Save money. Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find the best local prices on the Canyon.

MSRP: $22,200 - 44,200

2019 GMC Canyon Review

The 2019 GMC Canyon offers excellent towing and hauling capability and provides a smooth ride, making it a solid choice in this class. That's why it finishes in the middle of our compact truck rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • High towing capacity
  • Good gas mileage
  • Upscale cabin
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Front seats lack long-term support

Is the GMC Canyon a Good Truck?

The GMC Canyon is a good truck. It's one of the best small pickups for towing and hauling, but it's also easy and enjoyable to drive. It gets good gas mileage and offers plenty of infotainment and convenience features, as well as some driver assistance tech. Additionally, its interior is more upscale than some class rivals. Some competitors have more comfortable seats, but that's the only notable knock against the Canyon. The Canyon may be a compact pickup truck, but you’ll want to consider its size before deciding if it’s the right fit for you.

2019 GMC Canyon Dimensions

  • Length: 17 feet, 8.4 inches to 18 feet, 8.6 inches
  • Height: 5 feet, 10.3 inches to 5 feet, 10.7 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,767 to 4,576 pounds

Should I Buy the GMC Canyon?

The Canyon is a competitive entrant in the compact pickup truck class for all the reasons listed above, and it costs about the same as several of its classmates. That means that this GMC is a solid buying choice. Still, you may want to see how it stacks up against rivals like the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma.

Compare the Canyon, Colorado, and Tacoma »

Should I Buy a New or Used GMC Canyon?

The 2019 Canyon belongs to a generation that began with the 2015 model year. Changes for this year mostly involve the features list. The aptly named GMC Infotainment system replaces the IntelliLink infotainment system in all trim levels, and rear parking sensors are now available. 2018's big change was making the touch-screen infotainment system a standard feature, while 2017 made Teen Driver standard and was the first model to offer an eight-speed automatic transmission. The turbodiesel engine became available for 2016.

You can potentially save a bundle by shopping for a used Canyon, though you may miss out on newer models' updates. To research the other models in this generation, read our reviews of the 2017 and 2018 GMC Canyon. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 Canyon »

We Did the Research for You: 39 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Canyon generation, which runs from 2015 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the GMC Canyon Cost?

The Canyon's starting price of $22,200 is in the same ballpark as that of most other compact pickups. The range-topping Denali trim starts a bit above $40,000. That might sound high, but it's more or less in line with many competitors' top trim prices.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local GMC dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our GMC deals page.

GMC Canyon Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: GMC Canyon or Chevrolet Colorado?

For all intents and purposes, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are basically the same truck. Both are GM vehicles, they share a platform, and they're nearly identical in terms of powertrains, tech features, and towing and hauling capacities. The only real differences between these two are price and interior quality. The Canyon is more upscale than the Colorado through most of its trim levels. However, it also costs a bit more. Unless you prefer the looks or slightly improved interior quality of the GMC, save yourself some money and go for the Chevy.

Which Is Better: GMC Canyon or Toyota Tacoma?

The Toyota Tacoma is the best off-roader in the class. It has an abundance of available off-road equipment, all concentrated in two special models that are tailored to rough-and-tumble performance. It has higher safety and predicted reliability ratings as well. However, the Tacoma isn't as good for towing or hauling as its GMC rival, and the Canyon offers technology that the Toyota doesn't, like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Choosing between these two is a matter of personal preference. 

Compare the Canyon, Colorado, and Tacoma »

Canyon Performance

Canyon Engine: We're Out of V8. Try a V6

For daily driving, the Canyon's 200-horsepower four-cylinder base engine does just fine. However, it's noticeably less energetic – not to mention worse for towing – than the available 308-horsepower V6 and the 181-horsepower turbodiesel (which puts out nearly 370 pound-feet of torque). For many buyers, the V6 is the best option.

