DETROIT – The all-new GMC Canyon delivers the capability expected of a GMC truck, including offering a greater maximum payload – 1,620 pounds (735 kg) – than competitors and the segment’s best trailering rating: 7,000 pounds (3,175 kg), when properly equipped.
Along with topping the ratings of the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma, the Canyon’s 7,000-pound maximum trailering rating is better than all V-6 configurations of the full-size 2014 Toyota Tundra, as well as models with the 4.6L V-8.
“Canyon’s segment-best capability also gives customers who need a higher trailering capacity a smart, efficient alternative to a full-size truck,” Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “It delivers the capability they need in a smaller, convenient package.”
Strong powertrains, including an available 3.6L V-6 rated at 305 horsepower (227 kW) and 269 lb-ft of torque (365 Nm), contribute to Canyon’s capability, but a robust chassis and proven front and rear suspension designs confidently put that power to the pavement.
Canyon’s capability is complemented with great driving refinement, including the segment’s first application of electric power steering. It also offers the segment’s only automatic four-wheel-drive system.
“This is the truck for people who need high capability, but don’t necessarily want the full-size truck driving experience,” said Aldred. “If you’re comfortable driving a midsize sedan, you’ll be comfortable driving the Canyon – even when you’re trailering your camper or dirt bikes on a weekend getaway.”
A trailering package is available for models with the 3.6L engine and includes a trailer hitch receiver, a four-pin and a seven-pin connector.
A strong foundation
Similar to the Sierra's full-size truck frame, the Canyon’s frame comprises three sections - or bays - optimized to support specific vehicle requirements. Higher-strength steels are used throughout the frame assembly for durability and safety performance. Strategic side members’ size and shape, along with cross members placement, result in the high regional and global frame stiffness, which greatly contributes to superior ride, noise and vibration isolation characteristics.
The front frame bay includes the radiator support cross member, engine support cross member and front lower control arm cross member, extending from the front impact beam to approximately the A-pillar area.
With the middle frame bay, boxed side rails support two stiffness-enhancing cross members. Strength is also built into the joining of the front bay to the middle bay, with the front bay’s rails slipping inside the boxed sections of the middle bay by 9.4 inches (240 mm). The side rails are constructed of two pieces of high-strength steel that are welded to form the sturdy box design.
The rear bay boxed-rail sections are joined to the middle bay with an overlapping, shingle-type construction. The rear bay section offers enhanced strength via four cross members, including a robust fuel tank cross member and a strong, single-piece spare tire cross member. The rails are thicker where carrying strength is needed and tapered toward the rear to reduce weight and improve the ride.
Coil-over front suspension
A coil-over-shock front suspension and the segment’s first electric power steering system help give the Canyon a very responsive driving quality, with a very direct feel to driver inputs.
The front suspension uses aluminum steering knuckles that are low in mass and high in strength, contributing to the responsive driving experience and enhancing efficiency. The electric power steering system also enhances efficiency because it does not draw power from the engine.
Additionally, the Canyon has a tight turning radius of 41 feet (12.6 meters), making it easier to maneuver when parking or backing into tight spots, such as garages or campsites.
At the rear, a conventional live rear axle, suspended by two-stage multi-leaf springs and twin-tube shock absorbers, supports the truck’s class-leading capability, while delivering a smooth ride when the Canyon isn’t hauling a load or trailering.
Models with the 2.5L I-4 engine feature a 4.10 axle ratio and 3.6L V-6 models have a 3.42 ratio.
Traction on demand
The rear axle is available with the GM’s venerable “G80” locking differential, which gives drivers a traction advantage when needed and everyday comfort when it’s not.
It reacts in milliseconds in low-traction situations to improve safety and confidence on wet, snowy or muddy surfaces. Without driver input of any kind, the rear axle engages when a wheel speed difference of 100 rpm or more is detected between the left and right wheels, providing instant traction for confident driving. During normal driving conditions, the differential functions as a conventional light-bias limited-slip axle.
The G80 axle is available on SLE and SLT, and standard with the All-Terrain package.
Canyon is also offered with AutoTrac automatic four-wheel drive. It’s a segment-exclusive feature, employing an electronically controlled, two-speed transfer case that allows the driver to shift from 2WD to 4WD. The driver can select four modes, 2WD, Auto, 4WD HI, or 4WD Lo. By selecting Auto mode, the transfer case will operate in 2WD and will automatically apply traction to the front wheels (4WD) when the vehicle senses wheel slippage.
Duralife™ brake rotors
Four-wheel disc brakes, with four-piston front calipers, are standard and feature segment-first Duralife™ brake rotors – also pioneered on the 2014 Sierra. They can offer up to double the service life, which can help lower ownership costs.
They enhance braking performance, too, thanks to a GM-exclusive process that protects against rust that, over time, can lead to steering wheel shudder. It involves super-heating the rotors to more than 1,000 degrees F (560 C) for an entire day in a special oven, where the nitrogen-rich atmosphere promotes nitrogen atoms to bond to the rotors’ surfaces, hardening and strengthening them.
The larger, vented front brake rotors measure 12.2 inches (310 mm) in diameter and are complemented by 12.75-inch (324 mm) rear rotors. They’re optimized for the new Canyon’s mass, wheel size and other chassis dynamics.
Canyon also features auto grade braking, which uses the engine and transmission controls to slow the vehicle on a long downgrade, helping maintain vehicle speed and reducing the need for the driver to use the brakes.
GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering excellence built into all GMC vehicles. The brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC’s highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the first full-size pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model year. Details on all GMC models are available at http://www.gmc.com/, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at http://www.facebook.com/gmc.