On the Road review: GMC Canyon AT4

Just before the transition to 128/95 South in Peabody, Mass., There is a huge sign for the Boston area’s mega-retailer Herb Chambers. The bold letters send a strong message, “You only live once – drive what you want.” In the right corner of the sign is a lava orange Porsche Carrera lurking around you.

Almost exactly that day, 21 years ago, my first ever drive at NEMPA’s annual winter rally was a sunset 911 Carrera. It was a driving force that extended beyond the accepted boundaries of our intended experience, to share with other writers. Mr Lawlor thought the Porsche was on its way back to Maine before anyone could enjoy its lively personality. Would today create a similar experience?

After a year of absence, it was fantastic to try some of the latest products in the region’s press fleet again. The Jeep’s 4Xe Wrangler Hybrid was fun, as was the latest BMW 440i Gran Coupe, but the highlight of the visit was Kia’s new EV6 mid-size electric crossover. From $ 41,000, with a range of 310 miles, the Kia was agile, fast and polished. Not really Porsche-like on the voltage meter, but still impressive. Hopefully we will get to share more about the groundbreaking EV in the coming months.

The keystroke at the end of the event rewarded me with this week’s GMC Canyon in the latest AT4 trim – the perfect buddy for another week of winter ahead of me; cold, windy and snowy. With a heated steering wheel, red pepper hot seat heater that lets you warm your back separately, plus the equipment in the AT4 package – undercarriage slide plates, 17-inch glossy black rims with oversized off-road tires, performance exhaust system, raised off-road suspension with an off-road suspension set, , plus a spray-on bedliner, GMC would be rude by the weather. Painted Cayenne Red, how ironic, GMC proved to be a quick companion for the four and a half hour long journey home.

This segment of small trucks has recently seen a revolution. Nissan’s Frontier has been significantly refreshed, Jeep’s Gladiator tears up sales lists, while smaller rivals named Maverick and Santa Cruz are likely to appeal to buyers who do not want or need a large pickup, just the benefits of getting dirty for play, or doing dirty work. for the job.
Canyon, and its Chevy siblings Colorado, have not been revised for several years. Their basic portfolio left: body-on-frame pickup in mid-size with rear or 4wd that has an auto-4wd mode (unique to the segment), three engines including 4-cylinder gas (200 hp) or turbodiesel four with 181 hp, plus a 308 hp V -6, runs through either an eight-speed or new 10-speed automatic transmission. GM is still building a standard cab version, an extended cab model, plus our tried and tested crew cab.

The maximum towing capacity is 7,000 pounds, which practically surpasses almost all competitors. The EPA rating for our V-6 test was 17/24 mpg. The home highway revealed 19 mpg, while rural running only improved that figure by one mile per gallon.

Conversely, Canyon produces a much more compliant ride than the best-selling Tacoma, perhaps because the long-distance dampers facilitate all aspects of travel. The entry level is higher, as is the exit, but driving boards would still jeopardize the terrain capacity. A narrow turning radius, reasonably quiet cab, plus better ergonomics also benefits the GMC.

GM’s corporate 3.6-liter V-6 provides strong, linear power – you needed to run around with your foot buried in the firewall to make rapid acceleration. While the small diesel provides more peak torque – good for towing and fuel economy – the V-6 is still the standard driveline for many buyers. Canyon is built in Wentzville, Mo.
Inside, GMC knows some competitors with more equipment and a solid, if not luxurious, cab. Large knobs and buttons are comfortable for gloves, while an 8.0-inch screen provides updated telematics including navigation and Android and Apple compatibility. A Bose stereo upgrade is available, as well as lane departure warning and forward-looking collision assistance, but other electronic driving aids are still lacking. Keyless remote access is standard – but no touch access outside, and you still have a key with a key inside. Some operating choices are not retained from start to finish.

Prices start at around $ 28,000. Our Canyon Crew Cab AT4 starts at just over $ 41,000, with options for over $ 5,000 running the SRP at $ 46,700.

The price of pickups has increased over the past 18 months, with the average transaction price of new vehicles close to $ 47,000. Buyers may well be skeptical – what if we have a financial “correction” and you are holding paper on a new or used vehicle that suddenly drops in value?

What happens if the opposite happens – that prices continue to climb due to ongoing delivery problems? Stressful times for everyone.

But at least it’s not a Porsche 911 Carrera. They start at $ 102,000.

Next week: A New Car Buying Saga

Tim Plouff

Tim Plouff has examined cars on the sides of The Ellsworth American every week for almost two decades.

Tim Plouff

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