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Thursday, June 9, 2016

GMC Canyon Diesel Test Drive

 I drove a Canyon last year, and I still think it looks great.

(The main problem I had with it was that even with the V6 option it felt pretty slow. Especially on long hills. )
But there is nothing wrong with the way it looks.
Trucky yet civilized, in a (slightly) smaller package.

My test car had the $ 3585 "All Terrain Adventure" package.
Which had these "assist steps". Which are really not necessary, and are actually mostly in the way when getting in and out of the truck.
It's not that high and doesn't really needs it.

But I guess it adds to the idea of a probable off road lifestyle...
 Inside it is also very nice.

The seats are comfortable and look good.
Everything feels solid but some of the switch gear feels a bit plasticky and cheap.
Which, most people will say, is fine in a truck.
Except this particular one is priced at above $43 000 with options.
So I think it is OK to be a bit picky.
This is after all, almost luxury car price territory.

 The back seat is roomy.
But no more than your average compact sedan.

And the back side of that seat is almost at a 90 degree angle.
Which makes it quite a pain for rear passengers on a long trip. (most of them will complain early...)

This is not one of these super quiet VW or Audi diesel engine.
You can tell right away what is under the hood.
Which is just fine. It is a diesel and not ashamed of it.

The noise is actually quite pleasant. It does get really quiet once you get going. And at freeway speed it's impossible to tell. Unless you push it to pass someone.
Then you can hear it. Again, it does sound great .
And there is quite a rush of power.
So it does feel much more powerful than the V6.

The ride is trucky. Which is expected. But pretty well controlled. (It is just great on the freeway.)
The steering is just fine. Light without feeling too artificial.
The transmission can be a little rough at times.

That all sounds pretty good.
Until you actually have to drive it around small streets and back roads.
This particular model (crew long box) is about 225 inches long.  And a wheelbase of over 140 inches.

To put this in perspective, the last Town Car (from 2011) was 215 inches long. The long version was 221.4 inches.
So "compact truck" it is NOT. 

This size and super long wheelbase makes it a chore to drive around town.
It becomes a pain to park almost anywhere. That big flat hood also makes it hard to see the back end of smaller cars right in front of you. And small turns can be quite scary.

As for the Diesel, it is rated at 20 City and 29HWY.
I did get 20 in the city, but over 35 on the freeway. Not sure how they got that "29" number. As it seems impossible to get under 33 or 34 on the freeway.
(Which reminded me of all these VW diesels I test drove, all rated at 42MPG HWY, and all getting well over 50...)

So it is better than the V6. 
But only by about 4MPG around town. And about 7MPG on the freeway (From what I observed myself with the V6 last year)
The Diesel is an expensive option at $3730 .
So unless you drive tons of miles a year, you won't be seeing any savings soon.

The Canyon Diesel is the best choice among GM's "smaller" pick up. 
But it is an expensive one. It should really only cost about $1800 more. 

If you can forget some of the options, that engine might be worth it. As it makes the Canyon much more fun to drive than the V6.

5 ( 88 ratings )
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