oswego area in Oregon for Thanksgiving and the spectacular Seahawks win against the Panthers. The Canyon proved itself to be wonderfully quiet, comfortable, fast and stable all the way up and down I-5, with several rain squalls along the way. I was able to take four passengers on board the Canyon while visiting, including two adults (one of them 6-foot-6), an adult-sized teenager and a 10-year-old who’s the tallest kid in his class.
One notable omission on the 2019 GMC Canyon is blind spot monitoring, which is not available even on the Denali trim. Blind spot monitoring is a crucial driver assistance feature providing safety and peace of mind, especially for Pacific Northwest drivers, who often face driving on the freeway during dark and rainy conditions, when lane changing can feel like a life-threatening maneuver.
2019 GMC CANYON 4WD CREW CAB DENALI
Base price, including destination charge: $44,795
Price as driven: $48,025
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.