2017 GMC Canyon Expands Lineup and Powertrains

GMC All Terrain X[5] II

GMC's three-truck strategy that includes a midsize, half-ton and heavy-duty pickup truck has been an unmitigated success any way you cut it. The smallest of the group, the new GMC Canyon, is up almost 20 percent over last year’s sales and looks to be comfortably selling around 3,000 vehicles per month. 

But if the Canyon has learned anything from its bigger brother Sierra, it’s that if you stand still, you get trampled. As we noted in our 2016 Midsize Pickup Challenge, this segment is brutally competitive and likely to get several more players entering the fray before the end of the decade. 

As announced last year, GMC is adding a new top-of-the-line trim package for 2017 (which debuted at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show) called the Canyon Denali. In addition to the 2017 Canyon Denali, GMC will continue its special edition All Terrain Package to better serve the smallish-but-substantial premium midsize pickup buyer. 

The biggest changes for 2017 Canyons, however, will be under the hood and backing up the motor with the addition of a new all-aluminum, 3.6-liter 24-valve direct-injection V-6 engine with cylinder deactivation. Additionally, 2017 Canyons will receive the segment’s first eight-speed transmission (along with its Chevrolet Colorado sibling). 

The new powertrain will have more power, SAE International-rated at 308 horsepower and 275 pounds-feet of torque. The Canyon’s payload, gross vehicle weight rating and towing numbers will all remain the same as the previous V-6/six-speed combination. 

The 2017 GMC Canyon with the new engine and transmission will arrive in dealerships near the end of the year. We expect it will likely have a moderate price increase, but official 2017 pricing will be released closer to the on-sale date. And although no announcement has been made about using this new eight-speed transmission in combination with the torque-biased 2.8-liter Baby Duramax turbo-diesel, it would be mind-boggling if that didn't follow. 

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and speaking of the 2.8-liter Duramax diesel why do we never see stories about the take rate on this upgrade package?

Maybe I'm the last guy to care but I'm disappointed that GM did not choose the Gen 5 six (4.3L) in place of the 3.6

It was the obvious choice.

The Canyon is a great driving truck, but I think it's a bit sluggish off the line. The shorter first gear on the 8spd should give it more kick out of the hole. AFM and a taller overdrive should contribute to better steady state fuel efficiency as well. Overall, a nice upgrade.

The Canyon was already the best sub-fullsize truck, upgrading the powertrain only widens the gap.

Can we stop with the duplicate articles, the Colorado and Canyon are practically the same truck!

And 8 gears means searching for the right gear more which leads to less reliability over the long run!

@ A L,

Your opinion as the best midsize truck!

Canyon can barely off-road, that is not a trait of the best mid-sized truck, sorry!

never buy a GM vehicle with AFM unless you plan to keep it 3 yrs or less. AFM completely ruins these engines. I have a Silverado that hasn't gone more thank 4 months between repairs in the last 4 years.

I had an 07 sierra 5.3 with AFM and it lasted until 2013 with 207k miles before I had to replace the lifters... reliability simply isn't an issue if you change your oil regularly...

Considering Ford doesn't have a competitor for these midsize GM'S we are assured to get FORD fangirl hate comments any second now.

@gms, you mean like the ford hater just did(you?)

all in all, Ford doesnt NEED to be in this market like GM does, Ford will come out in 2018 in this market and then be number 1 like they are in the halfton/HD market, and you and your other names you use, johnny/really can cry like you always do

oxi is wrong.
With cylinder shutoff, they engine can run slightly elevated rpms on 4 cylinders, and then when it is time for load, the engine returns to 6 cylinders.
That means less shifting, on grades, etc.
Plus the smaller gaps between ratios, mean less energy [meaning heat] imparted to the clutches/brakes in the transmission per shift. Meaning more durability.

With ever engine GM slaps AFM on it makes me write that vehicle off for future consideration. Pretty soon their entire lineup will have AFM and I'll be able to completely strike GM from consideration. It doesn't work, GM! Get rid of it!


Just a little fish bait for the GM girls !!!

Ford rules G M and Ram break down - fords are fish bait, they belong at the bottom of a lake.

Can we stop with the duplicate articles, the Colorado and Canyon are practically the same truck!

Posted by: oxi | Aug 29, 2016 9:38:47 AM

I agree. I dislike these duplicate posts.

Dave - Don't read them then.

oxi & Dave - And I'm tired of your posts! Stop posting anti-GM posts in GM posts. This is a pro-GM post ONLY!


Off roading is no where near the largest measure of what makes a truck great. Sorry your beloved Tacoma is falling by the wayside. You buy a truck to tow, haul, and get you places cars can't. They aren't designed to be rock crawlers and are not judged as such. Can they get you to a remote camping spot down by the lake or a fire trail at the top of the mountain or tow a load to work down a un-kept road or field. I really question how much "off roading" you do with all your one sided posts. Go buy a Jeep already, you know you are salivating at the lips for it...

Maybe I'm the last guy to care but I'm disappointed that GM did not choose the Gen 5 six (4.3L) in place of the 3.6

It was the obvious choice.

Posted by: papa jim | Aug 29, 2016 8:34:57 AM

I think you are right. The 4.3L would be a much better choice. Lower RPM for torque and HP. Already has AFM. It does not have to wind out to 7000 rpm to make power. A high reving engine is nice, but not really on a truck unless it has a wide power band where it does not need to be spun up to work. Who wants to tow with the engine at 3000 or more rpm.

Best midsize trucks in America, and built in America. Awesome job GM!

@ johnny doe,

Not really! It was designed and first built in Thailand!

Both of my Tacoma's are U.S. built, one with UAW labor and the other in Texas.

If Toyota did not have the Mexico plant to build the 4-door version, I would seriously challenge but you forget about the Nissan Frontier and the Tundra, those are also the only U.S. built trucks in this nation.

The fact is this isn't a new engine. It is a revision to the current one. As for the 3.6L, the 4.3L wasn't ready yet and truely midsize trucks aren't used much for work anyway. The 3.6L is plenty big enough to do what a midsize is actually for.


GM the best American midsize truck, and American built. Awesome job GM.

The 4300 ecotec never had a chance, since the 3.6 was already integrated. I do think it could have been a better motor.
I don't know if the 8 speed being used here would handle the torque from the diesel. This is a smaller car transmission, also used in the Cadillac. The bigger one has production volume limits. GM will expand it into markets where it pays the biggest dividends. Or just switch to the 10sod outright. The 8speed wouldn't add much to the diesel Colorado, either, at least not from a marketing standpoint. The diesel midsize ids already the far and away fuel econ leader. Squeezing out another mpg or two wouldn't convince any additional buyers.

Huh? They use the 8 speed on the 6.2L V8s, that offers way more TQ then the 2.8L diesel. I do agree the 4.3L would be a better engine then the 3.6L.

@Johnny doe- yes, they use the 8L90 behind the 6.2. It would definitelybhandle the torque. There are reasons not to use that trans in the Colorado:
Production capacity is limited, which is why it isn't available in all 1500 series trucks. Those trucks have a competitive advantage using it, while the Colorado diesel already has class best fuel econ and towing.
The trans might not fit the frame.
The diesel honestly may not benefit all that much. Also, tuning for emissions is way more involved with the diesel, so the engineering cost isn't justified for the potential sales gain.

I very much like the idea of the diesel Colorado
but it sounds like a sewing machine

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