When the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado was unveiled, we were curious to see how what the folks at GMC had up their sleeve with the 2023 GMC Canyon. The previous generation Canyon was a capable truck but one that was hobbled by tamer exterior design, and lower sales when compared to its counterpart the Chevrolet Colorado. GMC is out to change all that with the unveiling of the 2023 GMC Canyon which takes things in a wilder yet more refined direction with the all-new AT4X model.
Canyon AT4X Brings New Firepower To The Off-Road Pickup Wars
It’s no secret that the off-road niche segment has become a potent battleground for trucks big and small with many automakers putting renewed focus on making trail capable versions of their hottest selling models. That narrative (unsurprisingly) carries through to the Canyon AT4X which is better than ever. The exterior styling is chunkier and is more intimidating than before with the chiseled front bumper featuring a beefy safari bar that even comes with an integrated LED lightbar. A three inch suspension lift allows the truck to have 10.7 inches of ground clearance, and the Colorado’s Multimatic DSSV technology is carried over to this model too. A crew cab will be the sole layout here with both the extended cab and bed options from before all being dropped for the new model year.
A meaty set of 33-inch MT All-Terrain tires is also standard while a winch sourced from COMEUP (Edition 1 only) helps pull the Canyon out of trouble when the going gets tough. All AT4X models are powered by a 2.7 liter turbocharged four cylinder which makes 430 hp and 569 lb-ft of torque. An eight speed automatic is also standard and while it’s all carried over from the Colorado, GMC managed to once again give the Canyon its own distinct personality. That’s especially evident in the interior with all Canyon trims getting a distinct visual identity that’s less copy and paste and allows each trim to express themselves.
In the case of the AT4X, that means a blend of Ceramic White and Obsidian Rush hues with more badging and identifiers that tells owners they are in a true off-road special. The X is also the second model in the family to get an Edition 1 model, which will continue to be a launch year only special. Like the delightfully bonkers Hummer EV pickup, Canyon Edition 1 models are largely styling exercises but we do appreciate the brand adding the Hummer’s underbody camera system to the truck with the system also capable of cleaning the lenses with a built in washer system. The X also comes with a trim exclusive Baja mode for its drive selector system.
Rest Of The Canyon Family Focuses On The Essentials
While the AT4X model is the main focus of affairs here for 2023, the rest of the Canyon model lineup doesn’t disappoint in its attempts to woo customers. GMC strived to create a distinct look and feel for each trim level and as a result, the differences between them are more pronounced than before. The Denali model for example comes with laser etched wood trim and real leather accents including a small quilted leather accent on the passenger side of the dashboard.
Our favorite feature though has to be the 11.3-inch infotainment screen which is the biggest ever offered in the Canyon and is paired with a fully digital 11-inch instrument cluster (8.3 inches on AT4 and Elevation.) These two items help enhance the Canyon’s technological game and they also allow the truck to fall more in line with rivals that have also upgraded their cabins to try and win over a growing pool of customers. This commitment to quality and distinction carries on as you go further down the trim ladder, and even the base Elevation delivers the goods in providing a premium ownership experience. These models also use a 2.7 liter turbocharged four cylinder but it’s detuned slightly to 310 hp versus what’s seen in the AT4X.
When Can I Buy One?
GMC revealed that the 2023 Canyon will begin production early next year with pre-ordering for the AT4X Edition 1 models opening now. Pricing for those models starts at $63,350 before taxes and fees are factored in. GMC reps chose to not reveal extensive pricing information for the remainder of the Canyon range, but did confirm that most trims will start below $40,000.
Buyers that choose to add one to their garage will benefit from an impressive suite of standard safety features including Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision Alert and more. GMC is also offering an optional Safety Plus Package that adds Rear Cross Traffic braking and Blind Zone Steering Assist. Meanwhile a third technology package adds Rear Pedestrian Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, and HD Surround Vision capability. It will be interesting to see if all of these updates will finally allow the Canyon to not only outshine its corporate brother, but also bring the fight to rivals like the Nissan Frontier, Ford Ranger, and the benchmark Toyota Tacoma both on the trail and the sales charts.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.