$15,473 - $29,212

2015 GMC Canyon Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 GMC Canyon was new.


Performance: 8.6

The 2015 GMC Canyon is regarded by reviewers as a great truck to pass the miles, with ample power from either its four-cylinder or V6 engine and a more comfortable ride than what many compact trucks offer.

  • "The same quiet cabin and smooth ride we experienced in the Colorado are present in the Canyon, two attributes missing from the current Toyota Tacoma and the departed Ford Ranger. Because of the GMC's well-sorted chassis, Canyon owners will have no complaints at the end of high-mileage journeys." -- Car and Driver
  • "We could easily spend all day behind the wheel of one of these. It's clearly better than the Canyon of old, and it feels more grown up than the competition." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2.5-liter four-cylinder that was the focus of my First Drive of the Colorado is the standard engine for the Canyon as well, but the truck I drove was equipped with the far punchier (and thirstier at 17 miles per gallon city, 24 highway) 3.6-liter V6. Not only does the six make a healthy 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, but the throttle modulation and automatic transmission programming both work to let you take advantage of the power in short order." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 GMC Canyon is powered by a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque, or an optional 3.6-liter V6 with 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is available across the board and a six-speed manual is available on rear-wheel drive extended cab models with the four-cylinder engine. A rear-wheel drive Canyon with the V6 engine gets better fuel economy than its rivals, at an EPA-estimated 18/26 mpg city/highway. 

According to test drivers, the base four-cylinder engine has ample power for day-to-day driving. Reviewers are impressed with the power from the V6 as well, noting that it is plenty strong for towing and hauling. Overall, reviewers agree that the automatic transmission shifts smoothly, though some comment that it is often hunting for the right gear, especially on hills.

  • "Like the Chevrolet Colorado, the Canyon's 3.6-liter V6 comes to life with little fanfare, and it settles into a calm idle that's accompanied by a tiny amount of mechanical engine sound. There's plenty of grunt when we roll gently onto the gas, and it pulls strongly when we press harder. The six-speed automatic is smooth and sure as it goes up through the gears, and there isn't much wind or road noise as we settle in at 70 mph." -- Edmunds
  • "Acceleration is very good with the Crew Cab V6 models we drove, and was better than expected in the Extended Cab powered by the 200-horsepower 2.5-liter I4. There's plenty of power from the 305-power 3.6-liter V6, and the 6-speed automatic makes good use of it, giving the truck best-in-class towing of 7,000 pounds. We did notice frequent up- and downshifts from the transmission on grades." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Power and responsiveness was great from both available engines. The V-6 has enough power to tackle any task or load you might throw at it, and the four-cylinder was a real treat to drive, never once leaving us wishing for more in normal, unloaded, city, and highway driving." -- Truck Trend
  • "The automatic's shifter had an easy-to-use manual mode that not only held gears and matched revs on downshifts but would have been helpful had there been a trailer hooked up aft. The four-cylinder, meanwhile felt plenty powerful enough for most tasks, including the short haul we used it for." -- AutoWeek

Handling and Braking

The 2015 Canyon comes standard with rear-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive is optional. Reviewers say that the Canyon's ride remains composed over bumps without being jarring, and some add that it has a better ride quality than its closest rivals. Test drivers also remark that the Canyon is much more maneuverable than a full-size truck.

  • "The upshot is that while no version of the Colorado/Canyon rides quite like an F-150, Ram, or Silverado/Sierra, they're notably better than the Tacoma and Frontier and easily rival the Toyota Tundra." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The Canyon's ride feels identical to that of the Chevrolet Colorado, which isn't much of a surprise, frankly. In both cases GM engineers have found the Goldilocks zone. The ride is neither too hard over bumps, nor too floaty and bouncy when the pavement gets wavy." -- Edmunds
  • "On paper they aren't much different than a previous generation 1/2-ton, but driving them we noticed that they have the maneuverability of a much smaller pickup." -- Truck Trend
  • "The brakes were responsive, with somewhat less pedal travel in the 4-cylinder truck we tested. The ride was compliant but not mushy." -- Kelley Blue Book

Towing and Hauling

With the V6 engine and available trailering package, the 2015 Canyon can tow up to 7,000 pounds.

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