Not too big and not too small, the 2019 GMC Canyon Denali seeks to cement itself as the perfect mid-size pickup truck. Our tester came in Denali trim which meant a throaty 3.6-liter DOHC V6, leather interior, four-wheel drive, and some luxury comfort items that are sure to make you smile.
However with a price tag of just under $45k, one has to wonder if GMC has infused enough hardcore ruggedness and luxury goodness to justify that steep sticker. Let’s take a look…
2019 GMC Canyon Denali Exterior
Subtle polished bits aside; this is one murdered-out factory pickup truck. We’re talking black wheels, black paint, black bumpers, black grille… well not the grille, that’s chrome, but you get the idea. The GMC Canyon, regardless of the color (of which there are 10), actually gives off the illusion that it’s a half-ton truck, until that it is, you see its dimensions. Ranging in wheelbase from 128.30 inches for the Crew Cab Short Box like our tester, to 140.5 inches for the Crew Cab Long Box, and with a max width of 74.30 inches, the Canyon positions itself as a more versatile and user friendly alternative to its larger Sierra brethren.
The front of the Canyon is bold, with a large polished grille, inset auxiliary lights and lower fascia treatment that contains twin tow-hooks. LED trimmed projector beam headlamps with orange markers add a bit of color and presence while out back a large steel bumper with integrated steps on either side make for reaching up and over the bed rails, a snap. The bed itself employs a slow-fold down tailgate and as this is a Denali equipped Canyon; a spray-in bed liner has also been applied for added durability. Four tie-down points are also offered as is a 2-inch receiver hitch with 4 and 7-pin connectors.
Filling out the wheel wells are 20-inch satin black aluminum alloys that wear 255/55-series Bridgestone Dueler H/L tires. The rims are six-lug and help to enhance the Canyons beefy overall appearance, while a full-size spare tire is located underneath the bed.
2019 GMC Canyon Denali Interior
Basic and well thought-out, the cabin of the 2019 GMC Canyon Denali employs up-to-date technology with a bit of luxury thrown in for good measure. At its heart and located dead center, sits the eight-inch touchscreen for GMC’s Premium Infotainment System. This multi-touch display allows for access to the AM/FM/SiriusXM stereo along with vehicle settings and apps such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Navigation and HVAC controls along with a great backup camera. GMC has also chosen to retain analog gauges in the form of a large 8,000-rpm tachometer, 140-mph speedometer, a temperature gauge and of course fuel. Steering wheel mounted controls also allow for access to the center-set information screen that shows mileage, trip distance, instant tire pressure, speed warnings and a host of other functions.
The heated and ventilated leather covered front seats are comfortable and offer a mix of manual and electronic adjustability while the rear seats provide decent comfort and legroom for passengers. A traditional center console with a large shift leaver feels just about perfect, and extra storage can be found underneath the rear seats. Overall the cabin of the 2019 Canyon is comfortable and well appointed and it’s good to see that GMC didn’t incorporate a bunch of useless gizmos and gadgets just for the sake of doing so. In short, the Canyon still feels like your piloting a truck, which for us truck guys, is a very good thing.
2019 GMC Canyon Denali Performance
For most folks, a mid-size pickup truck like the Canyon is all they’ll ever need. The key is to simply identify what you’re going to use it for and then purchase accordingly. For example, the 3.6L DOHC that lives under the hood produces 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque and puts it down through a smooth shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. Of course four-wheel drive is available and it offers both high and low range settings. Towing capacity is up to 7,700-pounds when properly equipped with a 1,528-pound max payload.
On the road the Canyon accelerates with authority with the V6 exhaust note sounding much throatier than others we’ve tested. It handles competently, with good braking performance, and the ride quality was much better than we expected. Mileage was also pretty decent with EPA rated fuel economy numbers of 24 mpg on the highway, 17 mpg in the city and 19 mpg during combined driving.* There’s nothing overly fancy here. Instead the 2019 Canyon simply delivers good performance, comfort and utility in a package that’s easy to live with on a daily basis.
2019 GMC Canyon Denali Safety
With safety features such as daytime running lights, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, a rear vision camera, StabiliTrack electronic stability control as well as traction control, GMC has equipped the 2019 Canyon Denali with everything needed to keep you on the road.
To find out more about the safety features on the 2019 GMC Canyon Denali Head on over to GMC.com.
2019 GMC Canyon Denali Overall
With a base price of $43,800 and an as tested price of $48,025**, the 2019 Canyon Denali isn’t a cheap way to get into the mid-size truck game. What it is however is an honest truck that does exactly what it was designed to do. It’ll haul a good-size payload, tow a trailer with ease, and it’ll do it while you sit on heated and ventilated leather seats. So if a mid-size pickup is in your future, then the Canyon Denali is definitely worth a look.
Drop by your local AutoNation GMC dealer today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $48,025.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.