Spied: 2016 GMC Canyon Denali

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Finding good places to do cold-weather testing this winter is not a problem. Thankfully, our spy shooters have a warm truck to sit inside of while they wait for test vehicles to dart past. A thermos of hot coffee helps, too. Here's what they've sent us recently while on a stakeout outside Detroit.

We've gotten our first look at a prototype for the GMC Canyon Denali package, which was running on a secluded industrial drive near GM's Milford Proving Grounds.

The Canyon prototype's camouflaged front end hides a revised all-mesh grille design that is consistent with GMC's other Denali-trimmed models. Although blacked out on this prototype, the grilles will surely be finished in unmistakable brightwork to set it apart from lesser Canyon variants. The Denali's front bumper is also camouflaged, and it appears that it may be more chrome-intensive, with signs of the reflective stuff stretching across the full bumper's width. The interior shows signs of camouflaging, suggesting that some interior upgrades could also be in store.

There have been some internet rumblings that the Denali might get a unique engine option to give the model more substance, but we have no firm confirmation of the extent of any mechanical upgrades that may distinguish the range-topping Denali from its lower-end Canyon siblings.

It's worth noting that a Denali package will likely be priced above the current top-of-the-line SLT All-Terrain package GMC has now, starting around $38,000 and climbing fast. 

Photos by KGP Photography


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I do think manufacturers should move away from those silver/grey painted alloys.

I don't like them. This day and age they scream el cheapo.

Why not a set of nice polished alloys with a small amount of black accents.

The chrome on the window sills isn't good looking either.

In the Ford Corporate Board Rooms they are hitting the "PANIC BUTTON" !

GM added a 3rd shift to meet demand for the Colorado-Canyon.

Chevy is seeing a 41% "Conquest Rate" of NEW buyers coming over from other brands!

Not "ONLY" will the Colorado-Canyon take away sales from the Toyota Tacoma they will ALSO take AWAY sales from your precious F-150 !

ha ha ha

Love It !

Why would they need to test this trim package unless it'll have different powertrain. And I wonder what could that be besides a 2.8 duramax diesel? could it be 4.3 v6, a 5.3 v8, or LF3 3.6 TT v6.

Oooohhh a pretend truck for spoiled rich kids and very accomplished yet confused retires.

Ford Salesman:
NO! NO Discounts YOU pay FULL $44,654.00 sticker price!

Customer: But I can buy a similar equipped Chevy Colorado for less than $36,000

Ford Salesman:
But does the Chevy have all aluminum and a turbo engine?

Customer: But the Colorado is still lighter and the non-turbo V6 gets similar performance and mileage numbers

Ford Salesman:
But can the Chevy tow and haul as much as my F-150?

I only need towing of a 3000 lb trailer and I never haul anything heavy

Ford Salesman:
My F-150 is innovative and you'll impress everybody by owning one

What about a truck that impresses ME ?

I'm liking these trucks more and more. I don't particularly care to be driving the big Ram 2500 when I'm home and a smaller truck like this would be perfect. I have a Cherokee SRT but it's no winter vehicle and I barely drive it anymore. The Canyon/Colorado would be a lot more useful around home.

The specs on these trucks clearly indicate they aren't just toys. The payloads aren't much off of typical 1/2 tons.

A special engine option in the form of a 5.3 would be something.

Huh, I just notice that the simulated fender flares are pretty much the entire fender itself now. What a silly truck.

To be honest I fail to see the point of a Denali Canyon. Kind of goes against the whole point of being midsized. If you lose the price point, you lose the sales. I'd be embarrassed to drop $40k on mid sized truck. It is like dropping $40k on a loaded special edition Chevy Cruz. Add all the tech and trim you want, it is still an entry level truck.

Wow. The original T is right. Look at those ginormous faux fender flares. smdh.

I think most miss the point of these trucks. If you live outside of a inner city & haul/tow a lot, these are not your truck. However, if you live in suburbia & have to be in metro areas weekly but still need some utility? This is your truck.

Nowhere has GM marketed these trucks to go against F150/Ram or Sierra/Silverado. Have no idea why some peoples commentary try to compare apples to oranges.

Additionally, while the Denali package will certainly be expensive. Who would have thought there would be buyers standing in line to buy half tons that exceed $60,000?

