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.

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The 2021 Sierra 1500 in its AT4 package is a nice setup for a good price point. With a mix of luxury, smart pickup truck ergonomics, and usefulness, the Sierra with its AT4 add-ons does very well. The AT4 off-road upgrades are simple and fit what the majority of off-pavement drivers really need without adding a huge amount of weight and cost to the truck as a result. Check it out!

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In this episode, Kristin and Aaron talk about all things towing. Kristin tells her epic tale of towing a big RV trailer with a Dodge Durango SRT over the summer. Aaron talks about the practical aspects of towing and his background as a commercial truck driver. Both explain the ins and outs and how easy towing is compared to what people think it is. Action packed and informative!

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By now, you’ve heard that the Hummer is back as a model in the GMC family. But it’s not the same Hummer you might remember from the 90s. Originally designed for the military, the H1 was known for an estimated mpg rating south of 20, a wide road hog that evoked Arnold Schwarzenegger associations.

That particular vehicle faded out of the market in 2008; gone but not forgotten. Rising up from the ashes of that original Hummer, the new GMC Hummer EV has blazed back onto the scene as of January with a bold commercial during the biggest NFL game of the year.

Zero-emissions and all electric, the new Hummer EV boasts 1000 hp and, GMC says, 11,500 lb-ft of torque. That number is not exactly the torque calculation you’re used to, however; some speculate that it’s the wheel torque multiplied by the gear ratio. Even so, if the Hummer has 1000 lb-ft of torque, it’s still an incredibly impressive number. And with a reported 0-60 in less than three seconds, this vehicle is definitely going to MOVE.

Adding to the fun, removable roof panels allow you to feel the wind through your hair in this hulking new-generation beast.

The electric vehicle market is picking up, with competitors Bollinger and Rivian promoting EV trucks with less horsepower but with other alluring features. Bollinger’s B2 will have the capability to carry a 16-foot load through a patented passthrough into the cabin, and the B1 is a four-seat SUV with removable glass, doors, roof panels, and windshield. Rivian’s R1T has parking-lot friendly dimensions and 11,000-pound towing capabilities, and its R1S SUV is more family friendly, with three sleek rows. Ford says an F-150 is in the works, which we’re looking forward to hearing more about soon. The brand’s Mustang Mach-E, which debuted last year, is much smaller and more budget-friendly than the Hummer EV, but includes the all-electric instant-torque thrill.

GMC called this new SUV a “quiet revolution” in its January commercial and it’s going to be interesting to see who buys this vehicle. It seems obvious that it won’t be the same consumers who bought the gas-guzzling original, but who knows? The brand is currently saying that it will be available as of the fall of 2021. We’re looking forward to it.

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In this episode, Aaron talks about heavy duty pickups with Tim Esterdahl of PickupTruckTalk.com. The HD truck industry has changed a lot in the past couple of years and continues to make rapid developments in powertrains, comfort, and capability. Tim explains where things are and what’s coming soon, including information on the new electric HD truck from Bollinger and the upcoming Ford Tremor package, which will compete with the Ram Power Wagon in off-road prowess. That and more in this informative chat with Tim.

Find Tim at http://www.PickupTruckTalk.com

See Kristin’s interview with an engineer at GM about HD trucks here: https://drivemodeshow.com/2020/03/06/2020-gmc-sierra-towing-with-an-engineer-to-explain/

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