2021 GMC Canyon AT4 is a real 4X4 truck in the midsize market
GMC announced its new AT4 off-road package on the Sierra full-size pickup for the 2019 model year, and the extra-tough option was an immediate hit. Now for 2021, you can get the same kind of go-anywhere capability on the Canyon midsize truck.
The AT4 package includes a special off-road tuned suspension with GMC's advanced hill descent control system. You also get GMC's four-wheel drive system specially equipped with an Eaton G80 rear automatic locking differential, and a transfer case skid plate to provide additional underbody protection. The AT4 package also includes 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires fitted to 17-inch "dark argent metallic" aluminum wheels.
GMC offers the Canyon with a variety of engines, but when you select the AT4 trim you get the 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine as standard equipment. This engine provides 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, and it comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with shift-on-the-fly four wheel drive. This is no single-range SUV-style system, but still a traditional dual-range 4X4 package. Optionally, buyers can also select the potent 2.8-liter turbo-diesel engine with 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.
That's the really important stuff, but GMC also gives you a great looking truck with the AT4 package. All the chrome brightwork has been smoked dark on the outside, and you get a bigger grille and red recovery hooks to look the part. Inside, the seats are upholstered in leather with contrast stitching and an AT4 logo sewn into the headrests. The front seats are heated, along with the steering wheel.
The 2021 Canyon is also a fully modern vehicle when it comes to infotainment and tech. If you opt for the $995 navigation system, you get an 8-inch touchscreen with voice command recognition, Bluetooth, and support for Android or Apple phone integration. That package also gets you a spectacular Bose audio sound system. Standard features on all Canyon AT4 trucks include remote keyless entry, remote start, wireless mobile device charging, OnStar, and GM's 4G/LTE data capability.
Standard driver assistance and safety features include rear park assistance, a rear-view camera system, plus traction and stability controls. For $395, GMC will add on lane departure warning and forward collision alerts.
On the road, the Canyon with the V6 offers plenty of power and reasonably nimble handling. The AT4 seats are supportive and comfortable. If you don't need the towing power of the full-size Sierra or Sierra HD, the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 is a great way to save a little money and have an easier time in parking lots while still looking great. If you plan to do any off-roading, the AT4 trim should be considered a must-have option.
2021 GMC Canyon AT4
Base price: $40,000
Price as tested: $42,585
Type: Midsize pickup
Engine: 4.6-liter V6 (308 hp, 275 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 17/24
Overall length: 212.4 inches
Curb weight: 4,162 pounds
Final assembly: Wentzville, Missouri
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