Skip to main content
2023 GMC Canyon

Redesigned 2023 GMC Canyon Adds Off-Road Capability and Upgraded Technology

  • A full redesign of the midsize pickup includes upgrades that make it more off-road-oriented
  • New AT4X trim makes the Canyon even more capable when adventuring off the beaten path
  • New dashboard and center console, with large instrument panel and multimedia screens
  • Launches the third GMC Canyon generation for 2023

What is the GMC Canyon?

2023 GMC Canyon

The 2023 GMC Canyon not only introduces the third generation of this midsize pickup, but it also becomes the second truck (behind the GMC Sierra) to add the AT4X off-road trim. The Canyon is being redesigned for the first time since its reintroduction in 2015, as is its corporate cousin, the Chevrolet Colorado. Though it carried a higher significant price tag than its bowtied relative, the last-generation Canyon had a bit too much in common with the Colorado. GMC is looking to correct that with a slew of changes that make the Canyon more upscale and more capable than before.

Those updates include a lifted off-road suspension on every Canyon, more muscular styling, and technology additions that modernize the cabin and help drivers off-road as well. The Canyon offers superior ground clearance and a nearly 4-inch-wider track compared to all of the Colorado's trims, with the Trail Boss and ZR2 excepted.

The new AT4X is an evolution of the AT4 trim the Canyon introduced for the 2020 model year, which has been a standout addition — GMC says the AT4 was the most popular of the Canyon's trim levels last year. The AT4X adds another inch of suspension lift, more underbody protection, unique bumpers for additional approach and departure clearances, Multimatic shocks, and electronic front and rear axle lockers among other features.

The redesigned Canyon will do battle in a crowded midsize truck category with the Honda Ridgeline, Jeep Gladiator, Toyota Tacoma and, of course, the Colorado. The current Canyon is tied for fourth in our official midsize truck rankings with the Colorado, trailing the three trucks just mentioned, but the next-generation model looks poised to flip that script.

What's under the Canyon's hood?

2023 GMC Canyon

The Canyon will exclusively feature a turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four under the hood shared with the Chevrolet Colorado, dropping the V6 and diesel engines in this redesign. Though the Colorado offers three versions of the four-cylinder with very different power figures, the Canyon will only use the high-output version that makes 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. GMC engineers said that this works out better with the Canyon's new off-road focus and the premium feel that the GMC is supposed to have over its corporate cousin, which the current version doesn't really offer. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission option, and four-wheel drive is standard on all trims except for the base Elevation.

Each of the Canyon's trim levels feature an off-road suspension with a wider track and a 2-inch lift over last year's model, giving the Canyon a serious boost in ground clearance to at least 9.6 inches total. The AT4X rides even higher and has a 3-inch lift and 10.7 inches of ground clearance. These lifts are accomplished without the use of spacers, giving the suspension additional travel that will be helpful off-road. There is also a new Terrain drive mode on 4WD models that uses the truck's brakes to create a one-pedal driving experience. If you're driving over rocky terrain, for example, you will no longer need to use your left foot to brake the truck as it reaches the top of an obstacle. The truck will do that for you so it doesn't roll back.

The new AT4X will offer the most capability, with its Multimatic adaptive dampers, electronic locking front and rear differentials, 33-inch MT tires, rock rails and heavy-duty skid plates. An Edition 1 package that will only be available for the redesigned Canyon's first year of production adds on front- and rear-facing underbody cameras, an off-road front bumper with safari bar, a front 30-inch light bar, a winch, a unique front skid plate, and 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels. The front bumper, safari bar, light bar and winch will only be offered on the Edition 1 at launch but will be available as a factory and/or dealer accessory for 2024. The Edition 1 is available for ordering now and starts at $63,350 (price does not include destination; GMC did not have that figure available for the 2023 model year).

How's the Canyon's interior?

2023 GMC Canyon

Each of the Canyon's trim levels comes with its own interior design, with colors and materials meant to reflect each trim's standing. In the AT4X, there are seats covered in black, white and red, along with darkened chrome accents and a color palette that was inspired by winter sports. The luxurious Denali takes a different approach, with brighter chrome to match its more prominent front grille, black leather with brown accents, and a laser-etched wood trim piece with the Denali logo in front of the passenger seat. The latter is a significant improvement over the last-generation Denali, which had a sea of hard plastics poking through.

Despite the lengthening of the wheelbase, the interior dimensions have not grown and there's actually about an inch less legroom for rear passengers. The front seats in both the AT4X and Denali trims we saw were great, covered in high-quality leather and comfortable to sit in. But the back seat will be tight (especially for taller adults) and the rear seatback doesn't recline, making for an awkward seating position.

How's the Canyon's tech?

It's a step up over the previous generation, to be sure. A much larger 11.3-inch multimedia touchscreen (matching the Colorado's) comes standard alongside a fully digital instrument cluster and an optional head-up display. The instrument cluster display measures 8 inches in the Elevation and AT4 and 11.1 inches in the Denali and AT4X. Wireless connectivity for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is also standard.

Also upgraded are the Canyon's camera views. Underbody front and rear cameras are available on the AT4X (standard on the Edition 1), providing a live look underneath the truck and giving the AT4X a total of 10 camera views to provide greater visibility on the trail and at home.

On the safety front, every Canyon comes with a standard safety package that includes forward collision warning with automatic braking and pedestrian/cyclist detection, automatic high beams, lane keeping assist and lane departure warning. Adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning and a safety alert driver's seat are also available.

How are the Canyon's towing and hauling?

2023 GMC Canyon

The Canyon is only offered in a crew-cab/short-box configuration, giving all models a 5-foot-2 bed. Towing capacity tops out at 7,700 pounds with a maximum payload rating of 1,640 pounds.

All Canyon models except the AT4X come with the helpful side steps on the rear bumper for easier access to the bed, which has high side walls thanks to the truck's additional lift. Useful storage features have also been baked into the tailgate. Two small metal guides on the side of the tailgate allow it to sit in a half-closed (or half-open if you're an optimist) position that helps to fit longer cargo. And the tailgate itself has a small storage compartment built into it that has a drain, so it can be used to store ice or drinks. Edition 1 models also come with a reconfigurable bed rail system that's optional on the other models.

What are the Canyon's trim levels?

GMC has confirmed four trim levels for the 2023 Canyon: Elevation, AT4, Denali and the new AT4X. We are still waiting for full feature information on the Canyon lineup.

Edmunds says

The 2023 GMC Canyon's AT4X enhances the Canyon's off-road chops, but the rest of the lineup sees real technology and cabin upgrades as well that help to differentiate the truck more from the Chevrolet Colorado.

2023 GMC Canyon