By on May 14, 2015

2015 GMC Canyon V6 SLE All Terrain (2 of 18)

Today we are running two reviews of the GMC Canyon at the exact same time – one V6 and one 4-cylinder – for your reading pleasure. If there ever was a time to compare the same truck with different powertrains (and two reviewers with different perspectives), this is it.

The last (and only) truck to grace my driveway in an ownership role – a 2008 Ford Ranger – taught me as much about itself as it did pickups in general. The 3.0-liter Vulcan V6, while durable, was as effective as a donkey pulling a container ship for towing. And just because a truck is rated to tow or haul X pounds certainly doesn’t mean it should. There were also times I would’ve rather had an automatic transmission, like when I inadvertently jumped on Connecticut’s Merritt Parkway. In a snowstorm. With a trailer. 3-4-5-4-5-4-3-4-5. Wipe sweat. 3-4-5-4-5-4-3-4-5.

For better or worse, the Ranger did everything I absolutely needed of it: haul, tow and not throw a rod as I traveled the no-stop, shoulderless freeways over Louisiana swamp.

Creature comforts? Fuhgeddaboudit. Crank windows. No A/C. Not even a CD player.

The new GMC Canyon, with its 3.6-liter V6 engine and semi-plush interior in SLE trim, is nothing like my long departed Ranger. And while it’s logical to compare the Canyon to the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier on most fronts, it’s more fitting to put it up against the full-size competition on others.


The Tester

2015 GMC Canyon SLE 4×4 Crew Cab w/ Standard Box (6’2) and All Terrain Package

Engine: 3.6L DOHC V6, direct injection, VVT (305 horsepower @ 6800 rpm, 269 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, Driver Shift Control, tow/haul mode

Fuel Economy (Rating, MPG): 17 city/24 hwy/20 combined
Fuel Economy (Observed, MPG): 17.4 mpg, approx. 75% city

Options: All Terrain Package, SLE Convenience Package, engine block heater, heavy-duty trailering package, wheel locks, 3″ round step bars, rear sliding window, spray-on bed liner

As Tested (US): $38,605 (sheet)
As Tested (Canada): $42,060 (sheet)


2015 GMC Canyon V6 SLE All Terrain (12 of 18)

Dimensionally speaking, the Canyon takes on the American-built Japanese options head-to-head. The 6-foot-2 bed in the tester is just a smidgen bigger than the long bed options available on the Tacoma (6 feet, 1 and 1/2 inches) and Frontier (6 feet, 1 and 19/64 inches). The width between the wheel wells is also the same for the Canyon and Frontier (44.4 inches), while slightly less in the Tacoma (41.5 inches). If you’re like me and would rather load up two sportbikes in the back of a pickup than hook up a trailer and lug around all that extra weight, space between the wheel wells matters. You’d also probably like to close the tailgate if at all possible.

The payload rating for our particular truck is limited to 1,470 lbs which more than enough to take your toys with you on a camping trip. Towing capability rings in at 3,500 lbs or 7,000 lbs when equipped with the optional Z82 trailering package. Compare that with the maximum 6,500 lbs of towing ability in the Tacoma only achievable in Access Cab configuration.

2015 GMC Canyon V6 SLE All Terrain (10 of 18)

Wheelbase dimensions are dead-on across the board as well. All currently available mid-sizers float around 140 inches in long-wheelbase guise. However, even with a similar suspension setup as the more established offerings, the Canyon delivers a superior ride. Not car-like, but definitely within the realm of what one might call comfortable. The typical wheel chatter of a pickup with a light rear-end is virtually eliminated. Further cementing the Canyon’s position within the pack of current trucklets is its overall length. While it might be visually hefty, it’s only within a couple of inches of the Tacoma and Frontier.

 

GMC puts their fully-loaded Canyon right beside a poverty spec Tacoma on GMC.com.

GMC puts their fully-loaded Canyon SLT right beside a poverty spec Tacoma on GMC.com’s comparison tool.

Under the hood is the same 3.6-liter V6 you’ll find in any other GM product. With 305 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque, the Canyon bests the Japanese pair on horsepower but loses out to the Frontier on torque (281 lb-ft). Also, to hit those peak numbers in the Canyon, you really need to give it some revs. Luckily, a fair amount of torque is available further down the curve, so you’re unlikely to need to punch it often. During the week-long stint with GMC’s newest truck, I tallied a 17.4 mpg high score, just 0.4 mpg off the official city number; acceptable when you consider nearly 3/4 of my driving was on city streets.

Sending power to all four wheels is GM’s Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission with a 4.10 final drive (the same transmission is used in the four-pot version with a 3.42 final). Whether it is electronic controls or mechanicals, the six-speed is slow to shift when the Canyon’s accelerator is planted with urgency. However, it does make up for that slowness with smooth gear changes in day-to-day, stop-and-go driving.

Inside the Canyon isn’t airy and open, but it isn’t claustrophobic like the Frontier with its A-pillar placed in such a way that you’re constantly aware of its presence – directly in front of your face.

And this is where comparisons to the Tacoma and Frontier end. The Canyon is smoother, more powerful, sized the same and generally competitive with the rest of the mid-size pack. But, as soon as you sit inside the upmarket Colorado, it makes more sense to treat it like a full-size pickup hit with a low-powered shrink ray.

