2014 GMC Sierra 1500 Research Click to hide
Following the debut of the Chevrolet Colorado last November at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, General Motors is now introducing a midsize pickup for its GMC line. The new trucks will arrive a few years after GM discontinued the models due to sliding sales and dwindling demand in the segment. So why is GM so keen on trying its luck again?
Indeed, consumers who once bought smaller pickups have since migrated large crossovers, which are more fuel efficient and family-friendly. But by offering better engines, more refinement, and a modern design, GM hopes to re-capture the market. The 2015 GMC Canyon will need to prove its merits as a do-all truck with enough comfort and technology to support the needs of modern pickup drivers.
There is a reason why the Colorado and Canyon are called sister products; they are very closely related under the hood. Expect the same powertrains as in the Colorado: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 193 horsepower and an optional 3.6-liter V6 good for 302 ponies. A diesel version will likely follow later. Like the Colorado, towing is also expected at 6,700 pounds, which is better than the top competitors in its segment.
To differentiate itself from the Colorado, however, the 2015 GMC Canyon will come with upgraded materials and likely lots of chrome accents. We are waiting to see if some luxury Denali elements will make their way into the Canyon.
Who It's For
GM has said that the new Canyon narrows in on a specific group of buyers distinct from customers that may be interested in the Colorado. While the Colorado targets active, sporty lifestyles, GM says the Canyon appeals to a professional crowd. The Canyon may be useful to consumers looking for a more fuel-efficient alternative to bulky full-size pickups for their professional or personal needs. Specifically, GM is targeting premium-minded consumers in the 35-45 age range.
There are few competitors in the midsize truck segment, which is laden with older models in serious need of an update. GMC's main rivals are now the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier, which have both been relatively popular with consumers and commercial vehicle fleet buyers. It also competes, in a way, with the Colorado. Consumers may be driven to the GMC model if they are looking for a little more exclusivity and luxury, and the price tag difference between the two is likely only to be a bit over $1,000.
Expect the same basic features as the Colorado, but with a little more refinement:
- Next-generation IntelliLink with large touchscreen.
- Improved interior with chrome accents.
- Revised grille that resembles the Sierra's.
What We Think
We praise GM for its improvement from the old GMC Canyon, which provided poor fuel economy, a lackluster interior, and little utility—all for a price that wasn't too far removed from the larger Sierra's. GM is taking the perfect opportunity to pounce on the midsize truck segment, where there are few quality competitors. It is likely a good move, and we can see pickup-lovers and everyday haulers alike using the truck. Even though we are impressed, we think the GMC Canyon will be a relatively low volume model, especially when compared to bigger trucks like the Silverado and Sierra.
Back to Auto Show Coverage: Detroit 2014