2018 GMC Canyon Review
While midsize trucks aren't as robust as their full-size brethren, they still offer an impressive amount of capability. They're also easier to park and typically get better fuel economy. For a solid example of the breed, check out the 2018 GMC Canyon.
With the Canyon, which is a marginally more upscale version of the Chevy Colorado pickup, you get those midsize truck traits plus a comfortable highway ride and a stout maximum tow rating of 7,700 pounds. The Colorado also offers a strong 308-horsepower V6 engine or a fuel-efficient four-cylinder diesel. Lots of optional features, such as forward collision warning and an 8-inch infotainment system, round out the Canyon's appeal.
The Canyon does have some drawbacks, such as limited off-road ability and front seats that can feel a little confining for some folks. Overall, though, we think GMC's Canyon is a smart pick for a midsize truck.
Notably, we picked the 2018 GMC Canyon Diesel as one of Edmunds' Best Trucks for this year.
trim levels & features
The 2018 GMC Canyon is a midsize pickup offered in two- and four-seat extended-cab and five-seat crew-cab body styles. There are two bed lengths and five trim levels to choose from: SL, base Canyon, SLE, SLT and the top-of-the-line Denali.
Although the GMC Canyon is a more upscale version of its Chevy Colorado sibling, there is an entry-level trim called the SL. The SL is offered only with the extended cab. It lacks rear seats and it comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque), a six-speed manual transmission, 16-inch wheels, air-conditioning, a four-way power driver seat (with manual recline), a tilt-only steering wheel, power windows, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen, voice commands, a USB port and a six-speaker sound system.
The next step up is the base Canyon trim, which is available in both extended-cab and crew-cab body styles and adds a six-speed automatic transmission (optional or standard, depending on the configuration) and fold-up rear jump seats (extended-cab models only). A 3.6-liter V6 engine (308 hp and 275 lb-ft) paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission is also optional or standard here depending on the configuration.
Significantly, the base Canyon can be ordered with some options packages that aren't available on the SL. Notable features to look out for include remote keyless entry, an easy-lift tailgate, cruise control and a trailering package.
Instead of picking options packages for the base Canyon, you could just upgrade to the SLE. It gets you most of the above as standard, plus 17-inch wheels, power side mirrors, upgraded interior trim materials, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an 8-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, OnStar connectivity (with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hotspot) and three extra USB ports.
Much like the base Canyon, the SLE gets most of its options in packages. The All-Terrain package (essentially GMC's equivalent of the off-road-focused Colorado Z71) bundles 17-inch dark-tinted alloy wheels and all-terrain tires, an off-road-oriented suspension, a rear locking differential, hill descent control, heated front seats, a four-way power passenger seat and distinctive cloth upholstery. The optional SLE Convenience package includes automatic climate control, remote start and a sliding rear window.
Even with all those available options, a few things are still left on the table, and right near the top, there's the SLT trim. It gets all the SLE's standard equipment plus the contents of the SLE Convenience package. It also comes standard with the 3.6-liter V6 engine, 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery and the All-Terrain package's front seating upgrades (power adjustments and heating).
Both the SLE and SLT can be equipped with the optional Driver Alert package that features forward collision warning and lane departure warning. Other optional extras include the turbocharged 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine (181 hp and 369 lb-ft) paired to a six-speed automatic. An upgraded seven-speaker Bose audio system is also among the extras.
If you want all the creature comforts GMC can throw at you, there's the Canyon Denali. The Denali gets the SLT's equipment plus the contents of the Driver Alert package, the upgraded Bose audio system, navigation, chrome 20-inch wheels, cargo lamps, a spray-in bedliner, heated and ventilated front seats, wireless charging for compatible cellphones and a heated steering wheel.
Noise & vibration
Ease of use
Getting in/getting out
Child safety seat accommodation
Audio & navigation
edmunds expert 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.