Despite the fact that nameplates like F-150, Silverado, and Sierra dominate Canadian sales charts, not everyone wants or needs a half-ton pickup. For those that don't, the mid-sized Canyon may be an ideal choice, particularly if fuel economy, a refined driving experience, and creature comforts are a concern.
Now in its third year on sale, the Canyon continues to evolve with a brand new engine, more features, plus a new luxury trim level and special off-road package. A heated steering wheel is now available on the features list for certain trim levels, while a new 7.0-inch touchscreen display joins the existing 8.0-inch premium touchscreen display. The new smaller unit still features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and has full integration with USB and Bluetooth. Last but not least, three new colours are available: Dark Slate, Mineral, and Red Quartz.
The new Denali trim level provides an impressive array of premium features which are rare for the segment. As with all its other Denali-branded products, the Canyon Denali gets a big chrome grille, 20-inch machined alloy wheels, chromed tube assist steps, and a spray-in bed liner.
The interior equipment list reads like that of its bigger SUV and pickup siblings - heated and ventilated leather-upholstered front seats are standard, as is a heated steering wheel, navigation, automatic climate control, a seven-speaker Bose sound system, plus a full-colour trip computer. The Denali also gets standard forward collision warning and lane-departure warning, too. Active safety features, like these, are hard to come by in the segment; other than the Honda Ridgeline and the Chevy Colorado, the Canyon is the only truck with this sort of equipment.
The All Terrain X package, built on the mid-grade SLE trim, is designed for those who take their truck off the beaten path, and includes off-road suspension, a transfer case skid plate, hill descent control, unique 18-inch wheels, tubular step bars, and body colour bumpers and grille. While it may not be as hardcore as the Tacoma TRD Pro, it should certainly be able to hold its own against the TRD Off-Road.
While the Canyon may not have as many bed and cab configurations as a half-ton truck, buyers can select from either an Extended Cab or a Crew Cab with five- or six-foot-long beds. Trim levels include the base SL trim, Canyon, SLE, SLT, and Denali. Standard equipment is generous for a small truck and includes aluminum wheels, power windows, a reverse camera, six-speaker audio system, a rear bumper with an integrated step, projector beam headlamps with LED daytime running lights, and even a power driver's seat.
The standard engine on the Canyon is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that develops 200 horsepower. It comes paired to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.
Most Canyons, however, will come with V6 power For 2017, the 3.6-litre has been overhauled completely, and now features cylinder deactivation for improved fuel economy. Power is up, slightly, to 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. Paired with this engine is a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Canyon's third engine, a 2.8-litre four-cylinder diesel is difficult to overlook. Not only does it have an immense amount of torque (369 lb-ft), thanks to an integrated exhaust brake, the Canyon Duramax diesel is capable of towing 7,700 lbs and achieving segment-leading highway fuel economy. This engine is paired exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission. Buyers should note that this engine upgrade carries a fairly hefty pricetag.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed