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New vs Used: GMC Canyon Truck

The first all-new GMC Canyon in years is just around the corner so we’re comparing it to a used model to find the better value.

New vs Used GMC Canyon

netcarshow.com | media.gmc.com

netcarshow.com | media.gmc.com  |  Shop GMC Canyon on Carsforsale.com

It’s been nearly a decade since there was a brand new GMC Canyon but the wait is about to be over. The mid-size pickup truck is completely new for the 2023 model year and it’s going to change the landscape a bit.

Not only will the 2023 GMC Canyon offer new technology and capability but in addition, it should impact the used Canyon market by lowering prices. With that in mind, we want to figure out if the new Canyon is worth the premium or if you’d be better off saving thousands and buying a used model.

Specs

2023 GMC Canyon 2.7L I4 - The Fast Lane Truck on youtube.com
2023 GMC Canyon 2.7L I4 - The Fast Lane Truck on youtube.com

GMC Hasn’t released all of the details about the upcoming 2023 Canyon but we have enough information to make a reasonable comparison. For instance, we know that the new top trim, the AT4X Edition 1 is going to start at $64,000. If GMC follows along with the same trims and pricing that it did for the last generation we think the base pickup will start right around $40,000.

Every Canyon will likely come with the same 2.7-liter turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engine. Power output will likely range anywhere from 240 horsepower to 330. Expect torque figures to range from 260 to 460. Every engine will send power to either the rear wheels or all four via an eight-speed automatic transmission. No fuel economy ratings have been released as of this writing.

2018 GMC Canyon 2.5L I4 - carsforsale.com
2018 GMC Canyon 2.5L I4 - carsforsale.com

The 2018 GMC Canyon can be had from anywhere between $15,000 to $35,000 depending on trim, mileage, condition, and options. Those trims are highly variable too. Buyers can find two different cab sizes and two different bed sizes. In addition, GMC offered three different engines back in 2018 so there are a lot of options.

Among those options, the base truck uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. Above that is a 308 horsepower V6 that develops 275 pound-feet of torque. Finally, a 2.8-liter turbodiesel is also available with 181 horsepower but 369 pound-feet of torque. Just like the new truck, rear or four-wheel drive is available.

Driving and Performance

2023 GMC Canyon - netcarshow.com
2023 GMC Canyon - netcarshow.com

While we haven’t driven the new Canyon we have a lot of experience with its new big brother, the Sierra. If the Canyon follows the rest of its family we can expect a compliant ride that’s great at muting poor road conditions and still manages to be very impressive off-road.

The GMC Sierra’s steering can seem a little numb and disconnected at times but we bet that the Canyon will fix that to a large degree. We are also confident that it’ll be considerably more capable than the old truck when the road runs out. The AT4 and AT4X trims will both add desirable equipment that’s highly-functional off-road.

2018 GMC Canyon - media.gmc.com
2018 GMC Canyon - media.gmc.com

The 2018 GMC Canyon is another reason to think that the new truck will ride and drive quite well. The outgoing generation is only slowed down both literally and figuratively by its 2.5-liter base engine. Quite simply, it’s too buzzy and doesn’t have enough horsepower to engage the driver.

Beyond the base engine, the 2018 GMC Canyon a great little truck to move around in. The diesel isn’t much more powerful but the extra torque is a treat. Finally, the V6 is downright fast. It’s very capable of out-accelerating a sedan from a dead stop.

Comfort and Interior

The inside of the new GMC Canyon is full of huge upgrades in terms of material quality. The seating looks far more upmarket than in the truck it replaces. A new digital gauge cluster complements a new infotainment system too. We’ve often bemoaned the cheap feeling switchgear in many modern GM products so we’re happy to report that the GMC Canyon addresses that concern. Just like the Sierra, this pickup gets chunky buttons and switches but this time they’re more refined and feel much better to use in practice. We also love the inclusion of a two-tone dash that mixes and matches different materials and designs based on trim level.

The 2018 GMC Canyon has a much more utilitarian feel to it from the simplistic dash and infotainment system design to the switchgear itself. For example, base models get a very simplistic 4.2-inch infotainment display that’s not touch-sensitive. It does have bluetooth but you’ll have to bump up to a higher trim to get Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Navigation is optional on most trims but only standard on the Denali version. On the positive side, the basic cabin makes it easy to get comfortable and familiar with the layout.

Trims and Features

2023 GMC Canyon - netcarshow.com
2023 GMC Canyon - netcarshow.com

GMC hasn’t released detailed information on exactly every trim level at this stage. We do have some limited information to share though.

The Elevation trim will start out with 18-inch wheels, keyless open and start, an off-road performance display, and an 11.3-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The AT4 adds 4WD with a locking rear differential, a two-speed transfer case, a drive-mode selector, an integrated tailgate storage system, and advanced hill descent control.

2023 GMC Canyon AT4X - netcarshow.com
2023 GMC Canyon AT4X - netcarshow.com

The Denali is the luxury version of the Canyon and it gets an exclusive jet black interior along with an 11-inch driver information display, a 6.3-inch multi-color heads-up display, and 20-inch wheels.

The AT4X builds on the AT4 by adding Multimatic DSSV dampers along with locking differentials both front and rear. A transfer case shield and rocker protection is also standard while up to 10 different camera angle views are available.

The AT4X Edition 1 gets 17-inch bead-lock-capable wheels, a COMEUP winch, an off-road front bumper, and reconfigurable bed rails.

2018 GMC Canyon SLT - media.gmc.com
2018 GMC Canyon SLT - media.gmc.com

The 2018 GMC Canyon is available in five different trims. They begin with SL which is basically a fleet vehicle more than anything. It gets the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed manual transmission, 16-inch wheels, air conditioning, power windows, and six speakers.

The base models get the same features but add an automatic transmission as well as the freedom to pick from an extended cab or crew-cab body style. It also opens up other options and packages not available on the SL.

The SLE incorporates most of the features from those packages including 17-inch wheels, power side mirrors, an upgraded interior, an 8-inch infotainment system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, four total USB ports, and integrated Wi-Fi.

2018 GMC Canyon Denali - media.gmc.com
2018 GMC Canyon Denali - media.gmc.com

The SLT adds luxury in the way of the 3.6-liter V6, 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, heated power adjustable from seats, and automatic climate control.

The Denali uses 20-inch wheels, a spray-in bed liner, cargo lights, a Bose premium audio system, ventilated front seats, a wireless charging pad, a heated steering wheel, and integrated navigation.

The Verdict

2023 GMC Canyon - netcarshow.com

2023 GMC Canyon – netcarshow.com |  Shop GMC Canyon on Carsforsale.com

Ultimately the right answer is going to come down to how you use the vehicle. If you’re planning to drive this vehicle regularly and for many years to come then the new GMC Canyon is the clear and decisive winner. It’s considerably better in every measurable way aside from price and with some of the incentives we’re seeing right now, it might be a better deal than we realize when it goes on sale. For those who need a work vehicle that they can beat up a little then the used Canyon becomes a lot more desirable.

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Stephen Rivers

Stephen Rivers is a car enthusiast who loves all things built with passion, extending to nearly all car cultures. After obtaining an occupational studies degree in sports medicine, Stephen turned his attention to sports cars. He was employed as an auto shop manager, spent time in auto sales, and worked as a software developer for a racing company, but Stephen began writing about cars over 10 years ago. When he's not in front of a computer screen, he's racing his own Bugeye Subaru WRX in as many autocross and rallycross competitions as he can.

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