2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Edition 1 Hands-On Preview: 5 Standout Features of This Off-Road Truck

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

The proverbial wraps are taken off the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X and we get a chance to spend some time with it.

For those astute readers, you may notice that the AT4X looks familiar. That’s because the new truck is based on the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 Concept. GMC claims the new AT4X is the most advanced, off-road ready mid-size truck.

Get a Quote on a New GMC Canyon

To check the merit of this claim, we got our hands-on a 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Edition 1 to see what makes this truck so advanced and capable.

2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Edition 1

If the AT4X doesn’t sound like quite enough truck, early adopters will have the chance to grab an Edition 1 trim, like the vehicle we are featuring here. The Edition 1 includes some Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Trail Boss equipment, and some unique items to the truck. For starters, there are front- and rear-facing underbody cameras with a wash function. The off-road front bumper includes a safari bar while the grille houses a 30-inch off-road light bar. Also upfront is a remote control winch system by COMEUP.

SEE ALSO: 2023 GMC Canyon Denali Hands-On Preview: Standing Out from the Crowd

To protect the truck, there is a performance front skid plate and the standard 17-inch wheels are beadlock capable. The pickup bed rail system is configurable, and the tailgate of course has a unique Edition 1 badge.

Those unable to get their hands on the Edition 1 should take some consolation in the fact that these upgrades will become Canyon accessories in the future.

Real Off-Roader

The AT4X features more than just a lift kit and some exterior add-ons. Unlike regular Canyon’s, it has outboard Multimatic DSSV shocks. Not only are these shocks designed for harder off-road abuse, but by positioning them outside of the body, they are better protected by the rear wheels. And speaking of protection, the AT4X Edition 1 features standard rocker proctors, a front skid plate, and a transfer case shield. Of course, the best protection may be the Canyon AT4X’s 10.7 inches of standard ground clearance.

All versions of the 2023 Canyon receive a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, making 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. There are a variety of drive modes available including the sand-loving Baja Mode that is exclusive to the AT4X. As well, there’re physical locker buttons for the front and rear differentials, located on the center stack closest to the driver.

Sidewall, Tread, and Beadlocks

The wider stance of the new Canyon allows for the installation of wider tires. All AT4X Edition 1 trucks come standard with 17-inch wheels, wrapped in 32-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires. As mentioned, the wheels are beadlock capable, but only come from the factory with garnish that merely looks like beadlocks. This is due to many locales having laws that forbid vehicles from running on public roads with beadlocks equipped. Of course it is possible to purchase the beadlocks for the wheels as an accessory.

For those who prefer to customize their trucks with aftermarket wheels, there is good news with the 2023 Canyon. It now has the same bolt pattern as GMC’s full-size trucks. So, far more wheel choices from either GMC’s accessory catalogue or the aftermarket can now be installed on the Canyon.

Not Just Off-Road Tech

As mentioned previously, the brand claims the new AT4X is the most advanced, off-road ready mid-size truck. GMC cleverly uses the caveat of advanced before the word off-road, making it hard to argue the brand’s claim, since the new Canyon is stuffed full of some impressive in-car technology.

SEE ALSO: All New 2023 Chevrolet Colorado Gets New Turbo Power, More Trim Options

The AT4X Edition 1 has no fewer than 10 exterior cameras to see everything around the truck, including one underneath the truck. Inside there’s a 11.3-inch infotainment system screen as well as a configurable 11 digital gauge cluster and a head up display system.

To ensure the driver receives all the information they could ask for, there are various off-road performance displays, including g-force, altimeter, and pitch and roll angles.

2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Tricolor Interior

Each trim line of the all-new 2023 Canyon features a unique interior color scheme. For the AT4X, all models receive a red, white, and black interior. And the color scheme is not just exclusive to the seats. The dashboard, center console, doors, and switch gear all receive the tri-color treatment. Only the red seatbelts are not standard equipment.

Our only concern is the white soft touch material that pads the center console. It might not look so great after dirty knees, dusty jeans, and greasy work-pants rub up against them.

Pricing for the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Edition 1 should be announced closer to the on sale date with production set to begin in early 2023.

Discuss this story on our GMC Canyon AT4X Forum

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Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

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 1 comment
  • Dilligaf Dilligaf on Aug 31, 2022

    I have to agree.... WTF were they thinking using a light colored material inside the cab? REALLY DUMB!