General Motors re-enters the midsize pickup segment with the 2015 GMC Canyon and its business cousin, the Chevrolet Colorado. GM ended its midsize pickup production last year, ceding the field to the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier (Ford ended U.S. production of its Ranger midsize pickup in 2011).
Even before their end nevertheless, the Canyon and Colorado were saddled with inefficient powertrains and subpar interiors and never seriously contested the Tacoma’s supremacy in the section.
2015 GMC Canyon Specs
GMC hopes to start with a blank slate for its brand-new midsize. Early photos of a Canyon prototype expose a midsize body larger than the previous generation.
That’s not a bad thing, especially if the Canyon winds up carrying power just like that of the larger truck, namely a brand-new 4.3-liter V6 and six-speed automatic transmission. A GM exec has already said that the big and little trucks will not share powertrains. That leaves the most likely candidates as the 3.6-liter V6 discovered in the Terrain, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder from the Chevy Malibu, or possibly a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder for a model concentrated mainly on fuel economy. A diesel shouldn’t be ruled out at some point, either.
Whatever the engine and transmission options, the 2015 GMC Canyon will require to offer pulling capability anywhere from 3,500 to 6,500 pounds (for V6 models) to compete with the Frontier and Tacoma. A four-wheel-drive option is also a must, and the Canyon will need to do better than the 25 mpg highway of its predecessor.
2015 Canyon MPG
Interior upgrades should not be too difficult; even incremental gains in products quality would mark a substantial improvement over the last model. We expect the Canyon to offer cabin quality on par with Chevy’s Cruze compact sedan, in addition to the latest GMC IntelliLink infotainment interface and smartphone integration, two elements that would give it an edge over the Frontier’s relatively plain interior.
The 2015 GMC Canyon begins production next year and should arrive by fall. By then, a redesigned Toyota Tacoma should be imminent, and a new Frontier not far behind. The only other real alternative in this group is the Honda Ridgeline, although it faces an unpredictable future and its carlike frame lacks the sturdiness that most truck buyers want. Check back for a full review of the new Canyon, including specs, buying and driving impressions advice as it becomes available.
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