2015 GMC Canyon V6 SLE All Terrain (15 of 18)

Up front, the dash and seats make you feel as if you’re sitting in a 9/10ths Sierra. There’s nothing wrong with that. I quite like the Sierra interior, especially now that GM has discarded button blanks, a design element also implemented in the Canyon. It’s an exceptionally quiet mid-size truck, too, another inherited trait from its bigger brother. Switches and knobs, particularly the physical HVAC controls, are plain and easy to use. (Thank you, GM.) And the red stitching on the seats and dash – part of the All Terrain package – don’t feel out of place in the dark grey pickup. It is all quite … upscale.

2015 GMC Canyon V6 SLE All Terrain (17 of 18)

Remember how Mr. Cain said Colorado and Canyon sales weren’t having a negative impact on those of the Tacoma and Frontier? I think the sense of being in a full-size pickup when in the Canyon explains it. With Toyota and Nissan, you get a decidedly mid-size truck experience. In the Canyon you get a full-size experience in a mid-size wrapper.

That is until you do anything aft of the front row. The back half of the cab brings you right back to mid-size reality. For starters, if you expect a 6-foot-ish person to sit behind another 6-foot-ish person for a long trip, consider a full-size truck instead. The Canyon won’t be hauling crews to and from the work site anytime soon.

Also, when you flip up the rear seat for more loading space, you will be introduced to a plastic holding area instead of a flat floor. Large objects requiring a level load space are relegated to the outside bed. You can flip down the back cushion of the seat if you so desire, but then you’re just putting seat on top of seat on top of stupid plastic holding area and seriously compromising your cargo volume for taller objects.

2015 GMC Canyon V6 SLE All Terrain (16 of 18)

GMC IntelliLink (called MyLink in the Colorado) is another infotainment system I could wholly do without. Confusing, clunky and slow, IntelliLink is the Vega of infotainment systems. And since GM is going through the trouble of installing an 8-inch screen in my dash, why can’t they just give me navigation? Our tester didn’t have on-screen GPS, a deficit that would force a buyer into making a potentially embarrassing phone call to OnStar for directions to Dildo, Newfoundland. (We tried this during the Silverado launch. The OnStar operator didn’t even fucking giggle. Words cannot describe my disappointment.)

Even though the Canyon one-ups its competitors in almost every measurable way, there’s one fact you can’t escape: it’s as close as makes no difference to $40,000. That’s a lot of coin for a “budget” truck. As much as I like this right-sized pickup – as it fits my lifestyle, at least – I can’t justify spending forty grand on a Canyon when I can buy a decent amount of Sierra, Silverado, Ram or F-150 for the same coin.

That said, if I was replacing my aging Ranger today, the Canyon is still the best option – just not configured like this tester. If I needed something to tow and haul my mechanical mistakes from home to track and back, I’d have this Canyon SLE Extended Cab 4×2 V6 without options for nearly $10,000 less.

Or just wait for the diesel.

General Motors Canada provided the vehicle and insurance for this review.

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127 Comments on “2015 GMC Canyon SLE 4×4 V6 Review – Full-Size Experience, Mid-Size Wrapper...”


  • avatar
    kkop

    “Fuel Economy (Observed, MPG): 17.4 mpg, approx. 75% city”

    Wow. That’s disappointing. I get about the same in My 4×4 Crew Cab Ram with Hemi.

  • avatar
    Scottie

    Good, I can spend 40k to replace my 1st gen tundra. The original 9/10 truck

  • avatar
    Mickiemac1

    I wanted to like this truck but the more I read about it I ended up getting a 2014 F-150 King Ranch last July instead. I know the Canyon wasn’t available then but I would have waited.

    The Canyon is nice enough but it didn’t offer a sunroof and the greenhouse has a kinda ‘pinched’ look when viewed from the front. Overall the truck looks big but is not really big at all – at least that was my impression when seeing one in person for the first time.

    My King Ranch (while not a fair comparison to the Canyon) gets better MPG at 18.2 average with the 3.5 Ecoboost and accelerates like a rocket when pressed. More room, features, reasonable MPG and comfort for about 6K more than the Canyon. Nearly 40K for a mid-size and no sunroof – too much price and not enough content.

    I really didn’t need a truck and the King Ranch is way more truck than anyone needs but it sure does have a nice ride!

    • 0 avatar
      dbar1

      Hey Mickie. I completely agree with your point. I was waiting to get the new Colorado, but when I realized I could get my V-8 4×4 Silverado for the same price and get better mileage (Averaging 19.5 MPG over a year of 70% HWY driving) the Colorado just didnt work for me no matter what.

      The smart thing is that GM isnt discounting these and has been making mostly high level trims so far….I would imagine the margins are keeping this line profitable for now while maintaining the sales on the full size twins (outselling the F150 combined by a smidgen).

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        For all these comments about how their full-sized trucks made more economical sense–to them, it seems quite clear that it’s not the economics that are making the Colorado and Canyon such a remarkably popular pair. For those, the smaller size–even with being old-school full sized–makes better PRACTICAL sense.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          It’s mostly the GM fan-base that want, gotta have the latest all-new GM, and not all serial pickup buyers. They don’t care what they have to pay (or lease payment) to have the 1st one on the block or in town. The came from Impalas to Silverados or anything in between. But next year they’ll move on to the next all-new Camaro, Trax or ??

          Then what?

