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When you don’t need the ultimate size and performance that something like the Sierra offers, the 2018 GMC Canyon is a great pick for a midsize truck. This is the kind of truck that you choose when you value better fuel efficiency while retaining much of the cargo and towing capacity that larger full-size pickups have to offer. In some ways, you can think of the 2018 Canyon as a more streamlined version of the Sierra. Very similar in a lot of important ways while keeping everything smaller and more manageable, this is the idea behind the Canyon.
Many people might not think of a midsize truck at first. Some tend to have an “all or nothing” mentality with their trucks. If it doesn’t have the size and cargo capacity of the big trucks, it’s not worth that much time and consideration for these individuals. This line of thinking, while necessary in some cases, is too limiting since midsize trucks are like a bridge between full trucks and smaller vehicles. For anyone who doesn’t need the best a truck can offer, something like the Canyon is a great consideration.
More importantly, midsize trucks have many advantages over their larger cousins. For one thing, a smaller size actually has some benefits. Cargo and towing capacities aren’t drastically decreased when you shrink a frame since engine and drivetrain options can help offset the smaller mass. Second, a smaller size is more preferable in certain driving environments. Riding around in cities is an obvious area where smaller can be better. To park without causing an accident requires a nimble and sturdy chassis. Going off-road is another area where a smaller frame makes sense. When you need to avoid large obstacles without sacrificing performance and grip, the midsize option is extremely tempting.With midsize trucks like the Canyon comes a variety of options for you to consider. This all starts with what you put under the hood. Engine options range from a fuel-efficient 200 hp in-line four to a more powerful 300 hp V-6. For diesel lovers, you’ll even find a Duramax engine option thrown in just for good measure.
This truck starts at an affordable $22,095, making it extremely competitive compared to more expensive options like the Toyota Tacoma. Depending on the trim line you get and optional upgrade packages you may choose, you can tailor the Canyon to your liking. Create a daily commuter, a real workhorse, or a great off roader right at the dealership.
The 2018 GMC Canyon does a good job of balancing the larger frame of a midsize truck with car-like handling characteristics. In terms of safety, you can expect an equal blend of car-, SUV-, and truck-like systems in the interior.
Passive safety systems include the usual amount of standard front and side airbags, including rear row side airbags for the crew and full cabins, along with several child safety anchor and tether points for car seats. Active safety systems include optional forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems. These come in the driver alert upgrade package unless you opt for the top trim Denali model.
Most of the interior features come as optional upgrades as well. With the included infotainment system, you can choose to add on additional features such as 4G LTE mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay compatibility, turn-by-turn GPS navigation, voice control, and real-time traffic and weather alerts.
No discussion about midsize trucks would be complete without talking about the overall fuel efficiency you can expect from the various engine options. These days, midsize trucks are synonymous with greater fuel efficiency compared to full-size pickup options. Depending on the power of the engine you choose, you can expect more or less fuel economy in line with the number of cylinders and type of fuel the engine uses.
For the maximum gasoline fuel efficiency, the best choice is the 2.5 L four-cylinder engine that is the base option for the most affordable trim. With this engine, you will get a competitive 20 MPG city and 26 MPG highway when paired with the rear wheel drive.
The bigger brother to the 2.5 L in-line four is a 3.6 L V-6. With this engine option, fuel efficiency is slightly decreased to 17 city MPG and 24 highway MPG for a combined total of 19 miles per gallon. As with all trucks, you can expect better fuel efficiency with the rear wheel drive compared to all-wheel-drive options.
For the best results, you have to turn away from traditional gasoline and walk to diesel. Like any traditional diesel engine, the 2.8 L turbo diesel the Canyon offers beats out the gasoline engines, offering 20 city MPG and 28 Highway MPG for a total of 23 combined miles per gallon.
The beauty of a midsize pickup like the 2018 Canyon is engine options. Midsize trucks are better suited for people who want the balance between better fuel efficiency and cargo/towing capacity. Unlike full-size trucks, which start with hungry engines and go on up, the Canyon’s engine options give you a lot of room to choose between feel efficiency and general performance.
The trio of engine options starts with the baseline 2.5 L in-line four engine. This is a mighty little commuter engine that is focused on fuel efficiency more than anything. If you want to use the Canyon as a daily commuter or for the occasional long drive, this is the engine for you. Lacking stellar acceleration, however, you may choose other engine options for better overall performance.
Moving on up, a 3.6 L V-6 engine comes with a new six-speed automatic transmission. This engine will dish out 308 hp at max capacity and can be paired with either the standard rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive setup.
Finally, the Canyon is one of the only midsize trucks to offer a full turbo diesel option. Coming with a 2.8 L Duramax four-cylinder engine, this one sacrifices speed in favor of overall fuel efficiency and towing capacity. It will output a maximum of 181 hp when combined with the six-speed automatic transmission and rear wheel or all-wheel drivetrain.
In terms of maximum towing capacity, your best bet is the turbo diesel engine that maxes out at 7,700 pounds.