This week I am behind the wheel of the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4, a 4-wheel drive Crew Cab that is new for this year. It has a special off-road suspension system with automatic locking rear differential, larger tires, and a unique grill with red tow hooks under it.
The AT4 comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 and puts out 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. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Canyon AT4 has the usual GMC Professional Grade look about it, which is bold with an in-your-face grill, 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.
Inside, power 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 stitching and carbon fiber surrounds the center console and gear shifter.
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 is an 8-inch color touchscreen that operates the radio, the Bluetooth, navigation system, a Wi-Fi hotspot, settings, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Scroll to the left and there is a place to add your own apps, and more. The screen also houses the terrific rear vision camera.
This short bed GMC Canyon comes with a nice list of standard features like keyless entry, remote start, EZ lift tailgate, GM’s corner-step rear bumper, sliding rear window, power windows and locks, heated seats, and more.
Rear seat leg and headroom are quite good and rear seat occupants get two USB ports and a power outlet, but no rear air vents.
The Canyon AT4 also has the Teen Driver safety system, back seat reminder, rear window defroster, and folding rear seat with storage underneath.
My review truck has $2,035 worth of options including the infotainment system, Bose stereo, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, and there is a $645 charge for the Cayenne Red paint.
I was disappointed in two things: this is the first vehicle I’ve had in quite some time that did not have push button start, you actually had to put the key in to crank it. Second, for the money, I would think blind-spot monitoring would come with it.
Ride and Drive
The Canyon AT4 has good acceleration and the ride is smooth. It drives more like an SUV than a truck to me, which is a good thing.
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. It will tow 7700 pounds.
What You’ll Pay
The window sticker on this truck is $43,230, a price that is in-line with other midsized off-road capable trucks.
As a pickup, the Canyon AT4 is actually very nice and it’s easier to drive and park than a full-sized truck. If you want a capable truck without going all the way to a full-sized one, Canyon should be on your shopping list.
2021 GMC Canyon AT4
- What I liked most: Ride and drive is terrific.
- What I would change: Push button start and blind spot monitoring should be there.
- MSRP: Base price $40,000 as equipped $43,230 with transportation.
- Fuel Economy: 17 city/21 highway/19 overall.
- Official Color: Cayenne Red Tintcoat.
- Odometer reading when tested: 2500 miles.
- Weight: 4,555 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Compact temporary.
- Length-Width-Height: 224.6” long/74.3 wide/ 70.5” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 21 gallons with filler on driver’s side.
- Towing Capacity: 7,700 pounds.
- 2021 Canyon AT4 in a few words: Great alternative if you don’t need to go to the full-sized Sierra.
- Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance, free first maintenance visit, and courtesy transportation.
- Final Assembly Location: Wentzville, MO.
- Manufacturers website: www.GMC.com