          At some point, consumers with actual pickup truck tendencies, and with the Colorado/Canyons on their radar will be forced to take a good hard look at their value sense. Even fleet buyers and typical cheapskates that used to flock to midsize pickups will have to consider more practical options. Including Corollas if they don’t need a bed. Fullsize if they do.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      @Mickie,

      You are right. They look huge on the outside but are maddeningly tiny on the inside. Huge disappointment when I finally sat in one.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    My geriatric Frontier is 17.2 with probably close to the same mix of city/highway, maybe even more city. I guess the extra gear is more highway oriented.

    I think once the initial demand dries up prices will fall but I was just shopping this weekend and 42k is a 4×4 crew cab F150 XLT. (52k sticker). If these are selling at close to sticker that is going to be an issue as the initial demand dries up.

    • 0 avatar
      dbar1

      They can charge the premium though as there isnt any competition. The taco and frontier feel like ’90s penalty boxes that they are compared to the refinement of the Canyon.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        True, but based on what they are going for compared to my Frontier I would expect that. I had a couple of 90’s Ranger’s as well as one of the final year hardbody trucks. The current Frontier and Tacoma share none of the “penalty boxiness” of those 90’s trucks. But yes, I finally drove one of the new GM trucks and it is definitely the class of the mid sizers. Of course it was closer in price to the F150 XLT crew cab I shopped than any Frontier other than maybe a pro 4x. 42k on the F150 (52k sticker). The GMC lot wouldn’t come off at all, but there was only 2 on the lot and they were a different 2 than when I drove by the prior week so he really didn’t need to. I like midsize trucks, but I like em’ at around the 22k I paid for my Frontier 4 door. The GM trucks for now are playing in the full sized league and for 2 grand the F150 was in a different universe and would have gotten my money. You can build a cheaper truck on the GMC/Chevy sites, but all the ones I have seen on the lots are loaded up, at least the crew cabs.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      What happened to big AL from OZ?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “What happened to big AL from OZ?”

        About 3PM Eastern Time, you’re gonna be sorry you asked!

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Chocolatedeath,
        The world isn’t flat, it is actually spherical and rotates on an axis once every 24 hour’ish.

        I have driven a “global” Colorado here in Australia and it was not on par with its competition, ie, Amarok, Ranger, BT50, which I have also driven.

        But, the US Colorado Canyon is what GM originally intended for the Colorado until the GFC hit GM’s purse strings and abbreviated the design of the vehicle.

        The Colorado Canyon look like a nice vehicle.

        The diesel should be an eye opener for you guys in NA. It will sell in good numbers and maintain the interest in these two (one) pickups for years to come.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Big Al From ‘Murica – The extra cab fullsize, is the closest cousin to the Crew Cab Canyon. So you’re actually paying more for less truck. And that’s fine for those dead set on a midsizer, but the mainstream may have a big problem with it. Huge problem.

      I was blown away by what they wanted for crew cab midsize, what I 1st wanted btw. So the Super cab F-150 was the clear winner. And I got a V8, still for less cash, which midsizers require in my book.

      The clamshell doors are a big bonus too. Love those.

      • 0 avatar
        Carilloskis

        I looked at getting the Tacoma tx pro baja for the for door they started at 35k and the local dealer wanted “market adjustment” on top of that I got a 5.4l Raptor with luxury package and moon roof for $37.5k so $2500 more to get a Raptor with everything but the 6.2, nav, and man step. It gets better MPGs than the Taco to boot and I have never had trouble parking my Truck, was just in DC and Annapolis last weekend. I don’t think I’ll ever get a mid size until I can get a loaded (leather premium audio, heated and ac seats auto climate control) manual off road pkg, Got to be comfortable when I wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Remember also that this thing has the tow package – including a 4.10 rear ratio.

      That’s great for zipping off the line, and towing, but bad for fuel economy.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        But my geriatric Frontier is a 10 year older design that pulls almost as much, gets pretty much the same mpg with one less gear, and has an engine that is arguably better suited to duty in a truck. I guess I expected more over a decade of development than a nice interior. In fairness I guess the Colorado design isn’t truly new as it has been out in the rest of the world.

      • 0 avatar
        CarnotCycle

        I agree about the final ratio. I have an extreme example of that inefficiency: ’76 Suburban, homebrewed with 454, fed by throttle-body quadrajet, three-speed turbhydro out to 4.10 final. I got the thing from my old man, who built it up from a stock 400 half-ton to haul a six-ton dock queen to smaller lakes in the Rocky Mountains.

        That ‘burb goes from 0-60 quick. It is indifferent to inclines. In Drive, it idles down the road at 15-20 with feet off the pedals. But it gets grouchy going past 70 or so, wants to blow at 85, and gets miserable single digits for gas.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    As this is a midsize truck thread I think you can count on my OZ namesake showing up soon enough…he’s still around.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    at 1/5th the price a 2002-2004 dakota is a better value. not to mention a usable bed if you are 5’2, and can be had with a v8 to boot.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      In fairness the last Dakota I drove with a v8 was returning around 13mpg and they weren’t the most robust trucks. I do agree though, nobody is buying these for value now. Work truck crew cab wouldn’t be too bad but I couldn’t find one when I was looking.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    This is simply one of the ungainly, misproportioned, hideous & ridiculous looking new vehicles sold, both inside (plastics/gauges scream cheap, cheap, cheap) and out (look at the front fascia stacked a mile high, look at the wheel openings and how small the tires appear because of the bloat).

