Mixing Country and City in the 2018 GMC Canyon Denali Diesel

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 3/23/2018, 11:44 a.m.
With all the plethora of trucks in the city for the rodeo, I felt like I had been given membership ...
2018 GMC Canyon

With all the plethora of trucks in the city for the rodeo, I felt like I had been given membership to the unofficial truck club with the keys in my hand to the 2018 GMC Canyon 4WD Denali Diesel. Though I felt privileged for my membership, it did not help my confidence any when preparing to review this midsize truck until I took a closer look.

Trucks, in general, intimidate me. Since I am so use to driving small cars, driving big trucks, even this midsize one, put me a little on edge. I am always worried about parking and hitting a side rail. Those are always my initial thoughts until I start driving the truck and then I wonder why I ever had those thoughts in the first place because I feel so comfortable behind the wheel of a truck. Hence was the case in the GMC Canyon. One big reason for my comfort level was because it is a midsize truck. Meaning it was not too big or too small but right dab smack in the middle, making it perfect for me.

First impressions of the GMC Canyon were high. It is a very attractive truck. Chrome is not overly placed. Lines guide the eyes around its natural curves. From a design aspect, the GMC Canyon bridges the muscular nature that men like with the flair that women love. I especially loved all the convenient features that allow easier access to the cabin and bed of the truck in the form of the cornerstep on the rear bumper and sidestep along the sides of the truck.

The GMC Canyon comes in two-wheel or four-wheel drive with short or long bed options. The standard 5.2-foot bed is the longest in its class. So there is lots of space to load up on whatever you need to haul around. Putting those items in the bed of the truck will be easy with the EZ lift and lower tailgate. When towing a trailer is called for larger jobs, aligning the truck with the trailer is made less challenging with the new Active Tow system that is now standard. New trim packages and color palette is also available to boost up the exterior look.

Nothing too outside the normal realm is inside the cabin. Everything is laid out in an accessible and suitable manner for the driver. Whether riding in the front or the backseat, space won’t be an issue. Compared to other vehicles in its class, the GMC Canyon is among those offering the most headroom and legroom space. Not too many thrills are seen on the inside as the GMC Canyon gives drivers the best of functionality and style. Since my review vehicle was the Denali trim level it was equipped with a Bose premium audio system, navigation system, and my favorite feature, an exclusive wireless charging pad. Bye, bye auxiliary charging cord.

Oftentimes drivers will complain about the difficult time they had controlling the infotainment system. Not the case in the GMC Canyon. I found the full color 8.0-inch IntelliLink unit very easy to use. Responsiveness was high so I didn’t have to overly push buttons or tabs to maneuver the screen. Available features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth Technology, and Real-Time Weather and Traffic make the drive and the experience that much more enjoyable.

Trucks, I believe, are made for off-road because I think of them as natural workhorses that need space to work. But when you’re a city girl like me, trucks are safety nets, as I almost feel invincible on the road. It seems people just automatically kind of give you space on the road unless they are driving an even bigger truck. Claiming my rightful space on the asphalt allowed me to test out the power behind the Canyon. In less than seven seconds, the GMC Canyon can reach a speed of over 60mph, extremely quick for its class. Because it is midsize the GMC Canyon performs quite well on highways and byways absorbing the shocks of any bumps in the road. The ride is smooth and handling is excellent. Best of all is the fuel economy, which is expected with a diesel engine.

The 2.8 L Duramax has an increased torque of 369 ft lbs but that also makes it drop in horsepower. I didn’t mind that since I didn’t have to fill up once during my weeklong review and believe you I put some miles on the GMC Canyon. That was most impressive. EPA estimates were blown out of the water considering this is a truck. The GMC Canyon has a fuel economy of 20mpg city and 28mpg highway. How many trucks have that average?

If safety features are high on your list as areas of concerns, the GMC Canyon will ease those. Its scores on safety testing are average. It has keyless entry but not keyless start. StabiliTrak-stability control, driver and front passenger airbags with side curtains, rear vision camera, teen driver, and the driver alert package are all standard.

Base price at just over $43,000, the GMC Canyon is a good value for the amount of truck that you get. I found it to be just right for those who have a whole lot of city with a little bit of country like me. That mix is perfectly made due to the upgrades that come with the Denali trim level. See if the GMC Canyon has the right mix for you at your local GMC dealer or visit GMC.com.