Video: The 2023 GMC Canyon Wants to Eat the Toyota Tacoma’s Lunch — and Here’s How It Plans to Do That

Production should start early next year

  • The 2023 GMC Canyon debuts with a ground-up redesign akin to its Chevy Colorado sibling, including a standard 2.7L turbo engine and more tech features.
  • This truck is physically larger than the outgoing generation, with a wider track and bolder stance.
  • Pricing for the new Canyon starts around $41,495 (numbers are subject to change), with the AT4X Edition 1 carrying a MSRP around $64,000.
    • Reservations are open now.
  • Initial production is set to begin in early 2023, with the AT4X coming a bit later in the spring.

Weeks after the new Colorado made its appearance, here’s its fraternal twin — the 2023 GMC Canyon.

The third-generation Canyon has arrived, and what’s immediately clear in the redesign is a hunger on GM’s part to take on the segment-leading Toyota Tacoma (among others, including the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator) in what is a red-hot midsize truck market. To that end, the General’s new trucks have hit the gym, with a more aggressive stance than the outgoing models. Not only that, but this latest version brings more technology to the table, including an updated 11.3-inch infotainment system, a fully digital instrument cluster, head-up display and even segment-first underbody camera for tricky off-roading maneuvers.

At its heart, though, the old 3.6-liter V-6 engine and 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel are gone. Like the Colorado, they’ve been replaced in the 2023 GMC Canyon by a single 2.7-liter turbo gasser, with 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the Colorado, GMC seems keen to launch this truck with only that single engine spec, whereas its Chevrolet-branded sibling gets the 2.7L in three available states of tune. The new truck also only comes in four-door crew cab, short (5-foot-2) bed configuration. Fuel economy numbers aren’t yet available, but GM touts this engine as a beefier upgrade to the outgoing powertrains, with efficiency improvements to boot. To that end, the active fuel management and stop/start tech, coupled with turbocharging the gas option, should result in better figures. We’ll have to wait and see on that one.

What about the other specs?

As part of its tech overhaul, the 2023 GMC Canyon brings new and optimized drive modes to the table, including Tow/Haul, Off-Road Terrain and Baja for the AT4X (more on that below). When properly equipped, the updated truck can tow up to 7,700 pounds in most trims, including the Elevation, AT4 and Denali. However, it can only tow between 5,500 and 6,000 pounds, the lower of which comes with ordering the AT4X Edition 1 shown above.

Speaking of the AT4X off-road trim, the most hardcore 2023 GMC Canyon brings in dynamic suspension spool-valve (DSSV) dampers like the Colorado ZR2, along with better off-road ground clearance. Elevation and AT4 get a total of 9.6 inches of clearance by way of a 2-inch factory lift, while GMC says the Denali manages 10.5 inches (likely thanks to its larger wheels). The AT4X, as you’d expect, takes things a step further, bringing in a 3-inch lift to raise ground clearance up to 10.7 inches.

How the off-road angles compare

The Canyon AT4X shows it’s gunning for the likes of the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro in its approach, departure and breakover angles. It’s not quite as aggressive as the Colorado ZR2, but at 36.9 degrees you do get a better approach angle on the standard AT4X than the current top-dog Taco’s 35 degrees. The standard AT4, Elevation and Denali’s approach angle is 33.3 degrees. Ordering the AT4X Edition 1 with its special off-road bumper/safari bar combination, though, actually drops the approach to 32.8 degrees. Breakover angle on the top off-road trim is 24.5 degrees (22.3 on AT4), also better than the TRD Pro’s 23.9 degrees. Finally, the AT4X’s departure angle is 25 degrees (again, better than the TRD Pro; Elevation and AT4 are 22.3 degrees).

Beyond all those numbers, the AT4X borrows cues from the Sierra 1500 by way of beefy tires. Here, you get 17-inch wheels wrapped in 285/70-R17 Goodyear Wrangler Territory MTs — a tire which we’ve tested extensively on the Ram 1500 TRX and Ford Bronco. Mind you, the compound will be different here to account for the truck’s curb weight and application (so it’s not identical to what we’ve tested before), but it is certainly a capable mud-terrain right from the factory. Standard AT4s and the Elevation will come on 18-inch wheels, while the more luxurious Denali will ride on 20s.

What you get with the “Edition 1” package

While the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X is a special trim in itself this time around, you can go an even more special route with the Edition 1. That package brings in a different off-road bumper with a bash bar and 30-inch LED light bar. It also integrates a Comeup winch, and you get 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels, front and rear underbody cameras, a reconfigurable bedrail system, a “performance” front skid plate and unique badging on the tailgate.

Now, let’s go into more detail on the interior below:

Looking inside the 2023 GMC Canyon

All versions of GMC’s new midsize truck get a digital instrument cluster. Higher trims get a swankier 11-inch version, while Elevation and AT4 models instead see a smaller 8.0-inch unit. AT4X and Denali also get a head-up display as standard equipment, unlike the lower versions. All trims of the new truck, however, get an 11.3-inch center screen with the latest version of GM’s infotainment software onboard. The new Canyon carries wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, as well. Top-end trims see a seven-speaker Bose audio system as standard fare, while it’s an option on the AT4.

Standard driver assistance features improve with the new model, including automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, a following distance indicator, lane keep assist with lane departure warning and forward collision alert as part of the standard Canyon Pro Safety Package. The Safety Alert Seat — a feedback vibration warning in the driver’s seat — is standard on AT4X and Denali. Available features include the Technology Package, which adds in rear pedestrian alert, adaptive cruise control and HD Surround Vision with up to 10 camera views. The Canyon Safety Plus Package adds in rear cross-traffic braking and blind zone steering assist.

Go for the Denali, and you’ll get quilted leather across the seats, dashboard and door panels, as well as open-pore wood to class things up quite substantially over the outgoing truck.

Check out more on the new GMC Canyon below. The new truck’s initial run is set to start early next year, though you will have to wait a bit longer (until spring) to get an AT4X, if you want one. Pricing starts around $41,495 for the Elevation, while the AT4X Edition 1 will run you over $64,000 — a substantial chunk of change, even against the Chevy Colorado ZR2.