2015 GMC Canyon Long-Term Review: the 'Enthusiast' Test
Welcome back to our 2015 GMC Canyon long-term test. To read previous updates in the series, click here.
General Motors has not been shy about proclaiming its new midsize pickup truck twins, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, as the perfect vehicles for outdoor enthusiasts and it just so happens that I am one.
My particular method of escaping the city for the wilderness is riding atop a snowmobile, though if you would rather take kayaks or an ATV, most of the demands are the same. Putting it simply, you need a vehicle that can get you where you want to go with all of your gear comfortably in tow. And for a snowmobiler, tons of gear is part of the gig.
The limitation on space stems from the bed being fully monopolized by my 2002 Ski-Doo MXZ. Equipped with the 6’ 2” box, the sled hangs out by just over a foot with the tailgate open. The Chevy Silverado and other half-tons generally have a standard bed length around 6.5 feet, so GM’s midsizers don’t give up much in the length department compared to their larger brethren. It’s width that’s the issue.
I need to hop the front right ski onto the wheel arch because the bed isn’t quite wide enough to accommodate my 46.1-inch wide snowmobile. The average full-size ATV is about 47 inches wide and the Canyon’s bed is 57.8-inches wide, so just about any regular size four-wheeler will fit. But there are only 44.4 inches between the tops of the wheel wells, so like the snowmobile, an ATV would have to hop one wheel over. For comparison, the Silverado offers 51.3 inches between its wheel arches, enough so that my sled or an ATV would fit comfortably.
These options might not come cheap, but a carrier specific to your needs can be extremely helpful, especially because these allow you to strap your bikes or kayaks onto the truck while not taking up space in the bed. For these types of activities where the bed can be used for cargo space, loading four passengers into the truck is a viable option.
If you plan on tackling deep snow regularly, you’ll probably want to pop off the front plastic air dam on the truck because it acts like a mini plow. Fuel economy will take a hit, but making sure you can get out of what you got in to is important.
After a day of riding, the Canyon proved a stalwart companion, leaving me with a clear impression of who these trucks are perfect for. The truck lacks the space to fit a whole crew and its gear comfortably, which means that casual enthusiasts looking to escape the city commute once a week with a friend or two and toys in tow will be best served by this small pickup. Best of all, once the truck’s back on commuting duty, it won’t kill you at the fuel pumps (more on fuel economy in an upcoming post).
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