Prices of some of these trucks do seem a little outrageous. I'm just glad you can still buy a lower model truck for relatively cheap after rebates, and they are head and shoulders better than anything available ten years ago. It is amazing to me that people are so willing to pay for options that add 10 to 15,000 dollars to the price of these trucks. I'd much rather skip on the heated steering wheel, moonroof, navigation, leather seats, etc. and use all the money I saved to buy a side by side or something.

This is a smart move. It is not much more for GMC to make the Denali trim and it should sell well enough. This will definitely differentiate the Canyon from the Colorado.

I'm am sold! the fact that it comes with an exhaust break alone is awesome. I'm going to range this canyon at about 40-44k with that diesel I hope it doesn't go past 40 tho. you might as well get a 2500 Duramax with that load of cash. it should be more cost efficient due to the 4cyl size, probably cheaper then the 6cyl. we shall see where GM decides to sale it as.

tho I wouldn't be surprise if towing reaches around 10,000lbs. that'd put it at an old half-ton towing rate.

Those oversized square fender openings are UGLY!! Look like afterthoughts. The bottom sides need ground skirts to help hide the frame showing just like it did on Blazers and looked real ugly in time when frames started to show rust, not pretty.

No moonroof in the Denali? A missed opportunity to add $3000 to the price tag. Unless, the roof integrity won't handle it.

Actually, I am glad to hear that the mid-sizers are selling well. Not all of us need something full-sized or have to compensate for something that isn't.

What I would like to know is why does the 4x4 option on these, and the Chevy Colorado cost over 5grand more! than the 2 wd truck? go on the Chevy site and build one! and just going to the 4x4awd option will cost you big!

I see an all chrome front bumper there, pretty much mimicking the Sierra HD front-end appearance.

I know ford is on to something because of all the hate in the comments. Same thing happened in 2007 with the new Tundra.

If it's not push button start with a moonroof, parking sensors, led bed lighting, heated and cooled seats power seats and steering wheel with memory functions, and wireless charging station....it's not a denali. I'd rather take matching paint trims than chrome outside of the grille. A new powertrain option wouldn't hurt either but i kind of doubt it. Honestly a lot of these features wouldn't cost much to implement, i bought a set of parking sensors for around $20. LED bed lighting...cheap.

And the price might be climbing fast, until it drives off the lot. I could never buy a domestic new unless i wanted to be in debt to it, Nice trucks though.

It's not "this truck is listed for $38,000" its "how much a month can you afford and we can finance it for 10 years" ...what a deal. People need to listen to Dave Ramsey and forget about going in debt for a stupid piece of metal deprecating asset. Who has $38,000 to spend on a truck. stupid if you do. Sorry, that's is my soapbox anyway.

What are you comparing your prices too?

From what I'm gathering the 4x4 comes with all the traction aids and acronyms.

When I built a new F-150 4x4, simple things like some of the traction aids were an additional cost.

In Australia A base model 4x4 come with the same amount of traction, stability, braking, trailer sway and all the other stuff that the high end model comes with.

The only difference between them is the amount of bling.

I thought the Colorado Canyon were sold this way in the US.

It cuts down costs overall. This is good. Why buy a 4x4, then have to go out and spend extra money for all the goodies to give your 4x4 21st Century capability, not 1960s technology.

awwwwgh don't cry cause nobody wants a F-150 like you own
there-there now! its not your fault that Ford ruined the new F-150
I know, I know Ford isn't budging off full sticker price with no discounts.
I understand its really tough paying $10,000 MORE for a F-150 than another brand of similar trucks.
I don't know how long you have to wait till Ford gets desperate and starts offering discounts and rebates on the new F-150,,,
I guess when they run out of 2014's

In the meantime the Colorado-Canyon sales are HOT!

OMG! Don't Say That! The Colorado-Canyon is selling better than the 2014 F-150's ??
That's horrible when they pick the Colorado over the discounted year old F-150

We all know everybody wants to be as wonderful as you cause you already own a F-150

The only ammo you have is to attack and cut down the Colorado-Canyon instead of finding good things about the new F-150
That's funny ha ha ha ha how you guys do that! You have nothing good to talk about the F-150 so instead you cut down the other brands!

you're like little 5 year olds!

