General Motors’ other rival to the Ford Ranger, the GMC Canyon, has been completely overhauled.

    The cousin of the Chevrolet Colorado revealed late last month has a four-model range consisting of the Elevation, AT4, luxurious Denali, and rugged AT4X off-roader.

    With GMC’s ‘Professional Grade’ tagline and the increasing popularity of its high-end Denali models, the Canyon has been pushed upmarket of its Chevy cousin.

    It’s offered exclusively with the highest-output tune of the Colorado’s turbocharged 2.7-litre petrol four-cylinder engine, with 230kW of power and 569Nm of torque. It’s mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

    This engine replaces the naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder and 3.6-litre V6 petrol engines of the old car, while the Duramax 2.8-litre turbo-diesel is no more.

    All models are short-bed dual cabs with four-wheel drive except for the base Elevation, which can also be had with rear-wheel drive.

    The Canyon is the second GMC model to offer an off-road oriented AT4X variant following the Sierra, a twin to the Chevrolet Silverado.

    The AT4X features 17-inch alloy wheels shod in 33-inch mud-terrain tyres, Multimatic DSSV shocks, underbody skid plates, a Baja drive mode, locking front and rear differentials and a water-tight tailgate storage system.

    It also features a factory lift that gives the AT4X 271mm of ground clearance, and approach, departure and breakover angles of 36.9 degrees, 25 degrees and 24.5 degrees respectively. When equipped with the Edition 1 package the approach angle drops to 32.8 degrees.

    The package brings with it an off-road front bumper, a 30-inch light bar, a winch, 17-inch bead lock wheels, a unique front skid plate, reconfigurable rails for the tub, and front- and rear-facing underbody cameras with a wash function.

    Though it’s intended to be a rugged off-roader, the AT4X hasn’t missed out on luxury and convenience features, with power-adjustable, heated and ventilated front seats.

    The AT4X’s interior is quite racy, with Ceramic White accents on the dash, doors, centre console and seats plus red highlights, giving it the look of a jacket you’d wear dirt biking.

    The posh Denali goes for an entirely different vibe, with open-pore wood trim and quilted leather upholstery on the dash, doors and seats.

    Externally, the Denali features more chrome trim, as well as larger 20-inch wheels.

    Like the AT4X, the Denali also features a head-up display and a larger 11-inch digital instrument cluster (up from 8.0 inches).

    All models feature an 11.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system running on Google Built-In with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

    Available features in the Canyon range include a single-pane sunroof, a Bose seven-speaker sound system, and a surround-view camera.

    All models come standard with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, as well as lane-keep assist and automatic high-beam.

    Other safety features available in the Canyon include rear cross-traffic assist, blind-spot assist and adaptive cruise control.

    All Canyon models feature full LED exterior lighting.

    The Canyon sits higher and is wider than the old model, and has had its front air dam removed for a greater approach angle.

    Approach, departure and breakover angles are 33.3 degrees, 22-22.3 degrees, and 20.8-20.9 degrees in all bar the aforementioned AT4X, while ground clearance is 245mm in the Elevation and AT4 and 267mm in the Denali.

    An open rear diff is standard on the Elevation, with the AT4 and Denali offering a limited-slip differential and only the AT4X featuring locking diffs.

    The Canyon is rated to tow 3493kg in all bar the AT4X models. The standard AT4X can tow 2722kg, while the Edition 1 sees that reduced to 2495kg.

    The GMC Canyon nameplate first appeared in 2003 as a simple rebadge of the Chevrolet Colorado, and was therefore related to the Holden Rodeo and Colorado and first Isuzu D-Max.

    The second-generation model, which entered production in 2014, featured greater visual differentiation from the Colorado. It was the first to offer a Denali trim, something without a direct counterpart in the Colorado lineup.

    Though the outgoing Colorado and Canyon used the global Colorado sold here as a starting point, they were extensively modified for the North American market.

    The global Colorado left production in right-hand drive form with GM’s sale of its factory in Thailand, though it lives on in South America where it’s called the S10.

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    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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