2021 GMC Canyon

MSRP $28,300

Ranked #8 in Midsize Pickup-truck

6.2

Overall Rating

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2021 GMC Canyon Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 17, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The all-new 2021 GMC Canyon is part of the new GMC truck lineup. It was released in the fall of 2020. The 2021 Canyon will be a part of the Canyon/Sierra truck family and share the same chassis and powertrain with the Chevy Colorado. With a starting price of $29,495, the Canyon will compete with other mid-size trucks like the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, and Ford Ranger.

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Pros

Excellent fuel efficiency

Spacious cabin

Decent Towing Capacity

Cons

Expensive AWD variant and Diesel powertrain

Average safety ratings

The infotainment interface looks dated

What's New?

The interior materials have improved on the elevation trim

A heated steering wheel and cooled front seats are also included as standard features

Moreover, the redesigned front grille now looks more aggressive


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$28300

bodystyle

dr Crew Cab

warranty

roadside assistance

No


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Elevation Standard$28,300 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 GMC Canyon in Cayenne Red Metallic color
Cayenne Red Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

7.3

Engine and Performance

6.0

Fuel Economy

4.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

7.0

Safety

2.0

Competition

8.0

Final Verdict

4.8

6.2

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

6.2

Overall Rating


Over the years, the Canyon's infotainment system has also improved in terms of features. The user interface, however, still looks outdated compared to other competitors. There are also 3 different powertrains available for the Canyon, including a V6, while an AWD drivetrain system is also available.

2021 GMC Canyon Crew Cab front angle view
2021 GMC Canyon Crew Cab rear angle view

6.0/10
Engine and Performance

4.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

2.0/10
Safety

8.0/10
Competition

4.8/10
Final Verdict


2021 GMC Canyon Features

The GMC Canyon has four main trim levels for the year 2021: Standard, Elevation, AT4, and Denali. Because AT4 and Denali have varying configurations and unique characteristics, they are not the same. Those 2 trims will be discussed separately in a subsequent article. There is no difference in powertrain between the Elevation Standard and Elevation. Both trims, however, come with an All-wheel drive variant as an option. The Canyon's powertrain can also be upgraded to a 3.6L V6 engine on both trims.

Standard trim lacks soft-touch materials on the dash whereas Elevation trim features soft-touch materials throughout the cabin. As standard, the front driver's seat is 4-way power-adjustable. However, the Elevation trim comes with a 6-way power-adjustable and heated driver's seat.

Trims

Elevation Standard

Elevation

MSRP (RWD)

$29,495

$33,095

MSRP (AWD)

N/A

$37,300

Key Features

6-way power driver seat

Power Door Locks

 

17" all-terrain Blackwall tires

All-weather floor liners

 

6-speaker audio system

Locking tailgate

 

Keyless Entry

Off-Road lights

Which trim should you buy?

We recommend you opt for the base trim because it is the most value for the money. However, if you are not restricted by a budget and you want a little extra protection, comfort, and infotainment, you should probably consider the Elevation trim.

2021 GMC Canyon Engine and Performance

6.0/10

With its midsize pickup truck, the 2021 GMC Canyon is perfect for families to commute together. It is also perfect for traveling to places that would be difficult to reach with a normal car. It has a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine that produces 200 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque as standard. The truck comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which improves fuel efficiency. If you're seeking an overall decent performance and specifications, this could be the perfect pick-up for you.

If you want more power, both trims can also be equipped with a 3.5L V6 engine. There is also the option to buy the Elevation trim specifically with the Duramax 2.8L inline-4 turbocharged diesel engine. Optionally, you can also add an automatic locking rear differential. The Canyon's maximum towing capacity is rated at 7000 pounds, and its maximum payload capacity is 1531 pounds, which is decent for its segment.

Models

2021 GMC Canyon

2021 Ford Ranger

2021 Chevrolet Colorado

2021 Toyota Tacoma

MSRP

$29,895

$27,220

$28,295

$26,400

Engine

2.5L Inline-4 engine

2.3L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine

2.5L Inline-4 engine

2.7L Inline-4 engine

Drivetrain

RWD/AWD

RWD/AWD

RWD/AWD

RWD/AWD

Transmission

6-speed automatic transmission

10-speed automatic transmission

6-speed shiftable automatic transmission

6-speed automatic transmission

Power

200 hp @ 6300 RPM

270 hp @ 5,500 RPM

200 hp @ 6300 RPM

159 hp @ 5200 RPM

Torque

191 lb-ft @ 4400 RPM

310 lb-ft @ 3,000 RPM

191 lb-ft @ 4400 RPM

180 lb-ft @ 3800 RPM

0-60 mph (sec)

8.5

7

8.4

9.4

Quarter mile (sec)

16.5

14.7

16.2

14.7

The Toyota Tacoma is the most affordable truck in this segment. However, the power and specifications are lower in comparison with its rivals. The Ford Ranger has the most engine power, as well as the quickest acceleration figures in the segment.

