The 2018 GMC Canyon is a solid, highly recommended choice among mid-size pickups for its terrific powertrains, comfortable interior, and refined demeanor.
The 2018 GMC Canyon is a mid-size pickup with aspirations for greatness. It comes pretty darn close to succeeding, in our eyes, so we’ve rated it a solid 6.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Like its Chevrolet Colorado kissing cousin, the 2018 Canyon is on the small end for a pickup. But at nearly 19 feet from bumper-to-bumper in its largest configuration, the Canyon is no pint-sized cargo hauler. It’s available in a wide range of trim levels suitable for just about every need—SL, base, SLE, All Terrain, SLT, and Denali. The All Terrain trim spruces the Canyon up for moderate four-wheeling, but there is no equivalent to the bonkers Colorado ZR2.
This year, the Canyon lineup sees few changes. Leather upholstery is a new option with the All Terrain package and all models gain a windshield washer fluid sensor.
The Canyon can be specified with either extended- or crew-cab bodies, the latter offering decent but not exactly stellar room for a full complement of adults. Crew cabs are available with either a 5-foot-2 or a 6-foot-2 bed; extended cabs offer only the latter. Depending on the trim level, Canyons can be ordered with either 2.5-liter inline-4 or 3.6-liter V-6 gas engines or a turbodiesel 2.8-liter inline-4. A 6-speed manual is standard with the inline-4 on some models. A 6-speed automatic is optional with either 4-cylinder and a high-tech 8-speed automatic is included with the V-6. Both rear- and four-wheel drive Canyons are available. Four-by-fours come standard with a convenient automatic four-wheel-drive mode suitable for use on any terrain, unlike some rivals with off-road-only systems.
While not a corner carver, the Canyon is composed and quiet on-road and delivers up to 30 mpg on the highway when configured just right. Turbodiesels are rated to tow up to 7,700 pounds, making these trucks suitable haulers for most daily uses.
The Canyon primarily differs from the Colorado in the way its trim levels are organized. If you’re leaning toward either of these trucks, it’s worth shopping them back to back to see which one offers the better value. They skew separately at the top end, however, where the Colorado ZR2 is for serious off-road use and the Canyon Denali piles on surprising luxuries.
No matter how you slice your Canyon, these mid-size trucks are a smart buy.