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2015 GMC Canyon : Current Models

A multitool combines the functions and features of a variety of hand tools into one compact package. No, that package may not contain the sharpest knife that you'll ever own, the strongest pair of pliers in your toolbox or the most user-friendly screwdriver that money can buy, but the best tool is always the one you have with you. A multitool makes up for a few small compromises with huge, pocket-friendly convenience. Short of carrying a full toolbox in your backpack, there's nothing better.

When I think of the 2015 GMC Canyon, I think that our crew-cab, short-box model is a multitool on wheels; a vehicle that serves as a commuter, a hauler, a family car, a puller and more. There are a few compromises here and there -- particularly for city drivers who may not have the space for such a large "small truck" -- but this is a solid choice for those who need one vehicle to do it all.

Flexible, configurable
The pickup truck is one of the most customizable vehicle classes on the road, so it's no surprise that the Canyon is available in a variety of configurations. There's the extended cab with a long 6-foot bed, a crew cab with a long 6-foot bed and our example's configuration: a crew cab with a short 5-foot bed. Your needs in a truck will no doubt be different from mine, but I think the short crew is the best balance of flexibility and compactness.

Each of those configurations features three more trim levels -- base, SLE and SLT -- along with two engines, two transmissions and two drivetrain configurations. Our example was a V-6 SLE 4WD model with an optional All-terrain package that includes a few off-road optimizations and cabin creature comforts.

Engine and power train
In at least one of its many configurations, the Canyon can be had with a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. We weren't able to test that setup, but I think that our example's V-6 may be a better fit for a vehicle of this size.

The 3.6-liter V-6 engine makes 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque with direct injection and bumps the maximum GVWR payload to 6,000 pounds and the maximum towing capacity to 6,700 pounds when equipped with the towing package. That engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission in either a rear-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD) configurations. Our example featured the latter.

The 4WD model features an Autotrac transfer case that can, with the twist of a dial, quickly be set to lock into four-wheel-drive mode when off-road, rear-wheel-drive mode for efficient street cruising or be left to its own devices to control the torque split, automatically sending torque to the front wheels when slip is detected. There's also a 4WD Low setting for use in low-speed, high-torque multiplication situations, such as when climbing rocks. The All-terrain package also includes an optional locking rear differential, hill descent control, an underbody skid plate for the transfer case and unique styling.

On the road, I found the Canyon's performance to be good -- its automatic transmission shifting smoothly and V-6 supplying good torque -- but there's an odd hesitation to its acceleration. The pickup accelerates well when tasked, but more delicate throttle adjustments seem to be dulled. I'm reminded of the "Eco" mode throttle mapping that many sedans use to smooth out a lead-footed driver's acceleration in the interest of fuel economy. Perhaps I'm just used to a bit more throttle response, but it did mean that I had to be a lot more deliberate when asking the Canyon to pass.

GMC and the EPA estimate that the 2015 Canyon is good for 20 combined mpg (17 city and 24 highway) in this short crew 4WD configuration. I finished my traffic heavy week at about 17 mpg.

Daily driving comfort
On the road, the Canyon's handling was predictable and and solid feeling, but still a truckish ride. The multileaf spring rear suspension transmits many of the bumps and jolts directly into the cabin, jostling driver and passengers alike. As is often the case with trucks, there's no escaping the reality that you're riding with most of the center of gravity above the suspension. However, the small pickup never seemed to be rattled by the bumps; its stiff chassis never rattled or groaned. The ride may have occasionally gotten rough, but it always felt solidly planted, which inspired a good deal of confidence in me, the driver.

The ride may have been predictably truckish, but the turning radius was surprisingly small. At lower speeds, the Canyon proved to be quite nimble and, along with its standard rear cameras, well-adapted to the tight turns and tighter parking spots of city parking decks. The adoption of electric power steering for the 2015 Canyon helps to give the steering an easy, carlike feel and likely boosts fuel efficiency.

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Sources : 2015 GMC Canyon Photo | 2015 GMC Canyon Article

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