Both the Canyon and Colorado are almost the same in terms of performance since they share the same chassis and powertrain. Overall, however, the winner is the Ford Ranger because of its excellent acceleration capabilities and impressive specifications.

How well does the 2021 GMC Canyon handle?

There is no doubt that the Canyon's suspension gets you where you want to be, but it is stiff. This is how most trucks handle, so it's nothing new. It has a very good turning radius. Despite having a full load at the back, the truck handles very well. Additionally, the steering is incredibly responsive, and the driver will enjoy the commanding view while seated. 

2021 GMC Canyon Crew Cab ride and handling

Performance on corners is also great, but sometimes keeping the truck straight can be challenging. Moreover, both trims are available with an AWD option, which offers the driver a greater level of confidence and control while driving. As a whole, this truck makes a great utility vehicle that can handle many different situations.

2021 GMC Canyon Braking Performance

A pickup truck is expected to have excellent braking performance since they are heavy and carries a great deal of weight. On the front wheels, Canyon's brake rotors measure 12.2 inches, while on the rear wheels they measure 12.7 inches. The Canyon weighs a little less than all the other competing models in its segment. From 60 mph, it can come to a complete stop in about 121 feet, which is good, but not the best.

Models

2021 GMC Canyon

2021 Ford Ranger

2021 Chevrolet Colorado

2021 Toyota Tacoma

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

12.2

12.2

12.2

10.8

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

12.75

12.1

12.8

10

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,943

4,232

4,050

4,305

60-0 (feet)

121

N/A

123

119

The GMC Canyon has the lowest curb weight in its class. However, that doesn't mean that it has the best braking capability here. In its class, the Toyota Tacoma comes to a complete stop from 60 mph in 119 feet, which is the best in the segment. However, the Canyon's performance is very close to that of the Tacoma.

2021 GMC Canyon Fuel Economy

4.0/10

The 2021 GMC Canyon offers 19 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway. Owners will not have to stop at the gas station too often since the vehicle has a large tank of 21 gallons that enables the Canyon to go over 450 miles without a refill. In terms of combined mileage, the Canyon is rated at 22 MPG which is similar to most of its competitors.

Models

2021 GMC Canyon

2021 Ford Ranger

2021 Chevrolet Colorado

2021 Toyota Tacoma

MPG (City)

19

21

19

19

MPG (Highway)

25

26

25

22

MPG (Combined)

22

23

22

21

Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallons)

21

18

21

21.1

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

399/525/462

378/468/427 

399/525/462

400.9/464.2/443.1

Compared to these rivals, all of them except Tacoma have a pretty similar fuel economy. However, the Ford Ranger achieves the highest fuel economy compared to all its rivals. However, its smaller fuel tank of 18 gallons limits its range on a full tank as compared to those of other competitors.

2021 GMC Canyon Interior

8.0/10

To improve the comfort of the 2021 GMC Canyon, the automaker has been working on improving its line of vehicles. Optionally, the top trim comes with heated and ventilated front seats. If you like to feel comfortable in your vehicle, especially in the winter, this is a great option.

2021 GMC Canyon Crew Cab cockpit area

Also, because of the cabin's spaciousness, it is ideal for people who require a truck but don't want comfort to be a tradeoff as the Canyon's seats are very comfortable, and the driver's seat can be adjusted in six different ways. The higher trim also features soft-to-touch materials inside. Moreover, the Canyon's cargo space is measured at 41.3 cubic feet, which is decent, but not the best in its segment.

2021 GMC Canyon Crew Cab seats

Models

2021 GMC Canyon

2021 Ford Ranger

2021 Chevrolet Colorado

2021 Toyota Tacoma

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

4

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder room/Legroom) (inches)

41.4/57.5/45.0

39.8/56.7/43.1

41.4/57.5/45.0

39.7/58.3/42.9

Second Row (Headroom/Shoulder room/Legroom) (inches)

38.3/56.2/35.8

38.3/56.3/34.5

38.3/56.2/35.8

34.9/56.5/24.6

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

41.3

43.3

41.3

56.7

Due to their spacious cabins, both the GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado easily dominate all the other trucks here. On either row, they have the most headroom and legroom. However, the Tacoma features the most cargo bed capacity. Some of the key features of the interior are:

  • Cruise Control
  • Heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Ventilated front seats with cooling feature
  • Rear under-seat storage tray
  • Automatic climate control

What’s there to keep you entertained?

GMC has improved its lineup quite a lot in terms of feature upgrades and additions over the years. However, there are a few things that may disappoint buyers. The display screen is large and works well, but the interface looks very dated and needs to be updated. The experience is similar to using an iPhone 6 in 2021.