Canyon Gas Mileage: Near the Top of the Class

This GMC pickup gets better fuel economy than some rivals, earning 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with its base engine. For even better mileage, upgrade to the turbodiesel engine, which gets 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

Canyon Ride and Handling: Inspiring Confidence

You might be surprised at how well this GMC handles. Though the Canyon doesn’t feel particularly small, it can hold its own on winding roads thanks to its sharp steering and sturdy brakes. The Canyon also rides smoothly over most road surfaces and soaks up most pavement imperfections with ease.

Read more about performance »

Canyon Interior

How Many People Does the Canyon Seat?

The Canyon seats anywhere from two to five people, depending on which cab and trim you select. The front seats are generally comfortable, though they may feel a little stiff by the end of a long drive. The rear seats in Extended Cab models are small and likely won't be suitable if you regularly carry rear-seat passengers. Crew Cabs have ample room for adults.

Canyon and Child Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in Canyon models that have rear seats. The Canyon's LATCH system earns an ease-of-use rating of Marginal (the second-lowest rating) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The lower anchors are located too deep in the seats and other hardware could be mistaken for the tether anchors, which IIHS also noted are located in a hard-to-find place. 

Canyon Interior Quality

This GMC has a nicer interior than most rivals. The cabin looks good, and there are plenty of high-quality materials throughout.

Canyon Cargo Space

The Canyon offers a good amount of storage space in the cabin. There are two available bed lengths: 6-foot-2-inch and 5-foot-2-inch. The latter is only available with the Crew Cab model, and the former is offered with either cab.

Canyon Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Canyon include Teen Driver (which lets you set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers) and the GMC Infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, two USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth.

Available features include wireless phone charging, an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, additional USB ports, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

The Canyon offers plenty of connectivity options, and the infotainment system makes it easy to control many of the Canyon’s features. The interface is intuitive, and the touch screen is responsive. There are also physical buttons for some features so you don’t always have to use the touch screen.

Read more about interior »

Canyon Reliability

Is the GMC Canyon Reliable?

J.D. Power gave the 2019 Canyon a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.

GMC Canyon Warranty

GMC covers the Canyon with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Canyon Safety

Canyon Crash Test Results

The 2019 Canyon earned an overall crash test rating of four out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it the highest rating of Good in five crash tests and gave the headlights the lowest rating of Poor. Extended cab models received three Good scores and two second-best Acceptable ratings – one in side crash testing and one in small overlap front crash testing. The IIHS noted that Canyons equipped with optional forward collision alert provide a Basic level of front crash prevention. 

Canyon Safety Features

A rearview camera comes standard in the Canyon. Available driver assistance features include rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning.

Read more about safety »

Which GMC Canyon Model Is Right for Me?

Selecting the right truck configuration for you means choosing between body styles, bed sizes, and engine types, in addition to a litany of other features. The GMC Canyon is available in six trims, with three engine options, two cab styles, and two bed lengths. There’s also a variety of appearance packages available. Bed length availability depends on the cab style you choose.

Of all the trims, the SLE and SLT represent the best value for most buyers. They offer most of the features you can get in a Canyon, but they cost significantly less than the Denali trim. The SLT offers a few more driver assistance features than the SLE, as well as navigation and leather seats. If you need those features, get the SLT. Otherwise, the SLE is a solid choice.

GMC Canyon Powertrain Options:

  • Base engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque; starts at $22,200 (available in SL, Canyon, SLE)
  • Available engines:
    • 3.6-liter V6 with 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque; starts at $27,185 (available in Canyon, SLE, All Terrain, SLT, Denali)
    • turbodiesel 2.8-liter four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque; starts at $37,705 (available in SLE, All Terrain, SLT, Denali)
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available four-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard six-speed automatic; available eight-speed automatic

GMC Canyon Appearance Packages

  • Exterior Convenience package (prices start at $815): black assist steps and front and rear splash guards
  • Elevation Edition (prices start at $650): a black grille with body-color accents and 18-inch painted aluminum wheels
  • SLE Chrome Appearance package (prices start at $505): polished exhaust tip and chrome tailgate handle, mirror caps, and door handles
  • All Terrain X package (prices start at $2,115): black step bars, all-weather floor liners, a spray-on bedliner, 31-inch all-terrain tires

