Welcome back to our 2015 GMC Canyon long-term review. To read previous updates in the series, click here.
As spring time rolls in, we put our long-term GMC Canyon to the task of helping us get a garden started. Before we could get our vegetables in the ground, we needed a load of topsoil. So a we threw a tarp in the bed to keep it clean and headed for the local garden center to load this truck up.
As the front end loader dropped the earth into the bed of the truck, I had worries that we were taxing the leaf springs a little too much. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I rolled across a local scale to figure out exactly how much weight we were hauling and the total came out to just over 1,300 lbs, putting us about 170-lbs shy of the truck’s maximum payload rating.
The powertrain handled the weight with ease. The V6 felt like it was working harder than normal, but it never got to the point of seeming seriously strained. The steering seemed to actually get slightly heavier, a nice feeling compared to the light, imprecise feel you can sometimes get from a vehicle with too much weight over the rear axle. Side-to-side sway was also controlled well by the suspension, and there was no wishy washy feeling that can sometimes come from loading up the bed of truck.
What was most impressive was just how much travel was left in the rear. There was not a single bump, divot or imperfection in the road that brought the back end anywhere near the bump stops. I could even jump on the bumper and still the truck did not seem to be close to bottoming out. Although we would never recommend exceeding it, the 1,470 lb payload rating on our truck seems conservative to say the least. The highest-rated Canyon configuration can haul 1,620 lbs in its bed.
Fuel economy, understandably, took a hit, running at between 15 and 16 MPG for the short 30 mile run from the garden center to home.
Getting to the dirt close to the garden was easy thanks to the truck, but getting it the last few feet required muscle power. Luckily, the Canyon’s bumper integrated step made hopping in and out of the bed simple, saving the beating my knees would normally take jumping in and out of the bed. Sometimes the simple solutions are the most elegant and GM has a winner on its hands with its bed step.
So if you plan to plant, know that these GM midsize trucks will gladly haul all the dirt you need comfortably and confidently.