The 2022 GMC Canyon AT4 is nearing the end of its useful life. GM plans to release an all-new Colorado/Canyon duo in 2023, but how does the 2022 fare against current competition?
Despite being near the end of a generation, the 2022 GMC Canyon AT4 doesn’t look outdated. The front is big and bold with an aggressive dark chrome grille. Going with the AT4 gives you some off-road styling that’s also functional. The front bumper bends up at the edges to give more space 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 cover from the AT4 Off-Road Performance Package are immediately noticeable. 17″ black alloy wheels fit nicely into the dark color theme of the truck. Also visible from the side is the rear bumper step. This is one of our favorite bed access tools in the industry.
Looking at the back, we find a huge GMC badge with Canyon underneath in a less bold size. The other thing that quickly catches the eye are the taillights, which give off a Euro style.
The bed is coated in a durable coating with plastic rail stops to protect the rails. With midsize trucks with smaller beds, Canyon can use the updated bed design for full-size trucks. Having the inner walls extended makes a big difference in the usable volume of the bed.
Inside the GMC Canyon
We have mixed feelings about the interior of the 2022 GMC Canyon AT4. It is one of the most luxurious interiors in the mid-size segment. High-quality leather abounds and features abound. Overall, it’s a comfortable place to be. However, it also feels a bit dated and plastic in some parts.
The leather seats are stylish with copper colored stitching, AT4 embroidered headrests and a carbon fiber pattern around the outer edges. They are also quite comfortable, but a little stiff.
Up front, we really like the buttons, dials and switches for all the controls. You don’t have to fumble through a touchscreen to turn on the seat heaters or adjust the climate control. The layout is such that almost everything is easy to reach and use. The 4wd selector and headlights are exceptions to this. They are located on the dashboard behind the left side of the steering wheel and can be difficult to see.
There are plenty of charging options in the 2022 Canyon AT4 with a wireless charger and two USB ports on the front and another 2 USB ports and a 12-volt outlet on the back.
The rear seat is on par with most vehicles in this class. It is a bench that is split 60/40 and has a fold-down center armrest with two cup holders. The seat backs can be folded forward to access the child seat anchors and there is a small amount of storage behind them. Along with that, the seat bottom lifts up to reveal more storage and the tools needed to change a flat tire.
Driving the 2022 Canyon AT4 is a good experience overall. The steering is tight and precise for having high-profile off-road tires. Offroad-tuned suspension makes the ride a little more plush. All of this places the Canyon AT4 in the middle of the mid-size pack.
Around town, the truck is easy to maneuver and park. Power from the line is good enough and the 8-speed auto transmission flawless. On the highway, the results are similar. We found that a temporary downshift was needed to maintain a steady speed on slight inclines.
A major drawback is the rough 3.6-liter V6. Output is good at 308 horsepower and 275 foot-pounds of torque. But by mid-upper rev levels, the engine sounds terribly unrefined and runs rough enough that it can be felt throughout the cabin. We hope the next-generation 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder will be much smoother.
Is the off-road-tuned Canyon AT4 really a capable off-road vehicle?
We put the Canyon AT4 through our full off-road test regiment. This includes a high-speed off-road section with large drops and bumps, an articulation hill and a rolling steep hill.
In the high-speed section, the GMC performed well and was able to hit the 20 mph target. The limited travel of the front independent suspension was certainly a limiting factor, but topping and bottoming was done smoothly without any hard bangs.
Again on the articulation hill, we found the shorter travel of the front suspension to be limiting. On the other hand, the G80 rear locking differential was quick to lock (if desired) and made the small climb a breeze. The rear suspension has enough travel for a vehicle in this class, not as much Tacoma TRD Probut at least as good as Ranger Tremor and Frontier Pro 4x.
On the steep hill 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 on the Canyon AT4 had no problem climbing.
The 2022 Canyon The 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 details. On top of that was 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 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 Rubicon2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and 2021 Chevy Colorado ZR2.
Finishing the 2022 GMC Canyon AT4
The mid-size truck segment is slightly behind the full-size truck market. This is most evident with interior design and comfort. While the 2022 Canyon feels a little dated on the inside, it’s on par with most in the midsize segment. 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 tests netted about the same number. In conclusion, the 2022 GMC Canyon AT4 is a capable all-around vehicle 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 pulling trailers of all types and sizes. Matt shares his knowledge by writing for Automotive News in the evenings. When he is not working, he can spend time outdoors with his family. He enjoys camping, hiking, canyoning and backpacking. Whenever possible he spends time riding in or on whatever motor vehicle he can find and claims he can drive anything with an engine, which is probably not true.
Matt lives in the mountains of Utah and often posts cool off-road videos on his Instagram and YouTube channel.