Auto123 opinions the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4.
The AT4 is a designation quickly gaining floor within the GMC lineup organigram. The automaker’s newest mannequin to obtain this aesthetic and technical remedy is the 2021 Canyon mid-size pickup. It follows within the giant and rugged footsteps of the 2 Sierras, the Acadia and even the brand new Yukon classic, freshly deposited onto the market.
For these unfamiliar with the quick backstory of the AT4 designation, the GMC division determined just some months in the past to supply one other kind of fantastically outfitted truck mannequin to its clientele. Becoming underneath the Denali crest within the GMC hierarchy, the Canyon AT4 is aimed toward a shopper that does not essentially need to be seen behind the wheel of a car decked in chrome plating.
That is precisely what the AT4 components gives. There aren’t any chrome parts on the skin, and as an alternative you get a minimum of a gentle dose of off-road-focused design. The off-road rubber from the Goodyear catalog, the Wrangler Duratrac tires, is the primary unmistakable component, altering the picture of the American pickup truck proper off. The 17-inch wheels are additionally unique to this trim designed for off-road driving, though the black plastic apron on the base of the bumper isn’t designed for tough obstacles, however relatively to make the car extra aerodynamic. Lastly, the tow hooks on the entrance bumper are painted crimson, one other visible signature of the AT4 components.
For 2021, the GMC Canyon additionally sees the floor space of its entrance grille enhanced – it now extends additional downward. Then there’s the presence of bigger LED fog lamps. As for the remainder of the physique, it stays true to the mannequin launched in the marketplace in 2014 (as a 2015 mannequin).
I ought to add that along with the tires and look, the Canyon AT4 advantages from a further skid plate on the switch case, an Eaton G80 limited-slip differential, an off-road suspension and a Hill Descent Management System, a gizmo that is turning into more and more standard on these variations designed for out of doors fans.
And what concerning the inside?
Inside, adjustments are extra delicate. Inside modifications are restricted to the van’s seats, with “AT4” embroidery on the headrests and distinctive Kalahari stitching. Briefly, GMC didn’t go loopy reworking the Canyon for this AT4 variant. And but the bundle is conceived to enchantment significantly to off-road fans, particularly these extra acutely aware of their funds (the opposite possibility on this area of interest is known as the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and prices about $8,000 additional).
Observe that that ZR2 is a totally totally different machine from the Canyon AT4, if just for its precise elevated capabilities when the street will get actually does get tough, if not disappear completely. The Chevrolet pickup’s suspension, courtesy of Canadian firm Multimatic, can be completely totally different in its efficiency.
Helming an outstanding chassis
That is solely the newest in a number of events I’ve needed to sit myself down in a single or different of Common Motors’ midsize pickups. A few of them have been the extra primary variations, others king-of-the-hill variants just like the Colorado ZR2 enhanced with subtle suspensions and widened chassis.
My largest takeaway after all of the kilometres I’ve pushed in these American vans is that they are constructed on unimaginable ladder chassis. When the Colorado ZR2 was offered a number of years in the past on the eve of the Los Angeles Auto Present, I used to be struck by how the truck did not even flinch on the bumpy course arrange for the event.
Now, within the fall of 2020, a number of days behind the wheel of the GMC Canyon’s most virile variant as soon as once more jogged my memory of how inflexible the truck’s chassis is. Irrespective of how arduous I tossed it round within the worst potholes I may think about, the Canyon did not make any irregular physique noise. After all, the Canyon nonetheless drives like a truck: the steering is heavy and imprecise, the off-road suspension is stiff and the dealing with is nothing like that of a sports activities automobile. Precisely what you’d count on from a pickup truck, in different phrases.
The presence of studded tires additionally has an affect on the car’s efficiency. They don’t supply the identical grip and are noisier, even on freshly paved surfaces at 100 km/h on the freeway. It isn’t disagreeable, however bear in mind that the AT4 isn’t as comfy as the opposite Canyons within the lineup. In return, that studded rubber actually does the job when the asphalt provides approach to mud and rocks.
As for powertrain efficiency, I’ve no complaints about it. The naturally-aspirated 3.6L V6 delivers 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, whereas the 8-speed automated can be flawless. Though, the guide mode on the left aspect of the shifter would not do add a lot to the expertise, besides perhaps should you’ll be towing heavy masses on the mountainous roads of our nice nation.
The final phrase
GMC’s decision-making in introducing this new mannequin to the lineup is savvy, particularly given the success achieved with this AT4 crest on different fashions, all in a remarkably quick interval. Vans giving off an off-road vibe are very a lot in vogue proper now, and so long as shoppers proceed to clamour for variants just like the AT4, GMC and others are positive to maintain obliging them.
After all, the Canyon AT4 is not for everybody, if solely due to mediocre consolation ranges on pavement. At the least a number of the blame for that lies with our tough Canadian roads, however clearly the suspension has a job as nicely. Within the woods, then again, this robustness pays dividends. And if it’s not sufficient for you, there’s at all times the ZR2 possibility over at Chevrolet!
The off-road look
The rigidity of the chassis
General high quality
We like much less
Problem of entry to the inside
The stiff suspension
Excessive gas consumption
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2
Highway Assessments and Critiques
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