GMC Canyon Performance Packages/Options

  • Power package (prices start at $1,850): a performance air intake and cat-back performance exhaust
  • Performance Skid Plate package (prices start at $375): a front skid plate and a mid skid plate
GMC Canyon SL

The Canyon SL sports a base price of $22,200. The SL only comes in Extended Cab guise, and it doesn't have a rear seat, making it most suitable as a work truck. This trim has a four-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Standard features include Teen Driver, a rearview camera, and the GMC Infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, two USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth. There are no notable available features in the Canyon SL.

GMC Canyon

The next trim up, which is the lowest trim most consumers would want, is known only as the Canyon. It has a starting price of $25,700. This trim is available with both cabs and both bed lengths. In addition to the base trim's features, this one includes two rear seats. As options, it offers the V6 engine, an automatic transmission, the EZ-Lift and Lower tailgate, a locking rear differential, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

GMC Canyon SLE

The Canyon SLE carries a starting price of $29,000. The SLE is available with both cab configurations. Standard features include a locking rear differential, the EZ-Lift and Lower tailgate, and an upgraded infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, satellite radio, HD Radio, additional USB ports, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Available features include a power-adjustable passenger seat, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, automatic climate control, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning.

GMC Canyon SLT

The Canyon SLT starts at $35,800. The SLT is only available as a Crew Cab, and it comes standard with a V6 engine, leather upholstery, and heated front seats. Available features in the SLT include forward collision alert, lane departure warning, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, and navigation.

GMC Canyon All Terrain

The Canyon All Terrain has a starting price of $36,500. The All Terrain is offered with both cabs. It comes standard with four-wheel drive and several off-road-oriented features such as hill descent control, a transfer case shield, and an off-road suspension. Available features in the All Terrain include a heated steering wheel, navigation, and a seven-speaker Bose audio system.

GMC Canyon Denali

The Canyon Denali starts at $40,400. It's only offered as a Crew Cab, and it comes with navigation, a Bose audio system, and wireless phone charging, as well as some unique styling elements.

Which Canyon Cab Style Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Canyon is available in two body styles: Extended Cab and Crew Cab. The standard Canyon SL – in keeping with its ethos as a plain work truck – only has two front seats. All other trims with the Extended Cab have two fold-up rear seats. If you usually drive alone or with just one other person, an Extended Cab model should suit you just fine. This body style has rear-hinged half-size back doors, which can make it tough for second-row passengers to get in and out of the truck.

Crew Cab models bump up the truck’s capacity to five people, with a rear bench seat and full-size rear doors. This is the best choice if you’re buying the truck as a family vehicle or if you regularly transport adults in the second row. You’ll get about 7 extra inches of legroom with the Crew Cab Canyon, but like other compact pickup trucks, the back seat isn’t terribly spacious.

Both of GMC’s smaller SUVs afford more rear-seat legroom. The Terrain (a compact SUV) and the Acadia (a midsize SUV) each has about 4 more inches of space than the Crew Cab model and about 11 inches more than the Extended Cab.

Which Canyon Bed Length Is Right for Me?

The Canyon Extended Cab only comes with a 6-foot-2-inch long box, which is one of the longest among compact pickups. Pick the Crew Cab and you’ll have your choice of the long box or a 5-foot-2-inch short box. If you think you need the extra foot of space, the longer bed is worth springing for, but it pushes the truck’s overall length to almost 19 feet.

Which Canyon Model Is Best for Towing and Hauling?

The best choice for a work truck is the Canyon trim (not the lower-level SL) with the Extended Cab, long box, and V6 engine. Sticking with two-wheel drive gets you a towing capacity of 7,000 pounds, and a 1,558-pound payload capacity. Prices start at $27,185, and a four-wheel-drive version retails for $31,100.

