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2015 GMC Canyon Review

The 2015 GMC Canyon finishes near the bottom of the compact pickup truck class. It's one of the nicest and most capable trucks in the segment, but its poor reliability rating drags it down.

Pros & Cons

  • Premium interior
  • Powerful engines
  • Class-leading towing capacity
  • Poor reliability rating
  • More expensive than rivals




Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 8.6
Interior: 8.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 8.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 GMC Canyon Overview

Is the 2015 GMC Canyon a Good Used Truck?

The 2015 Canyon is a good used compact pickup truck, but it's hard to ignore its poor reliability rating. That's a shame, because this GMC matches up well against the competition. It rides smoothly and gets decent gas mileage, and its powerful available V6 engine helps it lead the class in towing ability. Inside, the Canyon looks great, and its front seats are comfortable and supportive.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our GMC Canyon review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 21 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 100 years of combined automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 GMC Canyon?

Based on more than 360 listings on our site, the average price for a 2015 GMC Canyon is $27,300. Prices range from $22,000 to $32,000 and very depending on the vehicle’s mileage, condition, location, and features. Other used 2015 compact pickups have lower average prices.

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How Much Does the 2015 GMC Canyon Cost to Own?

Expenses for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2015 GMC Canyon are estimated to be around $25,750 over five years, or $5,150 per year. That’s one of the lowest estimates in the compact pickup truck class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New GMC Canyon?

The 2015 Canyon's average list price of $27,300 is about $5,000 more than the starting price for a 2019 GMC Canyon. The new model offers a third powertrain option, a turbodiesel, giving it a higher towing capacity than the 2015 model. The 2019 comes with more standard features, including a touch-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. It also offers things the 2015 doesn't, like wireless phone charging and rear parking sensors.

It may seem like this is a simple matter of "the new truck costs less and has more, so I should buy it," but it's not that cut and dry. Truck pricing is complex, as they have multiple cab styles, bed lengths, and powertrain options, and that's before you get into a trim breakdown. With so many factors, the price can vary widely. Prices for the 2019 Canyon range from the low-$20,000s to the mid-$40,000s. Additionally, most trucks' base models have fairly scant features lists (even 2019 models), so you'll have to pay more to get most infotainment, comfort, and driver assistance technology.

To make the comparison fair, you need to determine the cab, bed, and powertrain you want before you compare new models with used ones. In that scenario, the used model will often cost less (potentially by thousands of dollars), though it may not have as many tech features as the new model.

Read about the new Canyon »

The price of a used 2015 GMC Canyon ranges from $22,000 to $32,000. Every new compact truck has a starting price in that range – the 2019 Nissan Frontier and 2019 Chevy Colorado actually start under $22,000. Even most new full-size pickups start at less than $32,000. Most new trucks have more standard features than the 2015 Canyon, and they offer stuff that wasn't available in 2015 models. Some also have better towing and hauling capacities and roomier interiors. However, high-end prices for new trucks also typically climb into the mid-$40,000 range. That means if you're comparing new and used models with the same configuration and trim level, buying new may cost you more.

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Which Model Year of the GMC Canyon Is Best?

The 2015 model year marks the beginning of the Canyon's second generation, which includes the 2019 model. A new turbodiesel engine became available for 2016. GMC made more changes for 2017, including the addition of the Denali trim and more available features like a 7-inch touch screen, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and an All-Terrain X off-road package. Still, in most cases, choosing a 2015 model will get you a largely similar vehicle for less money.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Canyon »

How Reliable Is the 2015 GMC Canyon?

The 2015 Canyon has a poor reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power. That's well behind the ratings of rivals like the 2015 Toyota Tacoma and 2015 Nissan Frontier.

Read more about Canyon reliability »

2015 GMC Canyon Recalls

As of this writing, seven recalls have been issued for the 2015 Canyon. They concern the fuel pump, air bags, power steering, brake fluid, and seat frame. Before buying this vehicle, make sure these issues have been addressed.

See more information on GMC Canyon safety recalls »

Which Used GMC Canyon Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Canyon comes in four trims: Canyon (base), SL, SLE, and SLT. For the best combination of features and value, go with the SLE model. It comes standard with an infotainment system and offers many available features, including forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and an off-road suspension package.

See 2015 GMC Canyon trims and specs »

What Does GMC's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

GMC offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned models, GMC extends its original new-car limited powertrain warranty to six years or 100,000 miles from the original sale date. CPO models also get a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty after the three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Qualifying vehicles also get free maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles. GMC CPO vehicles must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read GMC’s warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, GMC has a decent CPO program compared with other affordable car manufacturers.