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      I would’t go that far but there is something odd about them in person. None of the mid sizers are winningg any beauty contests though.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        This thing also is less efficient than many full size V6s or even V8s, while not being able to tow as much, or have as much payload capacity, and even more importantly, does not have a “backseat area” nearly as large as a full size pickup has (so it can’t be a do-it-all sedan replacement), while costing damn near as much as the full size, so I struggle to see anything but disadvantages.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Big Al from ‘Murica,
        That seems to apply to the RAM I have seen here, looks like the Koreans got hold of it

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      If you want one of the cheapest interiors and plastics and small tires look no further than the Tacoma!

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I am not a truck guy by any stretch of the imagination. But for me, I am not sure what the point of these new GM twin midsizers is. They are really quite large, if we are keeping track, probably the same dimensions as a full sized truck of the not too distant past. The savings don’t seem to be there in great quantity either. I do appreciate the fact that they are smaller in dimension than the ridiculously sized large trucks currently on sale, but I also believe there is a real untapped market for a “Compact” truck. Nobody seems to be tapping that market. Perhaps you just cannot charge the premium for smaller vehicles and all the automakers would rather rake you over the coals for more cash by moving you into a larger vehicle and cannot take the risk that too many customers might opt for smaller trucks with lower profit margins. Based on the prices of current full sized trucks, I really feel that too many people are needlessly parting with way too much money. The heafty profit margins for trucks are basically feeding the Big 3. Hope gas prices stay low.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Looking them up, the dimensions on Fullsize trucks have been more or less the same for at least 40 years now.

      • 0 avatar
        thegamper

        I just pulled this off the interwebs.

        1990 Ford F150 regular cab: L 210.2″, W 79″, H 72.1″
        2015 Ford F150 Regualar cab: L 243.7″, W 96.8″, H 75.7″

        That my friend….. is epic bloating. I believe you could get an even shorter bed in the 1990 version as well. 20 years from now, a run of the mill pickup will not be able to fit into any garage or parking space built before 2000 and will straddle more than one lane on our expressways. I think anyone who pulls up next to a 20 year old truck on the road today will notice how comically large the average pickup has become.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Uh…No

          The shortest F150 right now is 209″.

          The ninth and tenth gen F-series had versions that were about 200″ long. Ford doesn’t have am F150 wheelbase under 120″ now. That’s the differnce in length. So less than a foot in 25 years…

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Nice cherry picking. The 1990 F-150’s width is without mirrors, while the gargantuan 96″ you cited for the new one is with mirrors. A ’15 F-150 is 80″ wide minus the mirrors. I’m sure that 1″ makes a lot of difference.

          Did you also make sure the height of the ’90 was the 4×4 model? Prior to the late ’80s, 80-90 percent of pickups were 4×2, but since the late ’90s, that figure has flipped to 4×4. Gotta compare apples to apples.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I agree.

      I want a truck that has enough capacity to haul bikes, appliances, yard stuff, camping gear and the like. I won’t haul people–just give me enough space behind the seats for a decent tool box. Overall length should be around 200″ (or a foot shorter than the shortest CO/Canyon). Keep everything simple to keep the price & weight down. No 4×4 or extra towing package or extra tall ground clearance needed–my mom should be able to get in/out without runner boards. Drop in one of the latest crop of 2.5L I4s with 185ish hp to return at least 20 mpg city and upper 20s hwy.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @thegamper
      It is not going to change outside NA, bigger is better

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    It’ll be interesting putting these against the 2016 refreshed/redone Tacoma when they start to hit the lots.

  • avatar
    STRATOS

    These trucks look as aerodynamic as a barn door. Why bother putting in the raked windshield.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      At this year’s auto show, I looked at the crop of smaller trucks and asked every “expert” about the availability of lowering kits, because, you know, why is a smallish truck two feet off the ground? I got a lot of blank stares that day. If these things were a bit lower, they’d probably get noticeably better hwy mileage without any other changes.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        “I looked at the crop of smaller trucks and asked every “expert” about the availability of lowering kits”

        You know that the people who work auto shows are models, right? They run off scripts. They work for different companies every show sometimes. What you did was a bit like going to the CSI set and asking one of the actors what’s up in the DNA analyzer industry.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          I didn’t talk to the models. I talked to the dealer & manufacturer employees who were there. (The local auto show is put on by the local dealers’ association, and they send their own folks to man the booths & are supplemented by a few corporate hands. Very few have ‘booth babes,’ and they are typically just greeters.)

      • 0 avatar

        I’d love to see a loaded-up Canyon that doesn’t give off an “off-road” image. If I bought one, it would never go off-road, instead hitting up all the bike shops and the track while carrying my gear and toys.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Since “everyone” buys 4WD, the suspension is designed for that by default, I’m led to believe.

        Lowering it will screw things up.

