Report: GMC Canyon AT4 to Gain Special Edition As GM's Midsize Pickup Gap Widens

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
report gmc canyon at4 to gain special edition as gm s midsize pickup gap widens

The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon gain arguably overdue refreshes for 2021, ensuring continued consumer traction amid boosted competition from rivals. The midsize pickup segment has grown, and not just in volume.

Joining the GM duo and perennially popular Toyota Tacoma last year was the Ford Ranger; meanwhile, Nissan’s long-awaited Frontier revamp lands for ’21.

Word is that the Canyon, which sees a new AT4 trim for the new model year, will don extra goodies by year’s end. Good news for a truck that’s increasingly playing second fiddle to its bowtie-wearing sibling.

According to GM Authority, the uplevel, off-road oriented Canyon AT4 will gain a Special Edition sometime later in the 2021 model year, potentially adding modest rough-and-tumble goodies from the scuppered Off-Road Performance Edition package expected to appear for ’21.

Should this comes to pass, it’s an opportunity for GM to boost the truck’s margins with readily available add-ons.

Besides the new AT4 trim, which replaces the former All Terrain model, the Canyon sees carryover powertrains and a bolder front end that better mimics the larger Sierra. Since going on sale as a 2015 model, the current-generation Canyon soon saw the gap between it and the Colorado widen as midsize pickup sales (like that of larger segments) took off.

In 2015, GM’s midsize pickup sales amounted to 114,507 units, of which 26.3 percent (or 30,077 units) were Canyon. While Canyon volume stayed relatively stable, reaching a high point the following year (37,449), Colorado sales kept climbing, reaching 134,842 units in 2018, or roughly 50,000 units more than in 2015. Last year, Canyon volume (32,825 units) amounted to 21.2 percent of GM’s midsize truck sales.

At the halfway point in 2020, as GM, like all automakers, weighed the impact of the pandemic-related lockdowns on its sales ledger, the gap grew further. Sales through the end of June fell 36.7 percent for the Colorado and 48.5 percent for the Canyon. In this time frame, the General unloaded just 9,709 Canyons to the Colorado’s 41,273 units, meaning Canyon’s year-to-date slice of GM’s midsize mix was just 19 percent.

With increased consumer spending and improved inventory in the second half of the year, that relationship could change. The new midsizers kicked off production in June, with the models rolling into dealerships in recent days. New faces are good, but in the Canyon’s case, it still won’t be able to offer something on the same level as the Colorado ZR2.

[Image: General Motors]

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3 of 17 comments
  • JGlanton JGlanton on Aug 11, 2020

    I saw two Colorado's working hard on the street during lunch today. Sneaking in and out of traffic, covering themselves behind larger trucks, pulling in on red curbed corners to wait for other cars to make moves... They were both serving as Parking Enforcement vehicles in a busy town center.

  • Akear Akear on Aug 12, 2020

    Why would anyone want such a hulk of a vehicle as a daily driver. I would have more joy owning either a Sonic or Mirage than this monstrosity.

    • Vulpine Vulpine on Aug 12, 2020

      @akear: Believe it or not, despite owning a Colorado now, I agree with you whole-heartedly; today's trucks are much too large, as are the truck-based SUVs built on those chassis. That said, Sonic and Mirage (outside of the newer CUV) are both gone. I don't like large but I also don't feel comfortable in most truly small vehicles (excepting the Fiat 500, which was just bloomin' FUN to drive!)

  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs
  • Sid SB Not seen a Core without the performance pack yet. Prefer the more understated look of the Core vs the Circuit, but both are great fun to drive.
  • El scotto Tesla has one team making EV's because that is all Tesla does. Farley -rolls eyes- decided to split Ford into two huge warring factions: ICE vs EV. Hey Jimbo, it says "FORD" on the buildings.Lord only knows what GM did internally because it's GM. I'm betting it's like Ford pitting ICE vs EVs. With GM being GM every existing division will be divided.Stellantis will keep building Challengers and Rams. Someday they may figure out that Jeep is the fugu fish of the automotive sushi world and unload to some Chinese. EV's? no, not really.If this site was The Truth About HVAC (TTAH) some on here would tell us that central heating and air causes unknown illnesses, will be bad, and cause a degradation of our nation's moral fiber. By golly they shoveled coal and carry ash buckets and that shouldn't change.