Last Hurrah for the Second-Generation GMC Canyon

2022 GMC Canyon


The GMC Canyon and its Chevrolet Colorado counterpart are coming to an end. At least for the second-generation models. Introduced in 2015 after a two-year hiatus, the current models helped reinvigorate the midsize pickup truck segment. After an eight-year run and with several new competitors battling it out, it is nearly time for new ones. That said, GMC has made clear that the outgoing model leaves on a strong note.


2022 GMC Canyon Overview


GMC offers the 2022 Canyon in extended- and crew-cab body styles. Rear-wheel drive is standard; four-wheel drive is optional. Three engine choices and four trims – Elevation Standard, Elevation, AT4, and Denali — are available.

Prices range from $29,480 to $50,045, plus a $1,195 destination charge. Numerous packages and individual trim options supply customization.


2022 GMC Canyon profile


Exterior and Interior Highlights

The 2022 Canyon has a strong presence, not unlike the full-size GMC Sierra 1500.  A familiar upright front fascia with a bold grille, distinct lights, and available tow hooks graces this model. The expansive hood pushes back to the windshield, which is held up by upright pillars. The Canyon offers a slab profile, but with a twist as the truck bed tilts slightly upward. Upright taillamps mark the rear.

Choose the Extended Cab model and this one has a 74-inch bed. On the other hand, the Crew Cab has a standard 61.7-inch bed or an available 74-inch bed.

Inside, there is room for four or five. The cabin controls are ordered rationally, along with ample storage compartments, and comfortable seats up front. Excellent forward site lines and decent rear lines mark this model.

The rear compartment is comfortable, although the Extended Cab shortchanges legroom. There is ample headroom in both rows. The front seats offer superior support, while the rear seats are slightly less impressive. The available side steps are ideal for ease of access and egress for most passengers.


2022 GMC Canyon front seats
2022 GMC Canyon rear seats


Technology and Safety

When it comes to technology, the 2022 Canyon comes with a 6-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 7-inch touchscreen display. Wi-Fi connect, OnStar, connected services, Amazon Alexa, satellite radio, and two USB ports are also included.

Among the list of available features are wireless charging and a 7-speaker Bose audio system.

On the safety front, the Canyon falls short. Beyond the rearview camera, the only features available begin with the Elevation trim. Lane departure warning, forward collision alert, and rear park assist are optional. Lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control are not offered.


2022 GMC Canyon dashboard


Engine Choices

GMC offers three engine choices with the 2022 Canyon: two gasoline and one turbodiesel. Depending on how it is configured, towing capacity ranges from 3,500 to 7,700 pounds.

The standard engine is restricted to the Elevation Standard and Elevation trims with rear-wheel drive. This 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. It works with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Optional with the two base trims and standard with AT4 and Denali trims is a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. This engine works with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Available on all but the base trim is a 2.8-liter turbo-diesel V6 engine. This engine makes 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque and works with a 6-speed automatic transmission.


2022 GMC Canyon engine


On the Road


GMC lent us a Canyon Denali trim. We’ll say this right away: it doesn’t match the level of luxuriousness the Denali offers in the 2022 Sierra or Yukon. That said, we fully expect that when the 2023 rolls out, we’ll see an improvement.

We can say that the Denali with the standard 3.6-liter V6 meets our performance requirements. Indeed, its 308-horsepower rating makes it the most power-dense engine in its class. This immediately becomes evident once shifting this truck into gear and pulling away from a dead stop. Copious amounts of power on tap ensures that this truck moves forward with confidence.

On the highway, the V6 offers excellent grunt and superior passing power. The engine is always willing and up to the task. We found the transmission does what we expect it to do: seamlessly serve up cogs without drama.


2022 GMC Canyon badge


Like the Sierra 1500, the Canyon may be operated in one of four drive modes: Auto, 2WD, 4Hi, and 4Lo. When left in “auto” the Canyon behaves more like an all-wheel-drive vehicle with a measure of power shifting to the front wheels as needed. In most cases, we stayed in rear-wheel drive but made the switch to auto on uneven surfaces.

Taking the Denali off-road is a breeze. We don’t have the approach, breakover, and departure angles committed to memory, but the axle articulation lives up to expectations. GMC outfitted our test model with beefy Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires. They are not as chunky on the road as you might think. Moreover, the grip supplied while moving through the mud was excellent.


Parting Thoughts


The 2022 Canyon is a solid player in the segment. If this guy was shopping for one, he’d opt for the diesel, the only one offered in the segment. Keep in mind, though, that the added cost ($4,000) may seem somewhat steep. Regardless, you will come away with a much more robust engine with a 7,700-pound tow rating and a long life to go with it.

Some may be tempted to wait for the new model. If you do, GMC plans to wipe the current slate of engines away in favor of a singular choice. According to GM Authority, that is a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, the same engine powering some Sierra 1500 models. The engine produces 310 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque and will send power to the wheels utilizing a 10-speed automatic transmission. Lastly, an AT4X trim is expected, raising this model’s off-road chops accordingly.


2022 GMC Canyon rear


References


Build & Price: 2022 Canyon | GMC. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2022, from www.gmc.com website: https://www.gmc.com/trucks/canyon/elevation/build-and-price/trim

Next-Gen, 2023 GMC Canyon AT4 Spied Once Again. (2021, December 18). GM Authority. https://gmauthority.com/blog/2021/12/next-gen-2023-gmc-canyon-at4-spied-once-again/


See AlsoBy the Numbers: 2022 Chevrolet Suburban

Photos copyright Stumpwater Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan is a journalist, media professional, and owner of this website. He has an extensive writing background and has covered the automotive sector continuously since 2004. When not driving and evaluating new vehicles, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors.

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