        Pickups aren’t actually designed by default to be highway cruisers…

  • avatar

    The Colorado just seems too expensive for what it is. In comparison, the Silverado is a deal. I recently wrote about a Silverado purchase I assisted in and that Silverado ended only being a couple of thousand more than a poverty spec Colorado. It was a WT model but it had a locking rear differential and the 5.3L V8 and a few other options. It also has been averaging about 18 MPG with about 60% highway driving. The payload and towing capacity are larger as well so the Colorado doesn’t make sense at the price points that GM is pushing now.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “…the Colorado doesn’t make sense at the price points that GM is pushing now…”

      It makes perfect sense when consumers show up for a look, are floored, and buy a Silverado instead. Or even an Impala.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Or nothing at all, then go to another manufacturer

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Isn’t it better to take the occasional lost sale to Toyota or whoever, than constantly taking a loss with every smaller pickup sale? FCA and Ford would tell you something different than GM. So would Mitsubishi. Same with Subaru. Mazda. VW. The list goes on.

          Most consumers are extremely loyal and like to stick to one brand and choose their favourites from within.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    A quad cab short bed Tacoma 4×4 TRD package (locking rear diff, skid plates, upsized tires) can be had for about $29k new right now speaking in real world prices. A Frontier Pro-X4 probably even less than that. How much would the Canyon/Colorado equivalent go for after discounts?

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      About 4-5K more currently. Judging by test drives of all 3 trucks they are worth every penny more than the antique Taco or Frontier!

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        But no real improvement in utility or real world fuel economy, and maybe even a regression in a way (less trucky powerband than the old 4.0Ls).

        And antiquated as they may be, the Tacoma and Frontier have proven themselves to be durable and dependable known quantities, which explains why they maintain such solid sales so far into their lifecycle. Heck the same good be said of the departed Ranger. The new GMs have yet to prove themselves. The previous Colorado/Canyon did not really garner much admiration, and for good reason. The I5 Atlas in particular turned into a dead-end fiasco.

  • avatar
    Mikein08

    $38605 msrp?? Do you have to supply your own vaseline??

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Your local GMC dealer will provide you with 1/2 cup of sand and broken glass.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I have a friend who is buying a new 4×4 Silverado with the 5.3 liter, Z71 and towing package (MSRP is 37k or 38k) for around 27k plus TTL.

      He does not work for GM nor any supplier. He is a good negotiator, but told me it wasn’t hard to get near that price from any dealership in Oakland or Macomb County.

      GM, like Chrysler, is literally dumping $$$ on their full size pickup trucks.

      I do not get this vehicle, at this size scale, at this MSRP, with such lesser capabilities than the Silverado or Sierra, at all.

      I’d get a 7/10ths, nicely styled, full bed version, for 80% of the price of the full size brethren, but not this.

      And it really is ungainly looking outside, and cheap looking inside.

  • avatar
    kefkafloyd

    “There were also times I would’ve rather had an automatic transmission, like when I inadvertently jumped on Connecticut’s Merritt Parkway. In a snowstorm. With a trailer. 3-4-5-4-5-4-3-4-5. Wipe sweat. 3-4-5-4-5-4-3-4-5.”

    You’re lucky you didn’t get pulled over by a state trooper, as trailers are prohibited on the Merritt Parkway. But I guess that’s the “inadvertent” part, huh? :)

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Well, it sounds like they fit in the garage, and unlike prior GM trucklets they aren’t engineered specifically to drive people into fullsize trucks. Many a poster here has begged for smaller pickups; let’s see whether this is a real market or a brown manual diesel wagon thing.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Judging by how fast these are flying off the lots I would say they are quite successful currently.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    This is definitely more of a lifestyle vehicle than it’s larger brethren even in PlantiumKingLimited trim. I can see it being popular with the mountain bike, dog and kayak crowd.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Won’t they just buy a Renegade or a Subaru though? Or hell, at this price, a Ridgeline.

      • 0 avatar

        I wouldn’t buy any of those and consider myself part of that “lifestyle” crowd.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        I love and hate the Ridgeline.

        Its ingeniously placed in its capability. I know its not a “real truck”, but for me, I don’t offroad, it will tow a nice little camper, haul bikes, haul the odd bulky load or help someone move, all with a very car-like appointment. But a) the looks, b) the pricing which makes the twins look logical and c) the options availability (top trim for Bluetooth? screwoff) have always ruined it for me.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Apparently the next-gen Ridgeline will do away with the ungainly “sail panels.”

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I don’t mind the sail panels/buttresses/what have you, I think they are rather nice on the Avalanche, Escalade EXT, and Fiero GT, but why isn’t the top of the box flat?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The XJS buttresses were goooood.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The interior and “chunkyness of buttons” in the Ridgeline always put me off a little bit. It was like they couldn’t decide whether to make it look like an Acura inside (seats, wheel) or if they wanted to mimick the Element more (plastic, big knobs). They should have made it a little more serious in there, Honda people want car interiors.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        Ridgeline? What a pathetic vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Have my eyes on a 3500 lbs, ultralite 15 ft hardsided trailer in a year or so. I so much wanted one of these to be the tow vehicle but they are so flawed. JGC, here we come.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    I’m surprised that no one else has commented on the tiny fuel mileage between the two trucks in these tests. You certainly don’t save much fuel cost by choosing the four-banger….

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I had the chance to sit in a new Colorado yesterday. I have to echo the comments made by Mark.
    I sat in one with the “luxury” package. The interior was very roomy and everything was laid out nicely. The seats were more firm than the one’s in my F150 but not uncomfortably so. I have noticed that generally about GM pickups.
    The thing that deflated my lovefest with the Colorado was the back seats. I had set the front to where I was happy and there was very little room in the back. My boys are 11 and 13. It would be cramped for them. They’d turn into BMW’s (bitch & moan whiners) on a long trip for sure. Add to that 1 Labrador retriever and a rat dog with a nervous condition. They ride in the cab in the winter. That is the only killer for me, not quite enough room for my family in the back.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @Mark,
    Good write up. You could of wrote more about off roading etc. Why is it that in the US you guys review 4x4s, but rarely off road with them? I find this odd.

