2015 GMC Canyon

What's new for 2015? The 2015 GMC Canyon has been fully redesigned.

In recent years, there hasn't been a whole lot to choose from for compact or midsize pickup trucks. GMC even stopped producing its Canyon for a few years. There's some good news for truck shoppers, though. The GMC Canyon is back for 2015, and this time it's a much more appealing truck in every regard.

Built on the same platform as its Chevrolet Colorado cousin, the new Canyon is dimensionally larger than the version GMC discontinued three years ago. It's now more or less the same size as its Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier rivals. From there, GMC's design and engineering teams turned their attention to enticing buyers with an appealing combination of performance and cutting-edge technology.

Starting with the practical improvements, the Canyon's new four- and six-cylinder engines are both more fuel-efficient and more powerful, with V6-equipped models now capable of towing up to 7,000 pounds. The interior gets an equally important update, highlighted by improved materials and an available 8-inch touchscreen, which comes complete with smartphone-like apps and voice controls designed to make it easier and safer to interact with mobile technology. As with many other GM vehicles this year, the Canyon also benefits from the latest version of OnStar, which includes a fast 4G LTE connection and in-car WiFi hotspot functionality. Other notable technology includes safety-oriented options like available forward collision and lane departure warning systems and a standard rearview camera.

Exterior Highlights
Midsize pickup available in two and four-seat extended-cab and five-seat crew cab body styles. SL, Canyon, SLE and SLT trim levels available as well as two bed lengths

The 2015 GMC Canyon is a midsize pickup offered in two- and four-seat extended-cab and five-seat crew cab body styles. There are two bed lengths and four trim levels available: SL, Canyon, SLE and top-of-the-line SLT.

The entry level SL base model, which is essentially a well-equipped work truck, comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, projector-style headlights with LED daytime running lights, outside mirrors with built-in spotter mirrors, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a four-way power driver seat with manual recline, deletion of the rear jump seats, black vinyl floor covering, a tilt-only adjustable steering wheel, power windows, a rearview camera and a six-speaker audio system with a 4.2-inch color display and a USB port.

Stepping up to the Canyon trim level adds fold-up rear jump seats (extended-cab models only), as well as color-keyed carpeting and floor mats. Notably, this trim also allows you to add desirable options like an available Convenience package that includes keyless entry, cruise control, a rear window defogger, theft-deterrent system and the EZ-Lift tailgate. Other available options include the OnStar telematics system (with a 4G LTE connection and in-car WiFi hotspot) and an upgraded audio system with an auxiliary audio input jack, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and voice controls.

Springing for the upscale SLE gets you 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, body-color outside mirrors and door handles, a rear window defogger, keyless entry, a folding rear bench seat (crew cab models only), an overhead console, nicer soft-touch interior trim materials, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a tilt-and-telescoping adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and an upgraded audio system built around the 8-inch color touchscreen that provides access to GMC's IntelliLink infotainment system that also adds satellite radio and three more USB charging outlets. OnStar telematics, Siri Eyes Free voice controls that work with late-model iPhones and a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot are also standard.

Option high points include an All-Terrain package, which is offered only on SLE models, that bundles 17-inch dark-tinted alloy wheels and all-terrain tires, an off-road-oriented suspension, automatic locking rear differential, hill descent control, front recovery hooks, heated front seats including a four-way power passenger seat and distinctive cloth upholstery. Also available is a Convenience package that includes automatic climate control and remote starting capability. An optional sliding rear window (requires the Convenience package) and a safety-oriented Driver Alert package that features forward collision and lane change warning systems round out the major add-ons.

The top SLT trim starts with most of the SLE's features and then tacks on remote starting, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a four-way power front passenger seat, driver and front passenger power lumbar adjustment and heated front seats. The main options here include the Driver Alert package, the sliding rear window, a navigation system and a premium Bose seven-speaker audio system.

High-quality materials, IntelliLink infotainment system, ideally positioned gauges, controls and displays, storage space, rearview camera

The interiors of GM's new trucks are a huge improvement over those in both their own ancestors and their current competition. Examples include the use of higher-quality materials, from soft-touch plastics and padded door panels to the genuine aluminum surround that frames the 8-inch color touchscreen used to access GMC's IntelliLink infotainment system. The available All Terrain option package adds soft leather and unique trim that makes it seem at once rugged and cushy.

Gauges, controls and displays are ideally positioned for easy use. Even the IntelliLink system uses large icons like those on a smartphone that make it easier to navigate than similar touchscreen setups. Better still, the system can be controlled by voice commands, and the built-in Siri Eyes Free technology allows users of late-model iPhones (it also works to a more limited degree with Android phones) to further expand this functionality.

On a more practical front, the crew cab's rear seat offers a few additional inches of legroom compared with that of its rivals, which is convenient if you plan on transporting any adults or locking large items in the cab. Both body styles offer storage space under those rear seats for valuable tools or gear you'd rather not leave unprotected in the bed. For those shoppers who are interested in the extended cab, GMC has integrated a feature where the rear headrest doubles as an extension to the rear seat bottom, allowing for the installation of a child seat.

The Canyon's taller sides and tailgate (they're almost full-size truck high) provide superior ease of hauling bulky payload items, and the Canyon long bed model can carry standard 4-by-8 sheets of plywood with the tailgate down without any overhang. The available EZ-Lift and Lower tailgate makes opening and closing the tailgate less of a workout, too.

Standard safety features on the 2015 GMC Canyon include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front seat side impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a rearview camera.

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