New for 2016

The big news for the 2016 GMC Canyon is the availability of a new 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel with 369 pound-feet of torque, towing capacity of up to 7,700 pounds, and an EPA-estimated 31 mpg fuel economy.* The available IntelliLink touchscreen interface now supports Apple CarPlay® as well. 

Small Footprint, Big Impression

The 2016 GMC Canyon proves that small can be big. Despite their more manageable size and fuel economy, compact and midsize pickup trucks have been on the decline for years. Last year marked a rebirth of sorts for the Canyon. Flash-forward to today and the plucky pickup is living proof that downsizing doesn't have to be a bad thing. 

Powertrains and Performance

Before you can drive off in your 2016 GMC Canyon, you need to select from three available powertrains.

The standard engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. It’s coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission and either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

With rear-wheel drive, the Canyon will achieve an EPA-estimated 22 mpg combined (20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway),* or 21 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway) with four-wheel drive.*

If you’re looking for more power, consider the optional 3.6-liter V6, which produces 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Offered with the same six-speed automatic as the four-cylinder, V6 fuel economy is estimated at 21 mpg combined (18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway),* with rear-wheel drive, or 20 mpg combined (17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway) with four-wheel drive.*

Equipped with the optional towing package, V6 models can also tow a maximum of 7,000 pounds.

For a good mix of fuel economy and power, the 2016 GMC Canyon can be outfitted with a turbocharged 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine. Total output is pegged at 181 hp and an impressive 369 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic is standard, as is a more deluxe trailering package that includes driver-selectable exhaust brake and an integrated trailer brake controller. 

With the diesel, drivers can choose between rear-wheel and four-wheel drive. And when properly equiiped, the diesel GMC Canyon can tow up to 7,700 pounds. The diesel-powered Canyon also boasts impressive fuel economy, returning an EPA-estimated 25 mpg combined (22 city/31 highway) with rear-wheell drive, * and 23 mpg combined (20 city/ 29 highway) with four-wheel drive.*

Features and Trims

The 2016 GMC Canyon starts at $20,955** and is available in both Extended Cab and four-door Crew Cab body styles, with both short and long beds.

It may be a practical work vehicle, but the base Canyon is still well equipped, with a backup camera, LED daytime running lights, a four-way power driver’s seat, and 16-inch cast aluminum wheels among the standard equipment.

The SLE model includes all of the standard features offered on the base Canyon, plus a little more. This trim level comes standard with OnStar®4G LTE—which includes a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot that can support up to seven devices (a separate data plan is required)—as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and four USB ports.

The top Canyon trim level is the SLT. In addition to the standard features from the base and SLE models, it includes leather seating with heated front seats, automatic climate control, remote start, and heated power outside mirrors, among other features.


All that towing muscle and technological wizardry is packaged in rugged exterior styling. With a bold grille and GMC’s signature LED daytime running lights up front, the Canyon bears more than a passing resemblance to the brand’s handsome Sierra full-size trucks.

However, with an overall length of 212.4 inches in shorter Extended Cab form, the Canyon will be much easier to park. Ease of real-world use is one of the major advantages of a smaller truck, especially for buyers who may not need the capacity of a full-size rig.

On the inside, the Canyon features the same upscale interior GMC is known for. Taking advantage of the Canyon’s smaller dimensions, designers also added some elements one would expect to find in a car or crossover, including a floor-mounted shifter, center console, and standard front bucket seats.

On the technology front, the Canyon also comes standard with a 3.5-inch diagonal driver-information display in the gauge cluster. A 4.2-inch version is standard on the SLE and SLT, along with GMC’s IntelliLink™ infotainment system, which now supports Apple CarPlay® smartphone integration. Navigation and a Bose® seven-speaker audio system are optional.


The theme of a truck with car-like features continues in the safety department. Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, and front, side-impact, head-curtain, and seat-mounted side-impact airbags. In addition, an optional Driver Alert Package includes forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning systems.

Bottom Line

The 2016 GMC Canyon has breathed new life into the small-truck segment. Buyers haven’t many choices for a while, but with modern powertrains, handsome styling, and a high-class interior, the Canyon should give them everything they want. If you’re looking for a truck, but don’t need a full-size pickup, check out the Canyon.

Better yet, be sure to visit or stop by Rivertown Buick GMC to schedule a test drive.

*EPA estimates. Your mileage will vary depending on driving conditions and habits. Use for comparison purposes only.

**The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. 

Image: GMC