    I do agree the new midsizers offer a much more dynamic vehicle and really can’t be compared against the older midsizers.

    As you stated, these could be measured against a full size 1/2 ton and for that very reason they will sell. They are much cheaper than a full size if one goes by the manufacturers recommended retail pricing.

    I did read with interest many of the comments here regarding, FE, size, etc in comparison. But these people are the people who super size at McDonalds. There is one blatantly obvious reason, one is a full size and one is a midsize.

    I love reading those “I have a full size and get better FE out of EcoBoost F-150 or a Hemi Ram”. What jokers these guys are. They obviously drive with limp d!cks.

    As for pricing, GM with the Canyon and Colorado will be getting very good money for them whilst the demand is there for them. It isn’t that they are overpriced, it’s they are in demand.

    So, if a full size can be bought at a competitive price, then obviously supply is outstripping demand. Simple Economics 101.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      “Why is it that in the US you guys review 4x4s, but rarely off road with them?”

      Because crew cab trucks are our full sized sedans. People want 4×4 to get where ever they need to go, but most don’t “offroad” their 4×4 vehicle. Most people don’t take their sports car or sporty car to the track either.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      “I did read with interest many of the comments here regarding, FE, size, etc in comparison. But these people are the people who super size at McDonalds. There is one blatantly obvious reason, one is a full size and one is a midsize.”

      The crew cab Colorado is less than a foot shorter than the F150 SuperCab. The extra few $1000 it costs to get into a SuperCab, or GMTK2XX, is money well spent.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @bball40dtw,
        I do find it amazing when you always spin a Ford ad in your comments.

        So, what is the trim level of these vehicles you speak of?

        What is the cost of a Colorado with the same trim level.

        You speak the truth, but yet it lacks sincerity.

        Don’t become a Pch101.

        Be overt and honest, it’s unbecoming of you.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I used the SuperCab as an example becuase it is a popular product and I know the demensions. Use the 230″ Silverado Extended Cab against the 225″ Colorado if you want.

          I’m comparing a bone stock F150 XLT 4×4 to a bone stock Colorado LT 4X4. The difference in MSRPs is between $3K and $4K. That’s the 3.6L Colorado vs the 2.7TT F150.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @bball40dtw,
            Why is a F-150 a better vehicle?

            Because it is bigger????

            Is a Camry better than a Corolla, there isn’t much in them either from judging your comment.

            Better still why isn’t everyone driving HDs?

            There is only a few grand in them as well.

            Your comment is of little value when put into perspective.

            A V6 Colorado Canyon will do what 75% of pickup buyers expect from a pickup and maybe even a little more.

            They have refined them to be competitive now with a full size.

            It doesn’t mean all will buy a Colorado Canyon, but it will make more consider one.

            Hence, the sales they are receiving.

            Bigger isn’t always better or even cheaper.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            As much as I despise GM’s management/executive structure, they’ve not managed to mess up the Silverado/Sierra with the 5.3 liter powertrain, and I’d take that proven truck over any F150 any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DeadWeight,
            I do have some concern over the 2.7 EcoBoost’s longevity.

            The engine is a delight to read about.

            What does worry me is the power vs the construction of the engine, ie, the two part block.

            Combine this with the low friction bearing surfaces, minus the bearings and using a film measured in microns.

            Time will tell with the engine.

            Also, the engine was designed not for the consumer, but CAFE and the EPA.

            So in “real life” driving it isn’t offering the FE as advertised.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Don’t get angry AL.

            I never said it was better. I think the Silverado and F150 are better vehicles than the Colorado, but that’s my opinion. I was just explaining that Colorado is extremely close to full size.

            I personally don’t think that the Colorado is anything but a full sized truck with a different name. It’s exterior sure as heck isn’t midsized.

            And remember, I’m on record saying that I’d buy a crew cab Ranger if it was sold in the US. Make mine a mini-Raptor with the 2.7TT. The T6 Ranger is smaller than the Colorado, which I like.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Come on Al, bball is one of the most honest commenters around. We all know about his Ford connections, but he doesn’t bash anyone over the head with them. He uses his knowledge to add value to the site.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Whoa do we have a problem here?

            Pimpbot 5000 will cut fools as need be. Nobody messes with my homeys.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Thanks Dave and 28. I appreciate it.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @28-Cars-Later,
            I actually don’t mind discussing views with bball.

            But, his comment on the difference in the Colorado Canyon for their acceptance is not any different than a comparison between a full size 1/2 ton and a HD.

            The difference is as Mark pointed out in his article, there is an overlap with the two.

            No different than the overlap with a 1/2 ton to a HD.

            What I’m stating, as I’ve always stated the new midsizers are becoming competitive.

            bball, alluded to “otherwise”.

            He is quite honest. But, he alludes to Ford quite often. It might be his familiarity of Ford’s products.

