Radiant in Red!
The 2022 GMC Canyon AT4 is nearing the end of its life. GM is planning to release an all new Colorado/Canyon duo in 2023, but how does the 2022 stack up to current competition?
Despite being near the end of a generation the 2022 GMC Canyon AT4 doesn’t look outdated. The front end is big and bold with an aggressive dark chrome grill. Going with the AT4 brings you some off-road styling that is also functional. The front bumper curves up at the edges to allow more clearance in front of the tires. Bright LED headlights and LED fog lights help complete the aggressive look.
Moving down the side, the leveling kit and rocker protection from the AT4 Off-Road Performance Package is instantly noticeable. 17” black alloy wheels fit in nicely with the dark color theme on the truck. Also clear from the side view, is the rear bumper step. This is one of our favorite bed access tools in the industry.
Looking at the rear we find a huge GMC badge with Canyon underneath in a less bold size. The other thing that quickly catches the eye are the tail lights that give off a euro style vibe.
The bed is coated in a durable coating with plastic rail toppers to protect the rails. With midsize trucks having smaller beds, the Canyon could use the updated bed design of the full size trucks. Having the interior walls pushed out makes a big difference in the usable volume of the bed.
Inside the GMC Canyon
We have mixed feelings about the inside of the 2022 GMC Canyon AT4. It is one of the most luxurious interiors in the midsize segment. High quality leather abounds and there are plenty of features. Overall it’s a comfortable place to be. However, it also feels a little dated and plasticky in some parts.
The leather seats are stylish with copper colored stitching, AT4 embroidered headrests, and a carbon fiber esque pattern around the outside edges. They are also fairly comfortable, but a little stiff.
Up front we really like the buttons, dials, and switches for all of the controls. No need to go searching through a touch screen to turn on the seat heaters or adjust the climate control. The layout is such that almost everything is easy to reach and operate. The 4wd selector and headlights are exceptions to this. They sit on the dash behind the left side of the steering wheel and can be hard to see.
There are plenty of charging options in the 2022 Canyon AT4 with a wireless charger and two USB ports up front and 2 more USB ports and a 12-volt outlet for the rear.
Rear seating is on par with most vehicles in this class. It is a bench seat that is split 60/40 and has a drop down center armrest with two cup holders. The seat backs can fold forward to access the child seat anchors and there is a small amount of storage behind them. Along with that the seat bottoms lift up revealing more storage and the tools needed to change a flat tire.
Driving the 2022 Canyon AT4 is a good experience overall. Steering is tight and precise for having high profile off-road oriented tires. Off-road tuned suspension makes the ride a little more plush. All of this puts the Canyon AT4 in the middle of the midsize pack.
Around town, the truck is easy to maneuver and park. Power off the line is good enough and the 8-speed auto shifts flawlessly. On the highway the results are similar. We did find that an occasional downshift was needed to keep a consistent speed on small inclines.
One major downside is the rough running 3.6-liter V6. Power is good at 308 horsepower and 275 foot-pounds of torque. However, at mid-upper rpm levels the engine sounds terribly unrefined and runs rough enough that it can be felt throughout the cabin. We hope that the next generation’s 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder will be much smoother.
Is the off-road trimmed Canyon AT4 actually a capable off-roader?
We put the Canyon AT4 through our complete off-road test regiment. This includes a high speed off-road section with large dips and bumps, an articulation hill, and an undulating steep hill climb.
In the high speed section the GMC performed well and was able to meet the goal of 20 mph. The limited travel of the front independent suspension was certainly a limiting factor, but topping and bottoming out was done smoothly without any harsh bangs.
Again on the articulation hill we found that the shorter travel of the front suspension was limiting. On the other hand the G80 locking rear differential was quick to lock (if desired) and made the small climb easy. The rear suspension has adequate travel for a vehicle in this class, not as much as the Tacoma TRD Pro, but at least as good as the Ranger Tremor and Frontier Pro 4x.
On the steep hill climb we were able to take the hardest line in both 4wd high and 4wd low. We believe this was mainly due to the G80. Brake based traction systems often struggle in 4wd high. On the other hand, the locking rear differential of the Canyon AT4 had no problem making this climb.
The 2022 Canyon AT4 starts at $40,200. Our test model was equipped with the $3,195 AT4 Off-Road Performance Package. This includes a suspension leveling kit, additional underbody protection, and some appearance items. On top of that were the GMC Infotainment System with Nav ($995), Cayenne Red Tintcoat ($645), Driver Alert Package ($395), and Wireless Device Charging. All of this brings the total with destination charge to $46,700. Compared to other midsize trucks we’ve tested the 2022 Canyon AT4 comes in at a lower price than the 2021 Ford Ranger Lariat FX4 and Tremor, 2021 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and 2021 Chevy Colorado ZR2.
Wrapping Up the 2022 GMC Canyon AT4
The midsize truck segment is a little behind the full-size truck market. This shows mostly with interior design and comfort. While the 2022 Canyon feels a little outdated on the inside, it is on par with most of the mid-size class. The driving and off-road dynamics are good in this capable truck. Fuel mileage is about average at an EPA 19 mpg combined rating and our testing netted roughly that same figure. In conclusion the 2022 GMC Canyon AT4 is a capable all-rounder with an average MSRP for this class.
Matthew Barnes is an experienced towing expert. He works as a mechanical engineer and his day job involves testing a variety of vehicles while towing trailers of all types and sizes. Matt shares his knowledge by writing for automotive news outlets in the evenings. When he’s not working he can be found spending time in the great outdoors with his family. He enjoys camping, hiking, canyoneering, and backpacking. Whenever possible he spends time riding in or on any power sports vehicle he can find and claims he can drive anything with a motor, which probably isn’t true.