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2016 GMC Canyon: Midsize Pickup with Turbodiesel

By Sue Mead, October 31st, 2015

Sales of the 2015 GMC Canyon and its sibling -- the 2015 Chevy Colorado -- have been steaming hot and we can only imagine that the addition of the Duramax diesel powerplant to the lineup will even increase the popularity of The General's pickups.

Manufacturer photo: From a refinement standpoint, the Canyon features triple-sealed doors inlaid in the body sides for improved aerodynamic performance and a quiet interior
Manufacturer photo: From a refinement standpoint, the Canyon features triple-sealed doors inlaid in the body sides for improved aerodynamic performance and a quiet interior

strong>There's nothing else like it: The Canyon Diesel (and Chevy Colorado Diesel) are the only diesel offerings in their class. Other trucks in the segment are the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier, but both are gasoline-powered.

The 2016 Canyon Diesel is priced starting at $24,725 (the diesel option is $3,730). It comes in Extended Cab and Crew Cab versions, in SLE and SLT trims, and in 2WD and 4WD versions; also available is an All-Terrain SLE package and a Nightfall special edition.

We drove the 4WD Crew Cab SLT and appreciated the well-laid-out cabin with premium materials and its good use of space and plentiful places to stow both small goods and larger items, such as iPads. It has a solid ride feel that comes from its fully boxed frame with a coil front suspension. Electric power steering is standard along with four-wheel-disc brakes with long-life rotors. Most impressive is the diesel power that comes on at low rpm and the turbo that adds extra oomph, when needed.

Under the hood is the all-new 2.8-liter, inline-four-cylinder Duramax turbo-diesel that is matched to a Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm and a hefty 369 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,000 rpm, and can also operate with B20 (20 percent biodiesel fuel).

Manufacturer photo: From a refinement standpoint, the Canyon features triple-sealed doors inlaid in the body sides for improved aerodynamic performance and a quiet interior

Notable is a towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds and a payload of 1,506 pounds. Exclusive on all diesel models is the all-new integrated trailer brake controller, as well as a segment-first smart diesel exhaust brake system to reduce wear and tear on steep hills and increase driver control. Hill start assist and hill descent control come with the All-Terrain package.

The Canyon is designed with GMC's premium attributes and "Professional Grade" styling. A bold and beefy grille mirrors much of the classic pickup look found on its big brother, the Sierra. The midsizer has a unique roofline that curves down towards the bed and a lower window line that arcs upward in an attractive fashion towards the rear.

In front are standard projector headlights with LED running lights. The buyer's choice of 5'2" and 6'2" beds come with 17 tie-downs and a standard CornerStep rear bumper making for an easy in-and-out of the back; a factory spray-on bedliner is available. Standard on the SLE are 17-inch blade-patterned aluminum wheels, body-color door handles and mirrors, and an EZ Lift and Lower tailgate. Opting for the top trim brings 18-inch wheels, chrome accents, and the new sliding rear window.

Inside, it's all about comfort and refinement. Canyon's controls and touchscreen are laid out in a symmetrical fashion, centered around the 8-inch display, and in three tiers, with the familiar two knobs bookending a row of buttons. Bucket seats come standard with a full-size center console; leather heated seats are available with SLE and standard with SLT. IntelliLink's 8-inch color touch screen mates with smartphones for access to music, messaging, calling, and navigation. Newly added is Apple CarPlay support that joins the Siri Eyes Free Mode for iPhone, and OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity. Four USB ports, steering-wheel-mounted controls, and six speakers are standard; a Bose seven-speaker sound system is available. A rear vision camera is standard.


Base price $37,450 (as tested: $45,280)
Curb weight 4,698 lbs.
Displacement 2.8-liter
Engine type Duramax turbodiesel 4-cyl. w/DI
Epa mileage rating TBD
Fuel capacity 21 gal.
Horsepower (net) 181 at 3400 rpm
Overall length 212.4 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 369 at 2000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Vehicle type 5-passenger 4WD midsize pickup
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