The First-Ever Canyon AT4
The 2021 GMC Canyon gets a new trim this year and it’s one that will make off-road enthusiasts quite happy. For the first time ever, the Canyon is available as an AT4, which is a badge reserved for only the most capable of GMC’s offerings.
This is a midsize truck, making it a great choice for those who want extra cargo capability, but who don’t necessarily need a full-size truck. While big trucks are great, they’re a challenge if you take them into a city. They can be difficult to navigate through narrow streets, tough to park, and impossible to drive into many a parking garage with a too-low ceiling. The GMC Canyon faces none of those issues.
The Canyon is available with either a 5-foot 2-inch bed with a maximum payload of 1,609 pounds or a 6-foot 2-inch bed that can manage up to 1,475 pounds. Again, the full-size trucks outdo those numbers, but a midsize truck still has impressive stats that easily manages large payloads.
It’s also no slouch when it comes to towing. The base 3.6-liter V6 with 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, which was our test vehicle, can tow up to 7,000 pounds. Those who put a priority on towing may want to go with the optional 2.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel. It has 181 horsepower with 369 lb-ft of torque and can tow up to 7,600 pounds. Not only is it more capable towing, the extra torque helps it handle the load more easily getting up to speed and cresting hills.
Ready for the Dirt
It’s great in the city. It can handle a payload and tow a trailer. But what about off-roading?
This is where the AT4 shines. It rides on 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires with 17-inch aluminum wheels. There’s an off-road tuned suspension, advanced hill descent control, four-wheel drive with an automatic locking rear differential, and a transfer case skid plate. It has the features to let you head off-road with confidence. Want more? GMC has you covered.
There’s an optional AT4 Off Road Performance Edition package that adds extra goodies. It includes a suspension leveling kit and the removal of the front air dam to increase the approach angle by 35 percent. It also adds rocker panel protectors and performance front and mid skid plates.
That’s a lot of off-road goodness and while that’s great when you’re in the dirt, it can make a truck unwieldly on pavement. The GMC Canyon AT4 has a surprisingly smooth and quiet ride on the highway, even with those off-road tires. This is a GMC, after all, and that makes it a more upscale truck. It’s rugged, but it’s not utilitarian so passenger comfort is still a priority.
Plenty of Creature Comforts
The interior is quiet and roomy with attractive trims and comfortable seats. Standard automatic climate control, heated front seats, and available leather seating surfaces further enhance the appeal of the Canyon AT4. It also has plenty of tech with an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto all standard. On the options list are Qi wireless charging and a 7-speaker Bose audio system, so this truck deserves its reputation as an upscale choice.
Pricing for the Canyon range starts at $26,400 with the AT4 sitting higher up in the lineup. That means it also gets a higher price of $38,200. Considering the style, comfort, and features of the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4, it’s a good value for the off-road set.