2021 GMC Canyon

MSRP range: $26,400 - $31,800
Edmunds suggests you pay$27,617

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2021 GMC Canyon Review

  • Big towing capacity with gas V6 and diesel four-cylinder engines
  • Maneuverable size, along with well-mannered steering and handling
  • Comfortable ride over most surfaces
  • Front seats can feel small to larger people
  • Rivals offer more in-cab storage with rear seats folded
  • Renamed trim levels
  • Minor revisions to standard equipment
  • New grille design for Canyon Denali
  • Part of the second GMC Canyon generation introduced for 2015

Mechanically similar to the Chevrolet Colorado, the GMC Canyon has struggled to establish its own identity in the midsize pickup truck segment. For 2021, GMC looks to change that, and it gives the top of the line Denali enhanced cabin materials and a new grille reminiscent of the one on the full-size Sierra 1500 pickup.

There's also a new AT4 trim level. It's mostly just a replacement for the previous All Terrain trim level, but it does come with all-terrain tires and a special suspension to improve the truck's off-road capability. Both speak to the truck's versatility, provided you're looking to buy a Canyon in one of its more expensive trims.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The Canyon Denali is a different sort of midsize pickup. It's less focused on off-road adventure (although it's still capable) and more geared toward trailering and on-road comfort. A civilized cabin, punchy V6 engine, smooth eight-speed transmission, and excellent infotainment tech make it a standout in the class.
We tested the Denali trim level, which comes with the 3.6-liter V6. It delivers solid thrust and pulls with authority. Our test truck reached 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is quick for a midsize truck. It also steers and brakes with commendable precision and composure, and car-like handling is one of the Canyon's strengths.

The Canyon can also mix it up off-road, with decent articulation and a two-speed transfer case standard on 4WD models, but you'll need to remove its unnecessary, low-hanging chin spoiler first.
While the Canyon is unmistakably a pickup from the outside, the cabin comfort and features are far from basic pickup fare. The Denali trim's seats offer good comfort on long drives despite the firm backrests and not much lateral support. The rear seats, though, are fairly flat and upright. Adults won't want to stay back there too long.

Fundamentally, the Canyon is refined and road trip-ready, unusual traits for a midsize pickup. It offers good noise isolation and effective climate control. And the ride, while slightly bouncy if there's no cargo in the back, settles down nicely once you drop a few hundred pounds in the bed.
The Canyon's interior is laid out logically, with simple and effective knob interfaces, plenty of space up front, and a wide range of seating adjustments. This alone sets the Canyon apart from its Tacoma rival, which has a fairly narrow range of comfortable driving positions. The rear seats offer an abundance of headroom, but taller passengers may come up short on legroom.

The tall windows and large windshield give drivers a commanding view of the road ahead, although rear-quarter visibility is limited. The rearview camera helps while backing up. The Canyon's tall seats make getting in and out nearly as much work as entering and exiting a full-size truck. The side step bars help here.
The Canyon infotainment system is easy to use and feature-rich. It has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration as standard. The optional Bose system is a nice upgrade, but volume doesn't get as high as we'd like. For device charging, there are two USB ports up front and two in back. GMC's Wi-Fi hotspot setup is also one of the easier systems to use as it offers a 4G LTE connection and can handle up to seven devices.

Forward collision alert and lane departure warning are optional and a bit sensitive, but they work as advertised. Otherwise, we'd like to see the inclusion of blind-spot monitoring on the options list.
The Canyon V6's maximum tow rating of 7,700 pounds is among the best you'll find for a midsize pickup. The bed is somewhat basic and lacks some of the extra features (such as additional tie-downs) of its rivals, though you can add a variety of dealer-sourced accessories to spruce it up. The tailgate lip and bed sides are high and can make loading difficult, although handy bumper steps address this issue somewhat.