The Canyon’s standard four-cylinder engine can tow up to 3,500 pounds. That isn’t that impressive for a small pickup, as some crossovers have similar capacities. The GMC Terrain can tow 3,500 pounds and the GMC Acadia can tow up to 4,000. You should only go with this engine if your towing needs are for a small or medium-size boat or trailer every once in a while.

Those who need to pull more weight around will be much better off with one of the other two engines, which at least double the base engine’s capability. Canyon models equipped with a 2.8-liter turbodiesel can tow up to 7,700 pounds, which is tied with the related Chevrolet Colorado for the highest total in the class. That's with standard rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel-drive diesel models manage 7,600 pounds of towing. A midrange 3.6-liter V6 engine can tow up to 7,000 pounds.

Which Canyon Model Is Best for Off-Roading?

GMC is General Motors’ upscale brand, so you won’t find any Canyon trims that can match the ruggedness of a special Chevrolet Colorado model like the Z71, ZR2, or Bison. The most off-road-oriented Canyon model is the All Terrain, which starts at $36,500. In addition to standard four-wheel drive, the Canyon All Terrain includes an off-road suspension, hill descent control, an automatic rear locking differential, skid plates, and a transfer case with shield. You can upgrade a little further with the All Terrain X package and its 31-inch all-terrain tires, off-road assist steps, all-weather floor liners, and spray-on bedliner.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local GMC dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our GMC deals page.

See 2019 GMC Canyon specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 GMC Canyon delivers on a lot of key fronts, making it a good choice no matter what your needs are. It has a fairly spacious cabin and good fuel economy ratings, offers plenty of technology, and paces the field for towing and hauling. The compact pickup truck class has several good options, however, and you may want to check some of them out before making a decision. Regardless, the Canyon is a solid choice.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "So should you get a Canyon? For the most part, you can save some money by getting the Colorado. Or you might want to check out the refined Honda Ridgeline or new Ford Ranger. Overall, though, the Canyon will surely satisfy, especially if you are looking for an upscale midsize truck." -- Edmunds
  • "GMC's 2017 Canyon pickup truck might be midsize on paper, but its looks, abilities and attitude seem pretty full size to us. A revised 3.6-liter V6 engine improves power and economy, while more trim and option packages give buyers even greater flexibility." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "The result is the GMC Canyon, which offers a dramatically improved interior, two excellent new engines and improved capabilities compared to the outgoing model." -- Autotrader (2016)


Expert Advice

Last Updated: July 26, 2019

Climbing Sales: GMC Canyon sales have increased this year by 12% relative to the same span last year. The class sales-leading Toyota Tacoma is outselling the Canyon more than 6 to 1. 

Research more buying advice »
  • Great Savings
  • Minimum Savings Guarantee
  • Hassle-Free Experience

More than 150,000 car shoppers have purchased or leased a car through the U.S. News Best Price Program. Our pricing beats the national average 86% of the time with shoppers receiving average savings of $3,402 off MSRP across vehicles.
Learn More »

Find the Best Price

Enter your zip code to get local pricing.

Get Dealer Quotes

To get dealer quotes, enter your zip code.

Search Used Listings

To search used listings, enter your zip code.

Change Location

Enter your zip code to see listings near you.

Please enter a valid zipcode

Canyon Shoppers Should Also Consider...

Honda Ridgeline 2019 2019 Honda Ridgeline

#1 in Compact Pickup Trucks

Ford Ranger 2019 2019 Ford Ranger

#2 in Compact Pickup Trucks

Jeep Gladiator 2020 2020 Jeep Gladiator

#3 in Compact Pickup Trucks

Toyota Tacoma 2019 2019 Toyota Tacoma

#3 in Compact Pickup Trucks

Chevrolet Colorado 2019 2019 Chevrolet Colorado

#6 in Compact Pickup Trucks

Best Price Program

Interested in a New?

Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find great deals and get upfront pricing on the.