The GMC Canyon is hitting the trail in fresh duds for 2023.
General Motors' premium midsize truck gains a longer wheelbase, new engine and more rugged attitude with an all-new, AT4X off-road trim. The upgrades mirror those found on its twin Chevy Colorado pickup (with which the Canyon shares a ladder-frame platform), but the Canyon steps up the swagger with more tools, more interior décor and a range-topping Denali tuxedo trim.
The Denali dresses up with a fancy chrome grille, 20-inch rims, and quilted seats for a night out at the country club. But it's AT4X that really sets the tone for Canyon's "high and wide" theme. The Canyon is wider, higher — and higher priced — than the previous model with the entry Elevation model starting at about $40,000 (compared to the previous generation's $28,595) and the AT4X stickering at $63,350.
The previous generation Canyon's off-road AT4 trim rode in the shadow of Colorado's tree-chewing ZR2 off-roader that brought Multimatic shocks, twin-locking differentials and gnarly Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain rubber.
"GMC is flexing the might of our off-road muscle," said GMC Global Vice President Duncan Aldred of the AT4X trim that first dressed the Sierra full-size pickup.
For 2023, AT4X catches up with Chevy's ZR2 offering on all counts — then adds a standard front winch for when you get too deep in the mud. Integrated into the front bumper with a front bash and light bar, the COMEUP winch leads a comprehensive re-imagining of Canyon design. The grille is a departure from the traditional, chrome-framed GMC design — the grille integrating with bodywork and standard LED headlights to emphasize the pickup's 37-degree approach angle.
So focused is Canyon on off-road that even Denali ditches its front air dam. Denali emphasizes off-road toughness with its high chin and front bash plate. The AT4X has three skid plates in all to complement its 10.7-inch lift.
All four trims of Canyon — including the base Elevation and AT4 models — get a widened, 3.5-inch track over last year's model for better off-road balance. The widened track is accentuated by big, blistered steel fenders on the Canyon for a muscular look. The fenders are highlighted by yellow lights — usually found on heavy-duty tow rigs — that allow drivers to better locate their fenders in the dark off road.
Vehicle width is complemented by Canyon's 3.5-inch longer wheelbase to smooth the ride on-road.
"That extra length means that benefits the AT4X, with 33-inch all-terrain tires, to ride better on-road as well as off-road," said Cory Taulbert, Canyon performance variant manager, at a media preview.