Along with its corporate cousin, the Chevrolet Colorado, the GMC Canyon can take credit for reinvigorating the mid-size pickup truck segment following the debut of a second-generation model a few years ago.
Having proven the marketplace was ready for a smaller breed of pickup that could still deliver useful payload and towing capacities and a comfortable interior, GMC has spent the last few years refining the Canyon's formula, and those year-over-year changes continue for 2019.
This time, the Canyon gets a new infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, embedded apps and over-the-air software updates that eliminate the need for dealership visits when a new version of the system's software is available.
There's also a new digital backup camera to replace last year's analog setup, and rear park assist is now an option, the wireless smartphone charging and heated steering wheel options are more widely available and some trims get a new six-way power adjustable driver's seat to replace last year's four-way adjustment.
Canyon's powertrain is unchanged, so your options once again include a 2.5L four-cylinder engine (200 hp/191 lb-ft of torque), a 3.6L V6 (308 hp/275 lb-ft) and a 2.8L turbodiesel four-cylinder (181 hp/369 lb-ft) that's notable for its exhaust-based engine brake. All three engines can be had with rear- or four-wheel drive.
Four-cylinder gas trucks come standard with a six-speed manual transmission that options to a six-speed automatic that is included with the other two engines. Choosing four-wheel drive with this engine requires the automatic.
There is no regular cab Canyon. The basic configuration is an extended cab with a small rear seat, and the step up is a crew cab with a full-size rear bench and adult legroom.
GMC did a better job with the Canyon's cabin than Toyota with its Tacoma; the GMC is more spacious than the Toyota and feels better suited to drivers of a wide variety of heights and statures. Ultimately, how well the Canyon's interior design ages may be dictated by the Ford Ranger, a nameplate set to return next year.
Despite a range of configurations less vast than that available in full-size trucks, between four trims, two cabs, three engines and two bed lengths, there's still a number of choices to be made when kitting out your Canyon.
Trim levels include SL, Canyon (base), SLE, SLT and Denali. There's also an All Terrain package available on the SLE that can be considered a distrinct trim. To go along with the full-zoot Denali trim's nearly $50,000 price, the Canyon comes with a number of upscale touches like heated and ventilated front seats, a Bose stereo and a trailering package with locking rear differential.
GMC's fuel consumption estimates for 4WD models are 12.2/8.4 L/100 km (city/highway) with the diesel; 12.7/9.8 with the four-cylinder gas engine and automatic transmission; and 14.0/9.9 for the V6.