2016 GMC Canyon SLT Crew Cab Short Box 4WD: A Truck at Its Peak

June 18, 2016 Updated: June 18, 2016

The GMC Canyon is a midsize pickup truck built in Wentzville, Missouri.

The powertrain in my test Canyon SLT consists of a Duramax 2.8 L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel (B20 biodiesel capable) engine governed by a Hydra-Matic 6L50 6-speed automatic transmission. The torque converter is equipped with a centrifugal pendulum vibration absorber to reduce powertrain noise and vibration.

The powerplant delivers a maximum of 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm, and a peak torque of 369 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm, and enables a trailering rating of 7,700 lbs.

The Canyon has a 21 gallon fuel tank, and with a diesel 4WD drivetrain its EPA fuel economy is rated at 20 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined.

Distinct halogen projection-beam headlamps adorn a body sculpted to help fuel efficiency.

Outside, the Canyon’s distinct halogen projection-beam headlamps adorn a body sculpted to help fuel efficiency while creating a quiet, comfortable interior. A chrome grille is flanked by 18-inch wheels, as well as body-color door handles and mirrors.

Segment-first CornerStep rear bumper, plus EZ-Lift and lower tailgate make loading a “no chore” activity. The rear sliding window is standard in the SLT.

In the box bed there are 13 reconfigurable and 4 fixed tie-down locations. Throughout the bed there are other available removable cargo tie-down rings.

The SLT is the fully-loaded trim of the Canyon line, and carries an MSRP of $33,300. But if you are going to use the Canyon as a work truck, I would recommend the $475 factory installed spray-on bed liner, and the $395 Driver Alert Package which includes Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. A 3.42 rear-axle ratio is standard on diesel models. Standard on all 2016 Canyon models is 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Duralife rotors, which can double the service life.

Inside the cab is an 8-inch color touchscreen with IntelliLink infotainment software, which supports Siri Eyes Free and Apple CarPlay on top of the usual features like satellite radio, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, and voice command.

A telescopic steering wheel column makes it easy for the driver to find a comfortable driving position. The leather-wrapped steering wheel allows for a clear view of the soft-touch instrument panel.

The interior of the Canyon. (Courtesy of GM)
The interior of the Canyon. (Courtesy of GM)

You will also admire the leather-appointed heated front seats, illuminated vanity mirrors, cruise control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rearview camera, and 6-speaker audio system.

There is a wide range of standard safety features. Airbags seem to be everywhere.  And the Canyon SLT comes with a remote vehicle start feature that gets you going quickly, and an upgraded theft-deterrent system that helps to keep the bad guys at bay.

Common in GM/GMC vehicles, the Canyon comes with a six-month trial of the OnStar service that includes Automatic Crash Response, Turn-by-Turn Navigation, and more.

A rearview camera, StabiliTrak stability control, and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes all work together to let you know where you are going and help to get you there safely.

The 2016 Canyon looks like a premium truck. It feels good and provides great durability. Wear-resistant materials surround everyone and is easy to maintain. Finally, you will find hidden storage areas, plus well-appointed features throughout the truck.

3-year/36,000-mile Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty
5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty
5-year/60,000-mile Roadside Assistance Program

Cargo Volume: 41.3 cubic feet
Height: 70.7 inches
Overall Length: 212.5 inches
Body Width: 74.3 inches
Wheelbase: 128.3 inches

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at dcaussey@sbcglobal.net