If this truck has the 5.3L I'd probably be ready to put a deposit on one.

Only person that will look at buying this truck is a person with confined spaces to deal with. It is a good setup for lots of people. Americans buy big or dont buy though. Lots of cummins, duramax diesels without a hitch ever being used. That is how people live. This little truck with a diesel will sell out! People want exclusive things. Denali Diesel is just what they want. Should be able to sell one for 45+ thousand dollaros

If you don't like the F150, guess what?? you don't have to buy one! This is not a Ford article anyways so why keep bringing it up?? Best thing to do is just shut your pie hole.

The fenders being almost the same side as the entire side of the box.... I'm not okay with that. Same as I am not okay with the MASSIVE chrome lettering on the Laramie Limited, same as I am not okay with the '17 Raptors tailgate, but at least for the Raptor it's OPTIONAL. For this Canyon I doubt there is an option for normal fenders.

Nice car/truck crossover

nice crossover

The All-Terrain Package isn't available on the SLT, only SLE and does top out around $38k.
You can build an SLT up to about $41k already on GMC's site before a Denali package.

I just ordered a Crew-Cab SLT (short bed). I have been driving a Honda CRV and this will be perfect for the things my CRV couldn't do: Haul wood for my firepit; Mulch in the Spring and Fall for my wife's flowerbeds; Plenty of room for my Tri-Bike and my Golf Clubs. Plus, it will fit in my garage too!!! NICE alternative so I can get into something a little "tougher" looking/feeling compared to my CRV.

I just looked at the colorado. The build quality is cheap.

Anybody remember back in 1997 when the new VW Beetle came out and everybody wanted one they were so much in demand the dealers asked for higher prices than the sticker?

Same thing is going to happen with the Colorado.
Just think if you buy one now maybe 6 months from now it will go up in value, you could sell it for MORE than what you paid for it.

I am right about this!

(I am always right)


sorry I robbed your story about the 41% conquest rate and adding the 3rd shift.

I just couldn't help myself

This truck would be perfect for a son or daughter that like the outdoors. Good on gas and versatile.

New Colorado diesel is supposed to tow 7800lbs.

It would be nice to see if they would offer a 350hp 5.3L V8 for the more premium feel. I wouldn't go with a diesel for the
Denali, they scream power, chrome, and black.. They offered the 5.3 in the last gen model.. Still like the 2.8L, waiting to see it out on its way.

Dave Ramsey is a joke! I remember listening to him right before the financial meltdown and he was telling his listeners that everything was great and not to listen to all the hype about what was happening in the financial market. XM radio took him off the air after that BLUNDER!

Greg, Dave Ramsey is still saying that, and will continue to say that and he's right. IN THE LONG TERM! He's in the business of wealth building (and helping others build wealth). You do that by focusing on the long term and a down year in a stock market doesn't really factor in to that.

XM can do what they want (people who pay money for radio probably aren't his target audience anyway...) but Dave Ramsey and his company are doing just fine.

I want to like the Canyon/Colorado. Please don't disappoint GM!
Things that concern me:
1) Long term reliability (not just the first 50k miles)
2) Real world fuel economy
3) Usable power
4) Value for the money ($40k for your small pickup.... seriously?)
5) Recalls (please tell me you designed this after ignitiongate)

For a start, have a look and check to see if there are any issues with the 3.6 and the 2.5 engines. The 3.6 has been around for quite a few years now. Google will help you a lot, that's my advice.

Also, look at the reliability of the global Colorado and see if there are any problems that could of been transferred across into the US Colorado. Remember the US Colorado is based on the global variant.

We run a considerable number of the 3.6's here in Australia and they seem to do okay. The 2.5 I'm not too sure about.

The 3.6 engines are used in Camaro's, Commodores and the like.

I would think the real world FE will be worse than the advertised EPA FE. I'd say if a Pentastar Ram is averaging 15-17mpg it would be safe to assume the Colorado will average 17-19mpg.

Compared to the 2.7 EcoBoost the Colorado will get much better FE. Remember the EcoBoost fuel tax everytime you depress the accelerator.