            I don’t have any issues with bball, we do converse regularly, except at times, to me, anyway, they appear to too “Ford”.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          Based on my shopping last weekend I was within 3/grand on similarly equipped Colorado versus 2015 F150. That wasn’t serious haggling and only 3 dealers (Ford, Chevy, and a Buick GMC place). The F150 was a lot more truck. It stickered at 52ish but the dealer was at 42 by the time I moved on. Every now and then I get to wanting something nicer than my truck but after I do the math and sleep on it I come around. I’m holding out for the next gen Nissans with the diesels.

    • 0 avatar

      “Good write up. You could of wrote more about off roading etc. Why is it that in the US you guys review 4x4s, but rarely off road with them? I find this odd.”

      Not sure about the US. I live in Canada. But, to answer your question, it’s simple: I’d love to have a mid-size truck but I would never take it off-road. I am more interested in how it would haul my other off-road toys to the trail. You can have much more fun on a dirt bike through the bush than you can in a $40,000 pickup you don’t want to scratch up.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Mark Stevenson,
        I would second Big Al from Oz’scomment. Having a 4×4 vehicle here and not taking it Off Road, would be like buying a new car , parking and leaving it in the Garage

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          What are you talking about. You can buy a truck for it’s utility and all weather capablity without taking it offroad. Just because someone doesn’t use their truck in the manner in which you would doesn’t make it the wrong answer.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @BBall,
            Then they would get a 4 x2, instead or a car/ truck Ute

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Because I live in Michigan where there is snow in the winter. I’ve driven unladen 4×2 trucks in the winter here, and I greatly prefer something with 4×4. I have to go to rural areas (wife’s family) in inclimate weather. 4×4 is helpful on an unplowed, rutted, or unkept dirty road. I wouldn’t consider that going off roading, but 4×4 is welcome.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @RobertRyan,
            The US has a much larger 4×2 pickup market than ours in comparison.

            There isn’t as many opportunities in the US to off road like we do.

            The weather restricts as well. National Parks are treated differently. We can off road in national parks, we can drive basically from any capital city to another almost completely off road.

            We can even drive across the nation off road, diagonally, top to bottom, etc.

            The US/Canada would be better for RV’ing. Australia you could do in a couple of years. It would take many years to do the same in the US and Canada.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            RobertRyan – 4×2 pickups in Canada are as rare as dissenting polite retorts from Pch101.

            @BigAl – I suspect that Canada and Australia are similar when it comes to backcountry travel . I could get to most points in BC with minimal use of paved roads. In BC there are 45,000 km of paved highways but 367,000 km of gravel industrial roads (logging, mining, ranching etc.).

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Lou_BC
            Great definition of “rare” They do use Ford and Holden Utes Off Road a fair bit, in fact they make pretty good Rally vehicles with their light trays despite their 2WD
            Yes I get the impression, that a lot of Canada is similar to Australia

        • 0 avatar

          Uhhh, Canadian winters are pretty damn bad. I’d rather the 4×2 personally but I can see how someone would want a 4×4 and never take it off-road.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          More akin to buying a sports car and not taking it to the track. Every 4×4 needn’t be a rock crawler. I needed to occasionally lock the hubs to get to my favorite fishing holes. Following this logic I could say that unless you need the winch and armor for the rockers you aren’t really offroading anyway. Plenty of uses for 4×4 on work trucks that never hit the trail. My old 80 series had a solid front axle, front and rear lockers and was amazing off road. My Frontier, even in pro 4x trim had I opted would be hard pressed to follow it for one thing…break over angle. Crew cab trucks love to hang on those long rocker panels.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Mark,
        So, you’d buy one as a toy hauler, it should suffice.

        I just want to know how poor the Canyon would be with that long wheel base.

        Maybe a Maloo with the supercharged 6.2 might be better for you. You could also take it to the track, drags, etc. More versatile for you needs.

        We have guys who do that, haul bikes and quads.

        I’m more into off roading, or I should state off road touring.

        I got the bug for that in the NT.

        A pickup/ute write up here in a 4×4 requires a large off roading comparison. The off road write up can actually make or break a pickup/ute/SUV here.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Big Al from Oz – “Maybe a Maloo with the supercharged 6.2 might be better for you. You could also take it to the track, drags, etc. More versatile for you needs.”

          Focus………..focus………..

          Mark is Canadian……………. no Maloo’s here.

          One more point…….. any comparison test off-road cannot be done FAIRLY with OEM tires. The same can be said for any on-road or track test.

          • 0 avatar

            We actually ran into this tire issue with the F-150 winter test here in Canada. The trucks were shod with BFGoodrich KO2 rubber – not a cheap tire at all and certainly not what the majority of F-150 owners would pick for a winter tire (for the record, it’s an all-weather tire).

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lou_BC,
            Do you really think I didn’t know that you guys in Qubecistan don’t have Holden’s????

            Boy, Lou, I gave you more credit than that.

            And the topography and weather??

            Come on Lou, give people some credibility.

            Also, if you read my comment and are aware of Mark Stevenson, he stated previously his liking for a Maloo and his he called his dog after a ute.

        • 0 avatar

          I’d love to have a Maloo. That’s why my dog’s name is Maloo. Maloo Maloo Maloo.

          I remember Mercedes-Benz taking the G-wagen down there and almost all of them failing in the outback. Good times.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Mark. If I recall, that was the purpose of the MB test, to break the G Wagens as part of MB’s development of the vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Woah, more info on the G wagen outback torture testing? I assume these were the G290/350 sorts of trucks and not the blinged out G500 variants with huge rims and thirsty gas engines.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Big Al from Oz – a 4×4 option does NOT mean it is an off-roader.

