By Nitish Rele
Last year, we test drove the 3.5-liter V-6 gas Canyon, which was a comeback vehicle. For 2016, the folks at GMC dispatched over an all-new diesel for us to enjoy. And enjoy, we did. The midsize truck is equipped with the optional 2.8-liter inline-4 cylinder turbo diesel that packs 181 horsepower @ 3,400 rpm and an impressive 369 lbs.-ft. of torque @ 2,000 rpm. It stays coupled to a 6-speed auto transmission. Tow capacity for our SLT four-wheel-drive Crew Cab version is a significant 7,700 lbs.
Surrounding the chromed three-bar grille are projector-beam headlights and LED daytime running lights. Huge vertical tail lights with a chrome bumper greet the onlooker in the rear. Step inside the lap of luxury to be impressed by aluminum trim on the instrument panel of speedometer and tachometer along with tilt/telescopic steering column, 8-inch color touch screen for audio, navigation and Intellilink readings, auto a/c, overhead sunglass holder, four-way power front seats, rear sliding window, remote vehicle starter and a folding second-row bench. New for the Canyon is Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, which allows you to control apps via the touchscreen interface. Storage space is plentiful with bins and cubicles, plus four USB ports. The 6-ft.-2-in. Long Box can haul 8-ft.-length items.
Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with Duralife longlife rotors, StabiliTrak with traction control, rearview camera, remote keyless entry, hill start assist and hill start control, locking rear differential, two-speed transfer case, driver selectable 2WD, Auto, 4WD Hi and 4WD Lo modes, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system are standard safety features.
On a full 21-gallon tank, the Canyon can stretch all the way to about 550 miles. We averaged about 26 in mixed driving (EPA estimates are 20/29 and 23 combined). The exemplary diesel-sipping numbers along with imposing towing and cargo capabilities make this midsize truck a best buy. Lest we forget to mention that the Canyon packs quite a punch to tackle the rigors of daily driving or cruise the highway.