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2020 GMC Canyon Performance

U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 GMC Canyon Performance Review


Performance: 8.3

The 2020 GMC Canyon has engaging handling, a smooth ride, and excellent power and towing capabilities from its two optional engines.

  • "Fundamentally, the Canyon is refined and road trip-ready, unusual traits for a midsize pickup. … The ride, while slightly bouncy if there's no cargo in the back, settles down nicely once you drop a few hundred pounds in the bed." -- Edmunds
  • "For better or for worse, the GMC Canyon drives more like a full-size pickup than its Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline competitors. It offers a more comfortable ride than the former, but a less comfortable ride than the latter. Its handling and maneuverability are worse than both, but then it can also tow more than both. At the same time, the Canyon is quite obviously much smaller than a full-size truck, and as such almost feels like a sports car by comparison when behind the wheel." -- Autotrader (2019)
  • "The steering is vague, the body rolls – it drives like a pickup. That said, even though it's on the larger side of midsize, the Canyon is easy to maneuver, sight lines are great, and it's a generally pleasant-handling truck." -- Autoblog (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The GMC Canyon comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque, and it’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Optional powertrains include a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque that’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and a turbodiesel 2.8-liter four-cylinder with 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque mated to a six-speed automatic.

The base four-cylinder engine is sufficient for everyday driving and light-duty work, but the optional V6 delivers more impressive acceleration and power. The optional turbodiesel likewise offers ample torque and the best tow rating in the lineup.

The diesel engine returns the best fuel economy in the lineup at 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The four-cylinder engine gets up to 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, while the V6 earns ratings of up to 18/25 mpg city/highway.

  • "We tested the Denali trim level, which comes with the 3.6-liter V6. It delivers solid thrust and pulls with authority. Our test truck reached 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is quick for a midsize truck." -- Edmunds
  • "Most will find the base 4-cylinder good only for the lightest jobs. The engine of choice is the 3.6-liter V6, although the torque-happy 2.8-liter turbodiesel is also quite nice, but expensive. Stick with the V6 and its 8-speed automatic transmission and you’ll get decent mileage, excellent acceleration and instantaneous passing power." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "In terms of engines, go ahead and skip the base 4-cylinder, since there's just too much to like about the advanced gasoline V6 and efficient turbodiesel. Both are capable of towing at least 7,000 pounds, with the diesel providing the best-possible tow rating of 7,700." -- Autotrader (2018)

Handling and Braking

The Canyon has a comfortable ride over most surfaces, responsive steering, and well-controlled body motions. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is optional.

  • "It also steers and brakes with commendable precision and composure, and car-like handling is one of the Canyon's strengths." -- Edmunds
  • "Despite being classified as a truck, the Canyon rides and drives like a modern SUV, with direct steering, good brakes and a suspension capable of delivering a smooth ride on paved surfaces and careful controlled body motion when off-roading." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "Noise, vibration and harness has been totally improved, and we were impressed with the quietly serene ride quality. Credit goes to the Canyon's triple-sealed doors. We felt there was a bit of play in the electric power-assisted steering, but it turned out to be well-suited for most driving situations that we encountered." -- Autotrader (2016)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 GMC Canyon

MSRP: $22,200 - $44,300

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