When it's time to haul things inside instead of people, the backseat-folding design is inferior to the competition. The rear seats flip up, but the floor is marred by obstructions and you can't lay items flat. There are enough storage nooks for small items, but some competitors offer more. Child seats can be accommodated, but the Canyon doesn't make it easy to install them.
The EPA estimates the V6-powered rear-wheel-drive Canyon at 21 mpg in combined city/highway driving. Our driving experience suggests you'll be able to match these numbers in real-world driving without too much difficulty.
The Denali trim, which we tested, makes the Canyon one of the pricier midsize pickups on the market. For all but the most creature-comfort-obsessed buyers, it isn't worth the extra cost over a well-equipped and mechanically identical Chevrolet Colorado. You're buying a little extra cush, a badge and an image, not a more capable Canyon.

But five years (or 60,000 miles) of roadside assistance and a complimentary service visit are useful, while the five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty is typical for the class.
Having fun with trucks generally involves some off-roading, but the Canyon makes a compromise in terms of front ground clearance versus competitors such as the Tacoma or Frontier. The Canyon AT4, with its extra off-road hardware, should give some added ability, but the low front fascia still limits the approach angle. It's removable, but it's a hassle.

On the road, the Canyon is quite competent. It's not quite as refined as the Honda Ridgeline perhaps, but the Canyon is more capable than the Honda in towing, payload and off-road ability. The Canyon tries to mimic the look of GMC's larger Sierra and largely succeeds, but in the trade, it's harder to reach the bed and cabin.

Which Canyon does Edmunds recommend?

We usually wouldn't go for the most luxurious trim level on a pickup truck, but we think the Canyon is best in its newly enhanced Denali trim. We like the long list of standard equipment included for the price as well as the simplicity it brings by allowing you to bypass ordering multiple equipment packages. We like its standard V6 engine too. The optional diesel engine is likable, but we don't think its substantial price is worth the gain in fuel economy.

GMC Canyon models

The 2021 Canyon is offered in extended-cab and crew-cab body styles. The crew cab comes with either a short cargo bed or a long bed. There are four trim levels: the Elevation Standard, Elevation, AT4 and Denali. You also have your choice of one of three engines.

The standard engine on the rear-wheel-drive Elevation Standard and Elevation is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder (200 horsepower, 191 lb-ft of torque). It's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Next up is a 3.6-liter V6 (308 hp, 275 lb-ft) with an eight-speed automatic. It's standard on the AT4 and Denali trims levels and optional on the Elevation Standard and Elevation trims.

Finally, there's an optional turbocharged 2.8-liter diesel four-cylinder (181 hp, 369 lb-ft) that's coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. All Canyon trim levels are available with four-wheel drive (standard on the AT4).

Elevation Standard
Starts you off with:

  • 18-inch wheels
  • Tilt-only steering wheel
  • 7-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility
  • Four-way adjustable power driver's seat (manual recline)

Adds more features with:

  • Sliding rear window
  • Leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Body-colored exterior door handles
  • LED foglights
  • Remote-locking tailgate

Includes added off-road capability with:

  • Special 17-inch wheels with off-road tires
  • Hill descent control
  • Unique off-road suspension
  • Transfer case shield

Adds significantly more features such as:

  • 20-inch wheels
  • 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation
  • Six-way power driver's seat and four-way power passenger seat
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Leather upholstery
  • Bose audio system
  • Special interior and exterior trim
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Spray-in bedliner

The Denali also comes standard with:

  • Forward collision warning (alerts you of a possible collision with the car in front)
  • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
  • Rear parking sensors

Many of the standard features on the Denali trim level are available on lower trim levels.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 GMC Canyon.

Average user rating: 3.8 stars
8 total reviews
5 star reviews: 50%
4 star reviews: 12%
3 star reviews: 12%
2 star reviews: 12%
1 star reviews: 14%

Trending topics in reviews

  • interior
  • emission system
  • maintenance & parts
  • driving experience
  • towing
  • wheels & tires
  • appearance