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How Safe Is the Canyon?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 Canyon an overall safety rating of four out of five stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 Canyon Extended Cab the highest rating of Good in three crash tests, along with the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the side crash test. Crew Cab models received scores of Good in all four tests, however.

A rearview camera comes standard. Available driver assistance features include forward collision alert and lane departure warning.

See Canyon safety scores »

2015 GMC Canyon Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 GMC Canyon or 2015 Toyota Tacoma?

The 2015 Toyota Tacoma has great off-roading skills, but its lackluster interior and decade-old design don't measure up to the Canyon’s offerings. Additionally, the Tacoma's engines don't produce as much power as the Canyon’s, though its V6 has plenty of power for towing. The Tacoma does have a huge advantage in dependability, however, earning the highest reliability rating a vehicle can get from J.D. Power, while the Canyon gets the lowest-rating possible.

Which Is Better: 2015 GMC Canyon or 2015 Chevrolet Colorado?

The GMC Canyon and 2015 Chevrolet Colorado are both made by GM, and they're essentially twins. Both compact pickups offer the same powertrains and the same features, and they're nearly identical in terms of space and capability. The only practical differences are that the Canyon is a bit more upscale and a bit more expensive.

Which Is Better: 2015 GMC Canyon or 2015 GMC Sierra?

The 2015 GMC Sierra 1500 is a full-size pickup truck with powerful V8 engines, responsive steering, and a classy interior. It offers seating for up to six and plenty of room for passengers, even in the rear seats. It can also tow more than the Canyon – up to 12,000 pounds when outfitted with the available 6.2-liter V8 engine, which is one of three available. All of the Sierra's engines produce sufficient power, with the most powerful V8 making 420 horsepower. The Sierra 1500 has a comfortable ride, and an available adaptive suspension system adjusts the truck's ride to the road's changing conditions. Overall, the Sierra 1500 is a better truck, but the Canyon has a lower price and a smaller size that might make it easier to fit into a garage.

Compare the Canyon, Colorado, and Sierra 1500 »

2015 Canyon Performance

How Does the 2015 GMC Canyon Drive?

The 2015 GMC Canyon comes with a four-cylinder base engine that makes 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. A V6 with 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque is available. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard in most configurations, and a six-speed manual comes with rear-wheel-drive Extended Cab models with the four-cylinder engine.

The base engine does fine for daily driving. However, the V6 is significantly stronger, making it the better option for towing and hauling. And speaking of putting the Canyon to work, it can tow up to 7,000 pounds and haul up to 1,620 pounds when properly equipped. Those are excellent totals for the class.

Over almost every road surface, the Canyon rides more smoothly than most other compact trucks. It's also easy to maneuver and handles curves in the road reasonably well.

Does the 2015 GMC Canyon Get Good Gas Mileage?

With its base engine, the Canyon gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Those are among the best ratings in the class. With the available V6, the ratings drop slightly, to 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

Read more about Canyon performance »

2015 Canyon Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Canyon Seat?

GMC Canyon Extended Cab models seat four people, and Crew Cab models seat five. The base Canyon comes standard with vinyl seats, and cloth or leather upholstery can be found in upper trims. A power-adjustable driver’s seat is standard, and a power-adjustable passenger seat and heated front seats are available.

The Canyon's cabin is the most luxurious in the class. It remains quiet even at highway speeds, looks great, and features plenty of quality materials, but it still has the durability you want in a truck. The front seats are incredibly supportive. Crew cab models have adult-friendly rear seats, but extended cab models do not, though that's common for compact pickup trucks.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 GMC Canyon?

The 2015 Canyon comes with two full sets of LATCH car seat connectors in models with full rear seats. The lower anchors are easy to get to, but like in many trucks, the tether anchors are more problematic. Most types of car seats fit, but you may have to move the front seats forward to provide enough room for them.

2015 GMC Canyon Features

Standard features include a 4.2-inch display, a USB port, and a six-speaker sound system. Available features include automatic climate control, a Wi-Fi hot spot, GMC's IntelliLink infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and navigation.

See 2015 GMC Canyon specs »

Read more about Canyon interior »

2015 GMC Canyon Dimensions

GMC Canyon Cargo Space

The Canyon is available with a 5-foot-2-inch or 6-foot-2-inch bed, depending on cab configuration. There's a decent amount of small-item storage space in the cabin.

2015 Canyon Length and Weight

The 2015 Canyon is around 17.5 to 18.5 feet long, depending on cab style and bed length. Its curb weight ranges from 3,880 to 4,500 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 GMC Canyon Built?

GMC assembled the 2015 Canyon in Missouri.

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