Beyond the AT4 news, the '21 Canyon Denali has a new face
The mid-size pickup-truck wars aren’t slowing anytime soon, and GMC is keeping the arms race alive with the likes of Ford’s Ranger and Honda’s Ridgeline (and its Chevy-badged Colorado twin) by making small but impactful updates to its Canyon midsize pickup truck for 2021. The updated GMC Canyon receives an all-new AT4 off-road model, similar to its bigger sibling, the Sierra AT4, as well as an updated Denali model with a redesigned grille.
Aimed at outdoor adventurers, the Canyon AT4 receives an off-road tuned suspension with GMC’s Advanced Hill Descent Control system. If this sounds familiar, you’re probably familiar with the pre-2021 Canyon All Terrain model, which this AT4 replaces. The new AT4 also features 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires, which were available on the aforementioned All Terrain if you upgraded to that truck’s X package, and an Eaton G80 locking rear differential. Four-wheel drive is, of course, standard, as is a skid plate to protect the transfer case. Visual differentiation from regular Canyons comes by way of dark chrome accents, a larger grille design, and red-painted tow/recovery hooks. Inside, the cabin gets unique stitching and AT4 badges on the headrests.
For 2021, the range-topping, luxury-oriented Canyon Denali receives a new grille design, which GMC says takes after the one on the new Sierra. Unfortunately, GMC has yet to release photos of the 2021 Canyon Denali, so we don’t actually know if that’s true or what the new grille even looks like. Other than a new Cocoa and “Dark Atmosphere” interior color scheme, not much else about the Denali seems to have changed. You can expect it will still have the same chrome trim, five-inch chrome assist steps, 20-inch aluminum wheels, and heated and ventilated front seats as before.
Neither the Canyon AT4 nor the Denali offer anything in the way of mechanical enhancements, meaning both are still powered by a 308-hp 3.6-liter V-6 engine. (GM’s 2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine is optional.) It would be cool if GMC were to slap a turbocharger or two to that mill, especially for more power for the off-road AT4, to preempt the Ranger Raptor model Ford surely is bringing Stateside soon. Oh well. Pricing for the newest Canyons will be released later this year, closer to the trucks’ on-sale dates.