The 2016 GMC Canyon is a fantastic alternative to a mid-size pickup. Because not everyone needs a full-size pickup, the GMC made the Canyon to have a smaller scale, but strong capabilities and a more attractive price tag than the full-size options. The 2016 Canyon also has a diesel option for a fuel economy that is superior to many available pickups while still providing the power you would need.
For 2016, the Canyon has not changed significantly from the 2015 model. The new and notable features this year are the optional four-cylinder diesel engine and the updated IntelliLink interface that now supports Apple Carplay. The latter is a fairly handy new feature that converts the Canyon’s touchscreen into a version of your iPhone’s screen. Unfortunately, the same features are not available for other smartphones.
While you may not be able to customize the IntelliLink to suit your favorite phone, GMC offers several options to tailor the Canyon to your needs. You can select from four different trims: SL, Canyon SLE or SLT, a 4-cylinder, a V6 or turbo-diesel engine, 2-wheel or 4 wheel drive and Crew Cab or Extended body styles. The version I tested was the Crew Cab model with the 2.8-liter turbo-diesel 4-cylinder engine with 4-wheel drive. The diesel option provided an average combined total of 23 mpg, which is impressive when you consider the same engines, when fueled by gasoline, have an average combined fuel economy of 17mpg.
Although fuel economy is a crucial aspect to consider when shopping for any vehicle, the most important feature when considering a pickup is arguably its towing capacity and power. The 2016 GMC Canyon is capable of towing 7,600 pounds. Which is plenty—enough to haul a large camper or boat. When fitted with the turbo-diesel engine, the Canyon also provides abundant power, boasting 181 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. When driving the Canyon, I found it to be adequately responsive and easy to maneuver with very accurate steering.
As far as aesthetics, GMC has aimed to make the Canyon more upscale looking by adding bright chrome accents to the exterior and a strong, angular design. The Canyon’s interior is lined with a contrasting tan and brown color scheme with an option of cloth or leather upholstery. The control panel is easy to use from the driver’s seat and buttons are easily decipherable. The Canyon’s seats are very comfortable and plush with sufficient support in the front and back seat. While the back seat lacks a little headroom, it’s comfortable enough for most adults.
For 2016, GMC did not change much of its well-received midsize pickup and that may have been for the best. The Canyon provides power, style and performance in mid-size package that can be customized in several ways to suit your lifestyle. The new turbo-diesel option adds the bonus of great fuel economy, which is tough to come by when looking for a powerful pickup. Its comfortable interior, attractive aesthetics and performance abilities make the Canyon a fantastic midsize pickup.
The MSRP for the 2016 GMC Canyon starts at $20,955.