Sunday Drive: The new GMC Canyon AT4 is a truck that goes everywhere | News, sports, jobs

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2021 The GMC Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition takes the Canyon’s capabilities to a higher level with increased protection and maneuverability.

Courtesy photo

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2021 The GMC Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition takes the Canyon’s capabilities to a higher level with increased protection and maneuverability.

Courtesy photo

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2021 The GMC Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition takes the Canyon’s capabilities to a higher level with increased protection and maneuverability.

Courtesy photo

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2021 The GMC Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition takes the Canyon’s capabilities to a higher level with increased protection and maneuverability.

Courtesy photo

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2021 The GMC Canyon AT4 Off-Road Performance Edition takes the Canyon’s capabilities to a higher level with increased protection and maneuverability.

Courtesy photo

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The last Saturday in January dawned with a clear blue sky and cold temperatures. With no bad weather forecast and no snowfall in a few weeks, it seemed like the perfect time to get out into the western Utah desert and drive some four-wheel drive in the new GMC Canyon AT4.

Canyon itself has been a big seller for the GM brand, especially for those who need a truck but do not require the company’s full-size offering. The medium-sized market has become an excellent choice and with new additions such as AT4, it now offers even more capable four-wheeled vehicles in its own right. With more than 30% of Canyon buyers in 2021 choosing the AT4 equipment level, we decided that GM needs to come up with something with this new design!

So, with as much of a plan as possible on a cold January afternoon, we headed west, took the long road around the south end of Utah Lake, and then went back on Redwood Road toward Saratoga Springs, while looking for some sort of good adventure in the canyon.

We have not spent much time on the west side of Utah Lake, let alone up the mountain on that side, so we pretty much let nature guide us as we went. We came across Soldiers Pass Road, which looked pretty good and had received ratings, so we went and thought we would at least get to test the AT4’s four-wheel drive performance.

The road was very well maintained and would have been good for all AWD vehicles. After climbing to the top of Soldiers Pass, we turned north, thinking that eventually we would have to either find our way into Eagle Mountain or turn around and come back.

We continued for about half a mile and the road deteriorated and became a real four-wheel drive path with large rocks and steep slopes. It was by this time we were very happy that the Canyon AT4 came complete with auto-locking hubs and an extra factory-installed elevator.

During our travels that day, we stopped using four-wheel drive with low range and automatic hill. We were very impressed with the automatic leveling system that came with the AT4 Off Road Performance package.

Now our only real problem was wondering if the road would actually lead us away from the mountain and down to Eagle Mountain or if we would have to back up what had turned into a 150 mile journey.

The good news was that the included navigation package could show the road (as it was) that we were on, and it turned out that it went all the way into western Eagle Mountain. So, we continued and drove over rocks, snow and mud with the AT4 that conquered everything without even stretching its capacity. The only thing that stretched was our nerves when we wondered what to expect.

After dropping down a canyon and passing some motorcyclists who were literally driving straight up a mountainside, we came to an open field. The road led through it to a gate.

When we arrived at the said gate we could only hope that it was not locked, which forced us to turn around and go back over the mountain. Craig inspected the gate further and found an easy-to-open buckle and a sign that simply asked all travelers to close the gate after going through to keep the cows inside.

It was a fantastic afternoon, one we did not expect to have at the end of January. Snow is usually the dominant factor in Utah weather at this time of year, which would have prevented us from getting a lot of mountain time in a 4 × 4 vehicle.

The new AT4 is equipped with all kinds of goodies that make the medium-sized truck a real challenger in the terrain arena. The 17-inch black wheels clad with 33-inch BFGoodrich KM3 Mud-Terrain tires had a great look and made getting over and through everything not a big challenge for the truck.

Our only complaint with the new AT4 we drove was the fact that a key was required to start it. Now it can seem like a very first world problem; But having to dig in your pocket or purse just to get the door open is not something we are used to. After going to that trouble, we admit that it was a contentious issue to then have to put in a key and turn it to make the truck roll.

Inside, the cabin was very well equipped with heated leather seats, along with a heated steering wheel, both of which were standard and made our week even better. The 8-inch infotainment screen was useful when connecting our phones to Apple CarPlay, and the truck even came with an upgraded navigation package from GM ($ 995).

On the safety side, the Canyon came with all the usual equipment, including the Teen Driver system that allows the owner to monitor the vehicle’s speed, location and other objects while a teenager or someone else is out driving the truck. In addition, a backup camera and rear parking assistance were included.

We would have loved to see some other safety items included such as blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and even adaptive cruise control and parking assistance at this trim level.

We really like these new medium-sized pickup lines, especially when they come with all the terrain equipment that makes the impossible journey possible.

Base price: 40 200 USD

Destination fee: $ 1 195

Price driven: $ 46,700

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