Other than that, seven speakers are included as standard. On the Elevation trim, however, you can choose the Bose 7-speaker premium audio system. Other basic features include satellite radio (3 months), USB connection, AM/FM stereo, speed-sensitive volume control, Apple Carplay, and Android Auto. Furthermore, it supports Wireless Charging although the pad is too small for any smartphone of today to fit in. Therefore, GMC needs to address this issue since it makes the feature useless if one cannot use it. Some of the key infotainment features are:

  • Touch Screen Display
  • Apple Carplay & Android Auto
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • Wireless Charging
  • BlueTooth & Navigation
  • Bose speakers (Optional)

2021 GMC Canyon Exterior

7.0/10

The GMC Canyon's exterior has been updated for 2021. The new face of the vehicle features a unique grille, LED headlights, and LED daytime running lights. Also, the lower tail light trim and larger bumper on the rear end have been revised. A more streamlined exterior design and improved visibility distinguish the 2021 GMC Canyon over its predecessor. 

2021 GMC Canyon Crew Cab 

The truck's dimensions are unchanged, but it does lose about 300 pounds. As a result of these changes, the truck should look and perform better. Moreover, the grille is wider and shallower, and the headlights wrap around the grille for a sleek profile. It also comes with standard 18.0-inch black-painted aluminum wheels on both trims.

Models

2021 GMC Canyon

2021 Ford Ranger

2021 Chevrolet Colorado

2021 Toyota Tacoma

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,943

4,232

4,050

4,305

Length (in.)

212.4

210.8

212.7

212.3

Width (in.)

74.3

73.3

74.3

74.4

Height (in.)

70.7

71.1

70.4

70.6

Ground Clearance (in.)

8.3

8.4

8.3

9.4

Wheelbase (in.)

128.3

126.8

128.3

127.4

This year, the GMC Canyon comes out as the lightest vehicle in its class because its curb weight has been reduced. In comparison, the Tacoma has the highest ground clearance and weighs the most while both the Canyon and Colorado have the longest wheelbases, which translates to more space in their cabins. Some of the key exterior features are:

  • 18.0-inch wheels
  • LED Fog Lamps
  • Black Recovery Hook
  • Rear step bumper
  • Power remote heated manual folding side-view door mirrors
  • Body-colored door handles

2021 GMC Canyon Safety

2.0/10

Both NHTSA and IIHS have not yet tested the 2021 GMC Canyon. However, the previous version's ratings were satisfactory. The NHTSA gave it a 4-star rating, which is considered to be just above average. On the other hand, the IIHS gave it a 'Good' rating in most of the categories. As standard, it has a good amount of safety features. The most advanced features are only available in the topmost trim, which is also optional. However, we would say it is not the best when it comes to safety tech, but it is not the worst either. Some standout safety features include:

  • Tire Pressure Monitoring
  • Pre-Collision Safety System
  • Post-Collision Safety System
  • Lane Departure Warning Accident Avoidance System (Optional)
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • Forward Collision Alert (Optional)
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Rear Parking Assist (Optional)

2021 GMC Canyon Competition

8.0/10

2021 GMC Canyon vs 2021 Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger costs a little less than the Canyon. But, when it comes down to performance, the Ranger is unmatched in its segment. The engine puts out 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, which is the most in this class of mid-size trucks. This power allows the Ranger to cover 0-60 in about 7 seconds, which is very impressive for a mid-size truck. The GMC Canyon does offer a little better space inside the cabin and the fuel economy is again almost similar. But, the Ranger with its better performance and better towing capacity (7500 pounds) easily outshines the GMC Canyon.

2021 Ford Ranger

2021 GMC Canyon vs 2021 Chevrolet Colorado

Both the Canyon and Colorado come from the same parent company and both of these trucks share the same chassis and powertrain. The price, specification, and dimensions are again very similar as well. But, the GMC Canyon beats its corporate cousin as it features a nicer cabin and better infotainment specs. The Chevrolet Colorado also gets poor ratings from the IIHS for its headlights. As a result, we would recommend you to go with Canyon instead.

2021 Chevrolet Colorado

2021 GMC Canyon vs 2021 Toyota Tacoma

The base model of the Toyota Tacoma costs much less than the Canyon. But, the GMC Canyon is better than the Tacoma in every other aspect. It has a nicer cabin, better engine performance, superior fuel economy, and many more features as standard. The Canyon also looks a little more stylish than the Tacoma. So, if you are willing to pay slightly more, the Canyon is the better choice between the two.

2021 Toyota Tacoma

 

2021 GMC Canyon Final Verdict

4.8/10

Yes, the 2021 GMC Canyon is one of the better mid-size trucks in its segment. It has different powertrains available for buyers to choose from and has a nicer set of features as compared to most of its rivals, however, its interface looks a little dated. Otherwise, it is quite a potent truck in its segment that should certainly be at the top of your list. Also, don't forget to check out its closest rival, the Ford Ranger which is a little expensive but is arguably the best in the segment of mid-size pickup trucks.

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