GMC Canyon AT4X Take ‘Roids, Earns 3 Letters

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

It’s a great time to be a fan of midsize trucks with an off-road bent. Ford has finally Raptor-ized the Ranger, we know Toyota has tricks up its sleeve for the next-gen Tacoma, and General Motors has numerous dirt-road variants of its Colorado/Canyon cousins.

The latest? What appears to be an AEV variant of the already-capable Canyon AT4X.

First, a primer. The AT4X is the new king o’ the hill in Canyonland, packing a set of those tremendous DSSV Multimatic dampers which first appeared for pickup truck duty on the Chevy Colorado ZR2 about five years ago. This time around, GMC dealers get to play in the dirt with an equivalent variant, equipped with that trick suspension and a raft of other off-road goodies.

Appending the letters AEV to any GMC AT4X truck is a ticket to equipping the thing with features and tools one generally plucks from an aftermarket catalog. Above and beyond the standard AT4X is gear such as stamped-steel bumpers, accessory winch capability, extra-stout steel bash plates, and the typical smattering of special badges. Aggro-grade wheels and tires further set the thing apart.

Alert readers will recall the last-gen Colorado had a burly Bison package to layer on top of the ZR2 trim. Checking the Bison box gifted the truck off-road items similar to those described for the AEV, though it is worth noting the Bison was introduced first as part of a collab between GM and Dave Harrington, the boss of American Expedition Vehicles. Engineers at The General essentially tossed him the keys to a new ZR2 and told him to equip it as he would if it were his own truck and planning a tough off-road journey. In quick succession, the Bison name migrated to other pickups in the Chevy lineup.

It didn’t take long for an equivalent effort – simply called AEV – to appear in GMC showrooms. If you think that decision was a result of GMC dealers whinging to RenCen for a Bison of their own, you’re probably right. There was a covered prototype on display at a GMC event attended by this author a few weeks ago; it’s safe to say this thing will have presence on the trail.

The introduction of a Canyon AT4X AEV on July 6th will complete a trifecta of burly off-roaders for GMC: the Canyon, Silverado 1500, and Silverado HD can now all be equipped with the package.

[Image: GMC]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

Join the conversation
4 of 18 comments
  • Redapple2 Redapple2 on May 19, 2023

    I hit the US Forest Service roads once in a while. Never the radical stuff. Question. These beefed up for off roading trucks - $70,000 +++. So, this gives you the ability to hit radical stuff > but that stuff can damage your truck> the truck you just paid $70,000.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on May 20, 2023

      @DWFord - the majority of bent frames on Raptors were on modified trucks. The broken axles on Bronco's were mostly modified as well.

      Even if you are in a stock truck or even a heavily modified one, there's always a chance that you might break something, bend some bodywork or scratch paint. It goes with the territory.

  • RHD RHD on May 20, 2023

    Do they come with Offroad-Mode Automatized Self-Driving? No? Then they are behind the times. Forget it!

  • 3-On-The-Tree I don’t think Toyotas going down.
  • ToolGuy Random thoughts (bulleted list because it should work on this page):• Carlos Tavares is a very smart individual.• I get the sense that the western hemisphere portion of Stellantis was even more messed up than he originally believed (I have no data), which is why the plan (old plan, original plan) has taken longer than expected (longer than I expected).• All the OEMs who have taken a serious look at what is happening with EVs in China have had to take a step back and reassess (oversimplification: they were thinking mostly business-as-usual with some tweaks here and there, and now realize they have bigger issues, much bigger, really big).• You (dear TTAC reader) aren't ready to hear this yet, but the EV thing is a tsunami (the thing has already done the thing, just hasn't reached you yet). I hesitate to even tell you, but it is the truth.
  • ToolGuy ¶ I have kicked around doing an engine rebuild at some point (I never have on an automobile); right now my interest level in that is pretty low, say 2/5.¶ It could be interesting to do an engine swap at some point (also haven't done that), call that 2/5 as well.¶ Building a kit car would be interesting but a big commitment, let's say 1/5 realistically.¶ Frame-up restoration, very little interest, 1/5.¶ I have repainted a vehicle (down to bare metal) and that was interesting/engaging (didn't have the right facilities, but made it work, sort of lol).¶ Taking a vehicle which I like where the ICE has given out and converting it to EV sounds engaging and appealing. Would not do it anytime soon, maybe 3 to 5 years out. Current interest level 4/5.¶ Building my own car (from scratch) would have some significant hurdles. Unless I started my own car company, which might involve other hurdles. 😉
  • Rover Sig "Value" is what people perceive as its worth. What is the worth or value of an EV somebody creates out of a used car? People value different things, but for a vehicle, people generally ascribe worth in terms of reliability, maintainability, safety, appearance and style, utility (payload, range, etc.), convenience, operating cost, projected life, support network, etc. "Value for money" means how much worth would people think it had compared to competing vehicles on the market, in other words, would it be a good deal to buy one, compared to other vehicles one could get? Consider what price you would have to ask for it, including the parts and labor you put into it, because that would affect the “for the money” part of the “value for money” calculation. An indicator of whether people think an EV-built-in-a-used-car would provide "value for money" is the current level of demand for used cars turned into EVs. Are there a lot of people looking for these on the market? Or would building one just be a hobby? Repairing an existing EV, bringing it back into spec, might create better value for the money. Although demand for EVs is reportedly down recently.
  • ToolGuy Those of you who aren't listening to the TTAC Podcast, you really don't know what you are missing.