2017 GMC Canyon Denali Review: What am I paying for, again?

– Moab, Utah

With high-zoot Denali trim levels accounting for a quarter of all GMC sales, it isn’t really surprising the brand decided to extend the treatment to its Canyon midsize pickup. The brand’s shoppers, it seems, are drawn toward these pricey models. “The kind of vehicles our customers are looking for tend to be more highly contented,” says GMC senior marketing manager Stu Pierce.

What also isn’t too surprising is that it’s tough to dress up a vehicle that starts up as a back-to-basics truck. The GMC Canyon itself is great, but the Denali treatment doesn’t make enough of a difference to match up to its sticker price. You might be better served by sticking with the second-to-top trim level, SLT.


 

 

Pros

Improved powertrain. All 2017 GMC Canyon trucks with the V6 engine get some mechanical updates, and they only serve to improve the way the pickup trucks. The 3.6-liter engine produces three more horsepower and six more pound-feet of torque, while the automatic transmission has eight speeds instead of six. Though those tweaks sound small, the Canyon is notably livelier than before. It downshifts more eagerly, pulls with more urgency in lower gears, and doesn’t feel quite so lazy as the last V6 Canyon I drove.

Stylish outfit. The Canyon Denali is an eye-catching design, and so long as you’re okay with having more reflective surfaces than a Broadway dressing room, you’ll like it, too. Note the 20-inch chrome wheels, chrome side steps, chrome mesh grille, chrome front fasc...