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, My last new vehiclel!!
Bob Mulhall,
Denali 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.1 ft. SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A)
I ordered my new 2021 Canyon and it took about 8 weeks to arrive at Bocker Motors in Freeport IL. I have about 200 miles on it as I write this,,,,Its the top of the line and listed out about $49,050 with tax and license...Only 2 things I wish was better is a tinted windshield and a better finish cover up of the pinch weld seam on the bottom of cab.The new colored interior in Lt. coaco is wonderful...ride is good and optional intake and exhaust sound great...I got a white one and reason was I didn't like the colors offered ,,also the $1000 up charge for colors may be a deal breaker for some buyers,,I never owned a white vehical before,,[non-permissible content removed].....The new front end looks bold and makes truck look bigger also....
5/5 stars, It’s a beaut Clark
Jimmy Klein,
Elevation 4dr Crew Cab 5.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I bought the 2021 GMC Canyon Elevation 2wd. I absolutely love it! This is my first GMC and I have to say the inside is probably the nicest I’ve ever had on a truck. I have the v6 which has plenty of power. The truck looks great also! I also think it makes you feel like your driving a full size truck. Compared to my 2017 Nissan Frontier.Would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a new truck.
5/5 stars, 2021 AT4 GMC Canyon
Bob S.,
AT4 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.1 ft. SB w/Leather (3.6L 6cyl 8A)
I've got a little over 2K on my 2021 Canyon AT4 Quad cab short bed. There is nothing I don't like about this mid size pickup. Really glad with the redesign body in 2021 vs. prior years. The ride is smooth, seats are firm and comfortable. Enjoy the remote start. Have had to get use to actually putting a key into the ignition again. The tow rating of over 7K fits with our towing needs and we do have the tow package. The milage is quite good and auto 2/4x works great.
4/5 stars, It's an eye turner !
Denali 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6.2 ft. SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A)
Nice truck rides very good. The wife loves it too. What I like is it's a true mid-size , not a little tin can.

Features & Specs

MPG & Fuel
19 City / 25 Hwy / 22 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.0 gal. capacity
4 seats
Type: rear wheel drive
Transmission: 6-speed shiftable automatic
Inline 4 cylinder
Horsepower: 200 hp @ 6300 rpm
Torque: 191 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
Basic Warranty
3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Length: 212.4 in. / Height: 70.4 in. / Width: 74.3 in.
Curb Weight: 3932 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: N/A
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Build Your Canyon Elevation
At a Glance:
  • 4 Colors
  • 2 Trims
  • $26,400starting MSRP
See pricing and options on your next GMC
*The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Some colors are extra cost. See dealer for details.


Our experts’ favorite Canyon safety features:

OnStar System
Provides emergency crash notification, stolen-vehicle notification, and remote locking and unlocking.
Driver Alert Package
Includes forward collision and lane departure warning systems. This package is optional on the Elevation Standard, Elevation and AT4 trims (standard on the Denali).
Tire Fill Alert
Provides an audible and visual confirmation when tire pressure is added to a tire that is low.

NHTSA Overall Rating 4 out of 5 stars

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall4 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Side Barrier RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front Seat5 / 5
Back Seat5 / 5
Rollover3 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover21.4%

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Roof Strength Test
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test

GMC Canyon vs. the competition

2021 GMC Canyon

2021 GMC Canyon

2020 Chevrolet Colorado

2020 Chevrolet Colorado

GMC Canyon vs. Chevrolet Colorado

The GMC Canyon and the Chevy Colorado are essentially twins. You can get the same engines and body styles and generally the same features. The GMC is a little nicer on the inside — especially with the Denali trim level — but you'll typically pay more. For value, stick with the Colorado.

Compare GMC Canyon & Chevrolet Colorado features 

GMC Canyon vs. Honda Ridgeline

With its superior ride and handling and spacious interior, the Ridgeline is hands down the most comfortable truck in the class. Its unique two-way tailgate and lockable bed storage also win big points from us. But the Ridgeline lacks true off-road capability that you can get with the Canyon's AT4 trim.

Compare GMC Canyon & Honda Ridgeline features 

GMC Canyon vs. Toyota Tacoma

Going off-road is arguably what the Tacoma does best. We're glad to see Toyota updating the interior of the Tacoma. We also appreciate the rare option of a six-speed manual with the V6 engine. But that V6 engine can feel underpowered at times; we prefer both the V6 and diesel engines in Canyon.