      To question this………. well………. to quote you…… ” I find this odd.”

      If they were handed the keys to a ZR2, a Rubicon Wrangler, a Raptor, a Power Wagon etcetera then that would be a valid comment to make.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Big Al – another point is that most people do not “off-road” their 4×4 vehicles. I’ve “off-roaded” my 20ft. long F150 more than both Wrangler Unlimited Jeeps on my street. Same can be said for most Power Wagons or Raptors I see BUT individuals who travel the backcountry or do more hardcore off-roading are rare. They are a niche. Guys who go off-road for work are usually in HD pickups or in commercial vehicles i.e. International, Freightliner.

        Canada and the USA are vast areas with a huge difference in climate and topography. Most buy 4×4’s for piece of mind.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Lou_BC,
        Maybe that’s why you guys don’t get skid plates as standard under your 4×4 pickups. You just don’t off road.

        Also, when I build 4×4 pickups using US sites it seems most anything that is a necessity for a 4×4 is an option or in a 4×4 option package.

        So, in effect you guys a significant more for a 4×4 than we do, on average.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Big Al from Oz – there are multiple definitions or degrees of “off-roading”.

          No sense adding weight with skid plates if the reason why a guy uses 4×4 is winter driving or getting his boat up a greasy cement boat launch.

          Most “build your own” sites list virtually every option separately and sometimes fail to delete bundled options. In some respects this is deceptive advertising by auto companies since it gives the impression that you can tailor a truck any way you want.

      • 0 avatar

        Yup. I’d be jumping the Raptor all over downtown.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Mark Stevenson – most Raptor’s I see jump speed bumps. Posers gravitate towards any vehicle with credentials. I used to see the same thing with sport bikes. The colour-matched bike/helmet/leathers crowd usually have chicken strips almost as wide as the 190.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the twins are ugly. If the Canyon was truly a 7/8th Sierra, I’d be all over it. I really like the front end of the Canyon, (not Colorado though,) but the high, upward sweeping beltine and curved box gap are just wrong. Then you get inside, and theres none of the abundant space promised by the exterior. I don’t even care if they drive well, because they fail at function.

  • avatar
    ilkhan

    I’d rather wait for the new Tacoma than the diesel GM twin.
    Damn they ugly.

    I’d still rather buy a new F100 (take the F150, shrink a foot out of each dimension and limit it to the 3.5L V6 and/or 2.3L EB and the 3.5EB , drop the price by $5k) and be done with it.
    The F150 has plenty of space to trim that much fat without impacting ruggedness or capacity at all.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      ^^^ this. You could pull a foot out of the rear seat foot well and it would still have more room than my truck back there. One could lose almost a foot out of the middle by ditching the stupid in a truck console and floor shift. I’d rather see the truck you describe than the Ranger. However, the business case isn’t there. Why take away sales of the F150 with a lower margin truck and don’t forget, the F100 was dimensionally the same as the F150. I’d like to see a no BS built for the US market mid size truck though.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @ilkhan,
      I’m really keen to see what Toyota have done with the Taco.

      I do think the Taco will be quite a different beast than the current Taco.

      I’m also keen to see if the Tundra is coming with the Cummins ISV V8. I have read this is quite possible.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @BAFO – The next Tacoma is just a re-skin of the current, plus a new V6, finally. But it’s the Titan that’s supposedly coming with a Cummins V8.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @DiM,
          The Taco isn’t just a reskin.

          It’s also receiving a drivetrain change.

          I’d bet my balls the suspension will be changed. Even I’d bet the body’s shock mounting system will go to hydraulic mounts.

          NVH, engine/drivetrain, suspension, chassis, etc, will all be upgraded and modified.

          The new Taco will no be like the old. It will not survive. The market is changing rapidly.

          The Titan is supposed?????? Where have you been. It is going.

          There was talk the next Tundra is looking at the ISV Cummins also, not just Nissan.

          You claim to know it all regarding US pickups and you don’t know this information????

          I wonder if you just learn what you read from others’ on these sites.

          Use Google, it’s your friend and probably a little more accurate than listening to Pch101, Scoutdude, Hummer, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Same Tacoma plus updates it should have had a decade ago. Except it would still be my 1st choice either way, if I had to get a midsize. I don’t even mind the drum brakes that it’s keeping in the refresh/re-skin.

            But the time has passed for diesels. In a 1/2 ton and under, just plain silly. No way a diesel Tundra will happen. The Titan is struggling for a niche, so maybe it’ll happen.

  • avatar
    golftdi

    Was it supposed to say Canyon in this paragraph? I assumed GMC was more upmarket than Chevy.

    “And this is where comparisons to the Tacoma and Frontier end. The Canyon is smoother, more powerful, sized the same and generally competitive with the rest of the mid-size pack. But, as soon as you sit inside the upmarket Colorado, it makes more sense to treat it like a full-size pickup hit with a low-powered shrink ray.”

  • avatar
    Gedrven

    “Mid-sized”? Who’re you kidding, this thing is bloated and enormous. The front end especially looks like something that was pulled (slowly) out of a strip mine and shinied up to be a prop in some sci-fi movie.

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