This week I am behind the wheel of the 2018 GMC Canyon 4-wheel drive Crew Cab Denali. It is available in a 4-cylinder Duramax diesel, but my test vehicle has the 3.6-liter V6 with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The 3.6-liter has 308-horses and 275-pound feet of torque. This engine has active fuel management, which means when you don’t need the power, the Canyon is running on just 3-cylinders. The transition is seamless.
2018 GMC Canyon Denali
Let’s take a look at the truck itself. This is the top of the line Denali, but there is also an SLE and SLT. It has the usual GMC Professional Grade look about it, which is bold with an in-your-face grille, squared off fenders, and exaggerated fender flares built into the body. In fact, you have to look hard at this midsized truck to know you are not looking at its big brother, the Sierra. It comes with 20-inch aluminum wheels, and overall, it’s a tough looking truck.
Inside, leather front seats are inviting and comfortable. I would like to see less hard plastic inside, but it is acceptable. There is limited use of wood around the console and on the door panels.
As you look at the gauge cluster, in the middle is a color, configurable driver information center that operates from the heated leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Above the center console and shifter, is Intellilink, an 8” color touchscreen that operates the radio, the Bluetooth, and offers a number of apps. You can call up Onstar, and hook your phone up to Apple Car Play or Android Auto. You can also turn the cab into a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The screen houses the terrific rear vision camera and there is a built-in wireless phone charger and 4 USB ports.
This short bed GMC Canyon comes with a nice list of standard features like keyless entry, EZ lift tailgate, GM’s brilliant corner step rear bumper, sliding rear window, remote start, power windows and locks, spray-in bed liner, chrome step bars, heated and cooled seats, and more.
The Canyon Denali also has a trailer towing package, Teen Driver, back seat reminder, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning.
My review truck has no options, everything you see is standard, but there is a $495 charge for the Red Quartz paint.
Ride and Drive
The Canyon Denali V6 has good acceleration and the ride is smooth. It drives more like an SUV than a truck to me, which is a good thing. I also thought the rear-folding seat offered good legroom, even for adults over 6-feet tall.
Fuel Economy and What You’ll Pay
Fuel economy is OK for a 4-wheel drive pickup at 17 in town, and 24 on the highway for combined 19 miles per gallon.
The window sticker on this truck is $44,790.
As a pickup, the Canyon Denali is actually very nice and it’s easier to drive and park than a full-sized truck. If you want a very capable truck without going all the way to a full-sized one, Canyon should be on your shopping list.