Compare GMC Canyon & Toyota Tacoma features 


Is the GMC Canyon a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Canyon both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.6 out of 10. You probably care about GMC Canyon fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Canyon gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg to 22 mpg, depending on the configuration. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a GMC Canyon. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 GMC Canyon?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 GMC Canyon:

  • Renamed trim levels
  • Minor revisions to standard equipment
  • New grille design for Canyon Denali
  • Part of the second GMC Canyon generation introduced for 2015
Learn more

Is the GMC Canyon reliable?

To determine whether the GMC Canyon is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Canyon. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Canyon's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 GMC Canyon a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 GMC Canyon is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 Canyon and gave it a 7.6 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Canyon is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 GMC Canyon?

The least-expensive 2021 GMC Canyon is the 2021 GMC Canyon Elevation Standard 4dr Extended Cab SB (2.5L 4cyl 6A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $26,400.

Other versions include:

  • Elevation Standard 4dr Extended Cab SB (2.5L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $26,400
  • Elevation Standard 4dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $31,800
  • Elevation 4dr Extended Cab SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $30,000
Learn more

What are the different models of GMC Canyon?

If you're interested in the GMC Canyon, the next question is, which Canyon model is right for you? Canyon variants include Elevation Standard 4dr Extended Cab SB (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Elevation Standard 4dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A), and Elevation 4dr Extended Cab SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A). For a full list of Canyon models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 GMC Canyon

2021 GMC Canyon Overview

The 2021 GMC Canyon is offered in the following submodels: Canyon Crew Cab, Canyon Extended Cab. Available styles include Denali 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.1 ft. SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A), AT4 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.1 ft. SB w/Leather (3.6L 6cyl 8A), Elevation Standard 4dr Crew Cab 5.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Elevation 4dr Crew Cab 5.1 ft. SB (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Elevation 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.1 ft. SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A), AT4 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 5.1 ft. SB w/Cloth (3.6L 6cyl 8A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab 5.1 ft. SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A), Elevation Standard 4dr Extended Cab SB (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Elevation Standard 4dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A), Denali 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6.2 ft. SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A), AT4 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6.2 ft. SB w/Cloth (3.6L 6cyl 8A), Elevation 4dr Extended Cab SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A), Elevation 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6.2 ft. SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A), and AT4 4dr Crew Cab 4WD 6.2 ft. SB w/Leather (3.6L 6cyl 8A).

What do people think of the 2021 GMC Canyon?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 GMC Canyon and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Canyon 3.8 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Canyon.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 GMC Canyon and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Canyon featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 GMC Canyon?

2021 GMC Canyon Elevation Standard 4dr Extended Cab SB (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

The 2021 GMC Canyon Elevation Standard 4dr Extended Cab SB (2.5L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $28,840. The average price paid for a new 2021 GMC Canyon Elevation Standard 4dr Extended Cab SB (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is trending $1,223 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,223 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $27,617.

The average savings for the 2021 GMC Canyon Elevation Standard 4dr Extended Cab SB (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is 4.2% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 1 2021 GMC Canyon Elevation Standard 4dr Extended Cab SB (2.5L 4cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 GMC Canyon Elevation 4dr Extended Cab SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A)

The 2021 GMC Canyon Elevation 4dr Extended Cab SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $34,185. The average price paid for a new 2021 GMC Canyon Elevation 4dr Extended Cab SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A) is trending $1,231 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,231 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $32,954.

The average savings for the 2021 GMC Canyon Elevation 4dr Extended Cab SB (3.6L 6cyl 8A) is 3.6% below the MSRP.

Which 2021 GMC Canyons are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 GMC Canyon for sale near. There are currently 9 new 2021 Canyons listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $28,960 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 GMC Canyon. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $1,250 on a used or CPO 2021 Canyon available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 GMC Canyons you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new GMC for sale - 8 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $25,644.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 GMC Canyon?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out GMC lease specials