The reason is the Colorado is lighter, so accelerating less mass with urban use will be less than a heavier NA V6 pickup that weighs 1000lbs more.

$40k?? So, how much will a full size 1/2 ton with the same amount of bling set you back? I'd say a bit more than $40k.

So, are you attempting to talk down the Colorado?

Or are they really serious concerns you have?

If you use some common sense and be a little bit intuitive you will find many of the answers you are seeking.

I am eager to buy one. I have space limitations and mpg requirements so the smaller size works better for me.

But I also like to haul my family in comfort with modern technology available. The cost isn't so much a concern as I have planned this purchase in advance so as to pay cash and I plan to operate this truck for 12+ years.

There is no need by certain posters to talk down towards those that prefer this sort of truck over other options (or vise versa). Different strokes for different folks. :)

People are still fixated on the myth that people buy small trucks just to save money. People buy these trucks because a small truck is what they want. Offering a Denali trim makes perfect sense.

The problem is they aren't small trucks.

GM claims there is a niche market for these mid-size trucks, yet they're near full-size, even bigger than the Tacoma. That said, GM is now introducing a well-equipped, lower-priced Chevy Silverado "Custom" Ext. Cab for $33K. Price out a Colorado with similar equipment, and you're right up against $30K. Considering how much money GM is throwing on the hood of it's full-size pickups, while Colorados and Canyons offer no incentives, GM is setting itself up for failure.

Sorry, I know there's a lot of GM fans who post online, but if you look at the pricing, size, and real world MPG, they just aren't a compelling value, especially for someone that really wants a smaller truck, not something that's a 7/8 scale full size pIckup..

Jim - for many people there is a significant difference between a full sized truck and these "small" trucks.

I do not think GM is setting themselves up for failure. So far it appears that GM is gaining (or should I say regaining) market share with their 3 truck strategy.

Some buyers do cross-shop these trucks and full sized but most don't. These trucks haven't affected full sized sales and they haven't hurt Tacoma sales. That fact indicates that there is a demand for them.

The billion dollar question is how much demand?

If they are gaining market share it is at the expense of other shares.

The only way I see them gaining market share is on price. The problem with the two truck strategy is that is they'll replace a highly profitable Silverado sale with a cheap Colorado sale thereby reducing profits. And there won't be much profit on any of the conquest sales. They might break even, but what's the point in doing all that extra work just to break even?

Ford could dominate the small truck market if they wanted to. But, it's a small market. Say they could sell 100k small trucks. Great! However, if those 100k small trucks came at the expense of 50k F150's, that means Ford has invested that much money for 50k additional sales, and 50k sales at less profit than before. Is that really a win for Ford? Ford is in this to make money, not dominate small markets that won't earn them any cash over and above what they already have. That is the point most of us here try to make.

How much demand?

Look at small/midsized truck sales over the last 15 years versus CUV sales.

Crossover sales don't cannibalize more profitable F150 sales.

Crossovers share car platforms and can be easily made in the same plant.

Crossovers get much better fuel economy.

And I agree with Jim - Lou is overstating the number of buyers who actually want a smaller truck and not one that is a lot cheaper or gets a lot better fuel economy. The midsizers are not that much cheaper or don't get much better fuel economy and that will limit potential buyers even more.

I owned 2 Rangers. The first was a 1990 single cab 2.3L manual. Why? It was CHEAP transportation that also came in handy around the house a few times a year. It was $7995. I replaced it with a 4.0L supercab manual in 1995. There is no way it makes business sense to sell a full-size and a mid-size here right now and for similar reasons it does not make any business sense for GM to sell the Canyorado twins here now and certainly not to make them so large and spend so much changing them from the global vehicle and from each other.

Is it great for consumers who actually want one? SURE! But that's not the point.

If they can come up with a small truck that does get considerably better mpg than a 2.7L EB F150 then it MIGHT have a shot to bring in new buyers that left the truck market altogether. But that's a big IF.

I test drove a fully loaded crew cab long bed with the v6. I was averaging 27-29 mpg on the highway. I'm waiting for the Denali with the Duramax 2.8 fuel economy should be close to 40mpg. I don't need a fullsize and I'm 6'8". I don't need to compensation like some giys. I currently have a Sonoma and wouldn't trade it for a fullsize.

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