2015 GMC Canyon Long-Term Review: Fuel Economy

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Welcome back to our 2015 GMC Canyon long-term test. To read the whole series, click here.

Our 2015 GMC Canyon tester, outfitted with the 3.6-liter V6 and four-wheel drive, is officially rated to burn 17 MPG in the city and 24 on the highway for a combined rating of 20 MPG. 

2015-GMC-Canyon-Rear-SmallThat puts the Canyon ahead of its biggest competition, the V6-powered Tacoma, by two MPG combined, and only one MPG above the V6-powered GMC Sierra. Opt for a 5.3-liter V8 in the Sierra and the gap grows to a two-MPG advantage for the Canyon.

In a recent interview, Ram CEO Bob Hegbloom said that for a midsize truck to work for his brand, there would have to be a solid five-MPG advantage over its half-ton sibling, or else there would be too much overlap between the trucks. Apparently GM disagrees.

SEE ALSO: Ram CEO Says Midsize Truck it Too Costly

One of the major selling points on midsize trucks and smaller vehicles in general is the fuel economy advantage. So how does the Canyon stack up in the real world?

Canyon-FE-ScreenOver the total of 5882 miles I put on the truck to date, the trip computer reads an average of 17.4 MPG.

This calculation began the day the truck was picked up and includes all sorts of different usage, like regularly towing a 4,500-lb snowmobile trailer, commuting through dense city traffic, hauling a 6,300-lb Airstream, hauling my snowmobile to and from trails and more. It’s also probably worth mentioning that the truck did all of that through one of the coldest winters in recent memory.

I’ve been working this truck damn hard, hence the three MPG gap between our average and the EPA’s. But I also haven’t done anything an owner wouldn’t, so take this number as a representation of what you can expect if you work your Canyon like a proper truck (and it’s damn cold outside, like -30F cold).

GMC-Canyon-Towing-Test-MainRealizing you might not tow or haul as much as me, I also put the truck through a few specific fuel economy tests that represent different scenarios.

On a recent 100-mile highway run, with the cruise control set consistently at 68 MPH, I achieved 24 MPG, exactly what the EPA says the truck should get.

I also tracked the fuel it burned while I pulled a 6,300-lb Airstream. After a 35-mile loop that was mixed between city and highway, the Canyon was burning an average of 10 MPG.

Running around town unloaded has consistently returned around 17 MPG, once again hitting the EPA rating dead on.

So after 5,000 miles, it is clear that this small truck can meet its official ratings and that hard work comes with a price.

Discuss this story at our Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon Forum

  • ClubRacer

    17 MPG ain’t too bad. But it’s a little close to the Silverado. Not much payoff going for the smaller truck.

  • T Mac

    Your towing a 6klb 30′ trailer with a small truck? Eeeck! Talk about borderline dangerous to ludicrous! I have pulled my 30′ TT that is 6klbs empty over 5k miles behind my 3/4 ton diesel and I cant imagine the white knuckle drives behind a 1/2 tone let alone smaller. Please don’t kill anyone!

  • Stephen Elmer

    That was exactly the point. The truck was within its maximum rated limits. I wanted to push it right to the edge to see how it handled.

    And honestly, I came away impressed. It didn’t feel sketchy at all.

    Do you use an equalizing hitch? It makes a world of difference.