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2018 GMC Canyon

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/21/2017 Motor Trend Staff


You'll Like

  • Excellent ride and handling balance
  • Fuel efficient and powerful diesel engine option
  • V-6 engine offers quick acceleration

You Won't Like

  • Eight-speed automatic is reluctant to downshift
  • Denali trim still lacking features for a luxury model
  • No automatic emergency braking

New for 2018

The 2018 GMC Canyon is mostly unchanged, save for the addition of a leather upholstery option on the All-Terrain trim.

Vehicle Summary

Slotting below the Sierra 1500, the 2018 GMC Canyon is the brand's midsize truck, and it's available in rear- or four-wheel drive configurations. Crew- and extended-cab models are available. However, the short bed is only available in the crew-cab variant.


A 2.5-liter I-4 with 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque is the base engine, and it can be paired to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. There's also an optional 3.6-liter V-6 with 308 hp and 275 lb-ft paired to an eight-speed automatic or a 2.8-liter turbodiesel I-4 with 186 hp and 369 lb-ft that comes exclusively with the six-speed automatic. The Canyon can haul up to 1,605 pounds of payload, and when properly equipped, the 2018 Canyon can tow up to 7,700 pounds.

EPA fuel economy ratings for the base gas four-cylinder 2018 Canyon are 20/26 mpg city/highway with rear-wheel drive and 19/24 mpg with four-wheel drive. The V-6 is rated at 18/25 mpg for rear-drive models and 17/24 mpg for four-wheel-drive-equipped trucks. Diesel-powered Canyons are the most efficient at 22/30 mpg for rear-drive trucks and 20/28 mpg with four-wheel drive.

The base trim of the 2018 Canyon comes with a rearview camera, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, 16-inch alloy wheels, and Bluetooth connectivity. Higher trim levels can be had with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, alloy wheels up to 20 inches in diameter, a Bose premium audio system, navigation, heated and ventilated front seats, wireless device charging, a heated steering wheel, remote start, and a 4.2-inch multi-information display.


The NHTSA gave the 2018 GMC Canyon a four-star overall score (out of a possible five stars). The IIHS has yet to crash test the 2018 Canyon, but it gave the truck a Basic rating for front crash preventionbecause it's available with forward collision warning. (Superior is the highest rating for the front crash prevention test.) On SLE and higher trims, the Driver Alert package also adds lane departure warning in addition to forward collision warning.

What We Think

In a 2017 First Test of a Canyon Denali, we said that it is nearly a second quicker with the new V-6 engine and eight-speed automatic, hitting 60 mph in 6.8 seconds and the quarter mile in 15.2 seconds. However, the transmission is reluctant to shift down at highway speeds, meaning you need to floor it to force it to do so. For a truck, the Canyon offers a nice ride comfort and handling balance. The Denali trim is still missing featuressuch as fully power adjustable seats and a blind-spot warning system, both of which are available in some of its competitors.

The diesel-powered Canyon is slower to accelerate, but the generous amount of torque available gives it better hauling capabilities and superior fuel economy. On the frustration test, the Canyon with the diesel engine didn't feel stressed, and its ride remains comfortable regardlesswhen its loaded or empty. Steering feel is also surprisingly precise, as we noted in a 2016 First Test, and it complements the car's well-sorted chassis that gives it great handling and minimal body roll.

Cool Fact

The GMC Canyon distinguishes itself from the Chevrolet Colorado with an upscale Denali trim that features a unique chrome grille and more premium appointments.

Key Competitors


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