GMC has been calling itself “professional grade” for over a decade – that message was crafted to convince buyers that GMC trucks were serious work machines and differentiate themselves from Chevrolet. It was somewhat successful. During this campaign, though, an interesting thing happened; the Denali trim package became hugely popular till more than half of all new Sierra/Canyons were ordered as Denali’s. However, what started as a well-appointed truck started to slip (in relation to its competitors) and for much of the past decade, its interior look and décor were lacklustre.
Today that has all changed. With the generational update, GMC is again staking the high ground with Denali.
The other aspect of the Canyon that GMC decided to focus on was its off-road abilities. Already offering the AT4 – a mild off-roader – it has now upped its game with the aggressive AT4X. This truck features:
- Higher and wider proportions than any other trim in the Canyon lineup with a 3” factory lift
- Standard with Multimatic DSSV dampers, front and rear e-lockers, and skid plates for full underbody protection
- A heavy-duty AT4X skid plate, a large transfer case shield, and rocker protectors to tackle the most rugged terrain
One other upgrade to the AT4X is now also available this year. American Expedition Vehicles has collaborated with GMC to create an even more aggressive off-road package. This is the AT4X AEV edition. In addition to the features mentioned above the AEV versions adds the following:
- 35” Goodyear Wrangler Territory® MT tires with an additional AEV in-bed vertical spare tire mount
- Updated front fascia and larger fender flares to enable larger, wider tracks and ultra-high, best-in-class ground clearance
- 4.5” (114mm) factory-installed lift—1.5” (38mm) more than Canyon AT4X
- Best-in-class 12.2” of ground clearance
- Heavy-duty, AEV stamped-steel front and rear bumpers with heavy duty recovery points and winch capable rear bumpers
- Five ultra-high strength, hot-stamped boron steel skid plates (positioned along the radiator, steering gear, transmission and transfer case, fuel tank and rear differential) for optimized underbody protection
- Exclusive AEV beadlock-capable Salta wheels
- AEV branding throughout, including on bumpers, embroidered head restraints, and all-weather floor liners
It’s obvious the direction that GMC is taking with this new Canyon. However, past the fact that they want to own the off-road truck segment when you see the new interior appointments in the Canyon, they also want to lead the market in luxury and conveniences. Frankly, with these equipment updates and interior changes this is more than an average model update.
Inside Canyon AT4X you will see a striking interior design contrasting red and white – a bold choice. Called the Obsidian Rush interior it even comes with optional red seatbelts. Throughout the interior are standard soft touch materials including on the instrument panel. Other features to note:
- Headrests have stitched AT4X logo on the front seats
- Underfoot you have all-weather AT4X floor liners
- Enjoy premium sound with a Bose 7-Speaker audio system
As for new tech, Canyon gives you standard OFF-ROAD performance displays that track, in real-time, off-road performance and present that data on the centre screen.
The selectable drive modes also offer unique information. Such as Terrain mode that shows off:
- Pitch and Roll with Max Scores
- Tire Pressure
High speed Baja mode shows:
- G-Force with Max Scores
- Steering Angle
- Wheel-Slip Indication
- Transfer Case Status (If equipped)
In the Overlanding mode you can follow your climb with:
- Aircraft-Style Altimeter
- Compass with GPS Guidance Indicator (GPS Requires Available Google Subscription)
All this information is offered on a standard 11.3″ diagonal centre touchscreen while the driver information centre is a 11″ diagonal screen. Projected onto the windshield is a 6.3″ diagonal head-up display. Each of these features is currently best-in-class.
The other benefit to these screens is the available 10 around truck camera views – including front and rear waterproof underbody cameras. – All these are displaying, in real time, the obstacles you’re crossing – and gives you that much more information to pick the right line.
New Infotainment software includes available Google Assistant, available Google Maps and available Google Play.
These trucks are currently on sale in Canada.