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2017 GMC Canyon Review

The 2017 GMC Canyon offers a nice interior, strong engine options, hefty towing ability, and average safety and predicted reliability ratings. Its rank near the back of the compact pickup truck class has more to do with how good this segment is, rather than any flaws of the Canyon.

Pros & Cons

  • Strong optional engines
  • Class-leading towing capacity
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Lack of safety features compared to many rivals

New for 2017

  • Eight-speed automatic transmission became available
  • Teen Driver became standard
  • All-Terrain X off-road package




Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 9.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 GMC Canyon Overview

Is the 2017 GMC Canyon a Good Used Truck?

Yes, the 2017 GMC Canyon is a good compact pickup truck. It offers three capable engines, a class-leading towing capacity, composed handling, and a relaxed ride. Whether you’re looking at the base trim or the top-of-the-line Denali, the Canyon has a nicer cabin than the average small pickup. The infotainment system is intuitive, and it supports the popular Apple CarPlay and Android Auto apps. There’s a lot to like about this work-ready GMC.

Browse local 2017 GMC Canyon listings »

Why You Can Trust Us

Our GMC Canyon review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 30 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 a combined 75 years of 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 2017 GMC Canyon?

Based on more than 280 listings appearing on our site, you can expect to pay between $24,000 and $38,000 for this truck. The average list price is $31,600. The amount you pay varies based on vehicle’s mileage, condition, location, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 GMC Canyon Cost to Own?

Expenses for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs on the 2017 Canyon are projected to cost around $26,500 over five years or about $5,300 per year. Those are some of the lowest estimates among compact pickup trucks.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Canyon?

The only major update GMC made to the 2018 Canyon was adding a previously available infotainment system to the standard features list. The standard system now features a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. These extras come at a premium, however, the 2018 pickup has a starting price of $21,400.

Because of the wide variety of trims, configurations, and features available on the Canyon, direct comparisons between used and new models are difficult to make. In some cases, you could potentially save some money by shopping for a used 2017 model, but in some cases with new GMC deals and incentives, a new truck could wind up being cheaper.

Read about the new GMC Canyon »

You can find a number of new compact pickups in the same price range as a 2017 Canyon. The 2019 Honda Ridgeline starts at $29,990, and even its base model has a powerful V6 engine and a handsome interior. The 2019 Chevrolet Colorado is the corporate twin of the Canyon, and while it’s not as refined, it is a lot more affordable, with prices starting at $20,500. However, the abundance of configurations and trim levels across all trucks make it difficult to draw direct comparisons, so you may have to shop around to find one that best meets your needs.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the GMC Canyon Is Best?

After a multi-year hiatus, GMC reintroduced the Canyon for the 2015 model year. For 2016, the Canyon gained a new diesel engine option. GMC revised the Canyon’s V6 engine for 2017, giving it more horsepower and pairing it to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Another new-for-2017 feature is Teen Driver, which allows you to do things like set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers. Off-roaders might also enjoy the new All-Terrain X package. If none of those are important to you, consider saving thousands of dollars by shopping for an older truck. 

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Canyon »

How Reliable Is the 2017 GMC Canyon?

J.D. Power gives the 2017 Canyon a predicted reliability rating of three out of five. That’s an average score for the industry.

Read more about Canyon reliability »

2017 GMC Canyon Recalls

At the time of writing, the 2017 GMC Canyon is affected by one recall. This recall addresses a faulty fuel pump flange. Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on GMC Canyon safety recalls »

Which Used GMC Canyon Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Canyon comes in a variety of configurations for cab styles, bed lengths, and trims. You can choose between the four-seat Extended Cab with a long bed, and the five-seat Crew Cab with a short or long box. Additionally, there are five trim levels available: SL, Canyon, SLE, SLT, and Denali.

The base SL trim is a bare-bones work truck. It lacks rear seats, but it has vinyl upholstery, air conditioning, power windows, a USB port, a six-speaker stereo, a 4.2-inch display screen, and a rearview camera. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is the only engine available in the SL. The Canyon trim doesn’t add much aside from cloth upholstery, but it is available with a number of options, including the V6 engine, a six or eight-speed automatic transmission, cruise control, and remote keyless entry.

However, most shoppers will be satisfied with the SLE trim. It adds all of the Canyon trim’s available features as standard (except the V6 engine), in addition to fog lights and an infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, satellite radio, Siri Eyes Free, hands-free smartphone integration, four USB ports, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. It’s also the lowest trim available with advanced safety features.

The SLT is where things start getting fancy. Most of the previously mentioned features are standard, and this trim comes with leather upholstery. Finally, the top-of-the-line Denali has a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, wireless device charging, a 7-speaker Bose premium sound system, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and the trailering package.  

See 2017 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 2017 Canyon four out of five stars overall, with five stars in side crash testing, four stars for the front test, and three stars in the rollover evaluation. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave Extended Cab models the highest rating of Good in three categories and Acceptable ratings in side overlap and small overlap front crash tests. Crew Cab Canyons received a Good rating in all five areas tested.

A rearview camera and Teen Driver technology are this truck’s only standard safety features. Teen Driver allows you to view reports on secondary drivers, with added tools like the ability to set limits on speed and audio volume. Forward collision warning and lane departure warning are available on the SLE trim and up.

