2015 GMC Canyon

May 18, 2015 Updated: May 18, 2015

This week I have been playing King of the Road in a 2015 GMC Canyon 4-wheel drive SLT with extended cab. True it’s only a mid-size truck, but any size truck always makes the driver feel a little more powerful than those shorter, more insignificant vehicles easily passed on the freeway. Most Texas drivers quickly learn it’s wise to yield the road to pickup trucks.

The new Canyon is a good-sized truck to drive in the city as well, since its smaller length allows parking in spots where larger trucks or vans might not fit. In recent years there had been a vacuum in mid-sized trucks, but this year both GMC with their Canyon and Chevrolet with the Colorado rushed in to fill that gap.

The Canyon is easy to operate.

The Canyon offers two engine types: a 305 bhp 3.6 L V6, or the 200 bhp 2.5 L inline-4 engine on my test model. The 2.5 DI DOHC engine operated on a 6-speed automatic transmission and obtained decent fuel economy for a truck, with 19 mpg in town and 25 on the highway, averaging 21 mpg. Both models run on regular gas, always a plus for the buyer.

The SLT extended cab featured a six-foot box, a corner step at the rear bumper, EZ-Lift and Lower tailgate, and blackwall all-season tires on 18-inch polished cast aluminum wheels. Projector-type headlamps with LED daytime running lamps and front fog lamps, chrome rear bumper, locking tailgate and wheelhouse liners completed the Canyon’s drive-up appeal. The test Canyon was quietly attractive with a Cyber Gray Metallic exterior and Jet Black interior.

Inside the cab, drivers and their front seat passenger enjoy a 4-way lumbar power seat for themselves while dual rear seats feature under-seat storage. Leather-appointed seats provide a touch of class, along with color keyed carpets and floor mats. There are even visors with illuminated vanity mirrors for both the driver and front seat passenger, perhaps a sign that more women have started buying these mid-size trucks.

Other nice touches include heated seats for the driver and front seat passenger, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and multi-color driver instrument display, steering wheel controls, and soft-touch instrument panel with aluminum trim.

Technology for the Canyon included an 8-inch diagonal color touch display with IntelliLink, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and OnStar system with directions and connections plus automatic crash response and turn-by-turn navigation (one of my very favorite features). With remote keyless entry, plenty of airbags and curtains, a theft-deterrent system, StabiliTrak stability control system with traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes and a Rear Vision Camera, the Canyon is easy to operate.

The MSRP for the test model was $33,855, but the manufacturer added several refinements such as chrome tubular assist steps, Bose premium 7-speaker system, an audio system with 8-inch diagonal color touch screen with navigation and Intellilink, spray-on bed liner, and Driver Alert Package with Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning for an additional $2,590. With delivery charges of $925, the total price for the test model was $37,370.

Jo Ann Holt is a journalist and car columnist based in Dallas and a member of Texas Automobile Writers Association (TAWA).