See Canyon safety scores »

2017 GMC Canyon Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 GMC Canyon or 2017 Chevrolet Colorado?

The 2017 Chevrolet Colorado is the twin of the GMC Canyon. The two are neck-and-neck in their class and have many similarities. Both trucks share the same powertrain configurations, fuel economy, and class-leading towing capacity. They also have the same safety and predicted reliability ratings and even share many of the same features. The base Colorado is likely to cost a little less than the Canyon, but on average, the Canyon is around $200 cheaper. The main difference between these two comes at the higher end of the price spectrum. The Canyon Denali offers a level of luxury unmatched in the Colorado, with upscale touches like premium interior materials, ventilated front seats, and wireless charging. Choosing between these two vehicles comes down to your preference. 

Which Is Better: 2017 GMC Canyon or 2017 Toyota Tacoma?

The 2017 Toyota Tacoma is another good compact pickup truck. It has slightly higher safety and predicted reliability ratings than the Canyon. However, the Tacoma is a better off-roader. It offers some features you can’t get in the Canyon (such as crawl control), and all Tacoma models have more ground clearance than the Canyon. However, the Canyon has a higher towing capacity – 7,700 pounds versus the Tacoma’s maximum 6,800 pounds. On average, you’ll also save a little money with the Canyon. Both of these are good trucks, so go with the one that best meets your needs.

Compare the Canyon, Colorado, and Tacoma »

2017 Canyon Performance

How Does the 2017 GMC Canyon Drive?

The Canyon has a comfortable ride, and its maneuverability and cornering are surprisingly adept for a compact pickup. GMC offers a handful of off-roading goodies on four-wheel-drive Canyons, including an off-road suspension and all-terrain tires. The Canyon also has 8.3 inches of ground clearance. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is available.

The 2017 Canyon offers a lineup of solid engine choices. The standard 200-horsepower four-cylinder engine produces adequate power for daily driving. For towing or hauling duties, you’ll want a model with either the 308-horsepower V6, or the available 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel engine that produces 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Depending on the trim, models with the base engine come with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Models with the V6 or diesel engine have only an automatic.

Does the 2017 GMC Canyon Get Good Gas Mileage?

The four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission get an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Despite being stronger, the V6 engine has similar fuel economy estimates as the base engine: 18/25 mpg (17/24 mpg with four-wheel drive). The turbodiesel engine gets 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. While those are excellent numbers for a pickup, the higher price of diesel fuel compared to gasoline means you won’t be saving much money at the pump. The real reason you’ll want the diesel engine is its towing capacity.

2017 GMC Canyon Towing Capacity

With the base engine, the Canyon can tow up to 3,500 pounds. V6-equipped models double that capacity, and Canyons with the 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine can tow up to 7,700 pounds when properly equipped. While it may not compare to full-size pickup trucks, that total is among the highest towing capacities in the class.

V6-equipped Canyon models have a maximum payload capacity of 1,605 pounds.

Read more about Canyon performance »

2017 Canyon Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Canyon Seat?

The Canyon’s seating capacity depends on its body style and configuration. Extended Cab models have seating for up to four (the base SL trim loses the two rear seats), and Crew Cab trucks seat five. Cloth or leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, and a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel are available.

The rear seats in Crew Cab models have plenty of space for adults, though the ones in Extended Cabs are very tight and only suitable for children. There’s plenty of space up front, and although the front seats are well-padded, they could use a little more support on longer trips. The cabin has a modern and comfortable design compared to rivals like the 2017 Nissan Frontier. Interior materials are surprisingly nice considering the base Canyon’s price point, though you’ll spot a few hard plastics throughout the cabin.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 GMC Canyon?

Two-row Canyon models have two full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Crew Cab Canyon’s LATCH system the second-lowest rating of Marginal, citing lower anchors that are buried too deeply in the seats and tether anchors that are hard to find.

2017 GMC Canyon Features

Like many trucks, the Canyon has a sparsely outfitted base model. It has air conditioning, a USB port, a six-speaker stereo, and a rearview camera. Available features include cruise control, a power tailgate, a Bose stereo, wireless phone charging, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and navigation.

The upgraded infotainment system features an 8-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. It’s intuitive and easy-to-use, with a responsive touch screen and clearly labeled physical buttons and knobs that allow for easy adjustments while driving.

See 2017 GMC Canyon specs »

Read more about Canyon interior »

2017 GMC Canyon Dimensions

GMC Canyon Cargo Space

The 2017 Canyon offers two beds, depending on cab configuration. A 6-foot-2inch bed comes standard with Extended Cab models and is available with the Crew Cab, while a 5-feet-2-inch bed is only available with Crew Cab models. A built-in step on the rear bumper makes accessing either bed easy. Interior storage is good, and a front-floor compartment, a center console, and folding rear seats (in applicable models) create plenty of storage space.

2017 Canyon Length and Weight

Depending on the configuration, the Canyon measures between 17.7 feet and 18.7 feet. Its curb weight ranges from 3,920 pounds up to 4,500 pounds. The gross vehicle weight rating ranges from 5,900 pounds to 6,200 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 GMC Canyon Built?

GMC manufactured the 2017 Canyon in Missouri alongside the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado.

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