2023 GMC Canyon
(Photo/GMC)

AT4X Off-Road Package & New Turbo Engine: 2023 GMC Canyon Revealed

The GMC Canyon gets a complete makeover for 2023. GMC is adding more power from a smaller engine, more luxury for Denali, and a new ultimate off-road AT4X.

You’ll spot the clean-sheet exterior styling makeover of the 2023 GMC Canyon first, but there’s much more to this new truck — like a redesigned cabin with a massive new screen inside, and a new all-turbo powertrain lineup. And GMC has introduced an even more capable off-road trim, called Canyon AT4X, to help get you even further off the beaten path.

The midsize truck segment is hot lately, both for sales and for new models. Nissan’s Frontier was redesigned last year, Ford’s Ranger is expected to get a big change very soon, the VW Amarok is finally headed our way, and Chevrolet has already shown off the Colorado pickup that is this truck’s corporate sibling.

Turbo Power for New Canyon

2023 GMC Canyon
(Photo/GMC)

GMC’s 2023 Canyon will get a lot of the same new features that debuted on the Chevy, like its 2.7L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which has trickled down from GM’s full-size trucks.

While Chevy offers three variants of this engine, including a base model with 237 horsepower, GMC is only talking about the most powerful version. The launch announcement is focused on the luxury Canyon Denali and off-road Canyon AT4X. Both of those will give buyers the 310 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque of the High Output version under the hood.

The base engine, along with the 310-horsepower and 390-pound-feet mid-range engine, will likely show up down the road. When GMC starts production of the more entry-level Canyon variants, which it says will start “around $40,000.”

Every 2023 Canyon will get a new eight-speed automatic transmission. GMC will offer four-wheel drive standard on Canyon AT4, AT4X, and Denali, with two-wheel drive offered on lower-spec trucks.

Towing Increases, Payload Can Vary

2023 GMC Canyon
(Photo/GMC)

Max towing is 7,700 pounds, up around 150 pounds from a crew cab in 2022, but is just 6,000 pounds for AT4X. Its payload tops out at 1,640 pounds for an Elevation with two-wheel drive, slightly higher than last year. But if you want an AT4X or Denali, that payload capacity shrinks quickly to 1,360 pounds for Denali or just 1,250 for AT4X.

Pick the Edition 1 package AT4X, which adds an off-road bumper, 30-inch light bar, and a performance skid plate, and the maximum payload drops to just 1,010 pounds. So, while it adds rough road and trail capability, Edition 1 might mean you need to leave passengers and gear at home.

More Off-Road Ability

2023 GMC Canyon
(Photo/GMC)

GMC is making its off-road offerings a bit complicated. Elevation, AT4, and Denali trims of the 2023 Canyon will all get a 2-inch factory lift plus a wider track for off-road stability. This gives the trucks 9.6 inches of ground clearance and helps the approach and departure angles.

The AT4X trim was first launched on the larger GMC Sierra. Here, it’s GMC’s equivalent of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and is meant to be more off-road focused than the AT4 and other trims. It gets another inch of lift and 10.7 inches of ground clearance.

This is the one that wears Multimatic’s magic DSSV shocks that can give you on-road levels of comfort when on the trail. The AT4X will wear mud-terrain tires, with the large 285/70R17 rubber adding 0.2 inches more to the truck’s track.

Elevation models come with an open differential, but AT4 and Denali both have a limited-slip rear end. AT4X models come standard with power-locking diffs at both the front and rear to help make sure you’re always sending power to the ground. AT4X buyers get a Baja drive mode added to the usual terrain and tow modes that are designed for high-speed off-road driving.

Cabin Gets Big Screens, Big Tech

2023 GMC Canyon
(Photo/GMC)

GMC calls this its most advanced Canyon thanks to loads of new tech inside and out. A new 11.3-inch screen is standard, offering easier screen viewing than before, as well as the wireless versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

An 11-inch digital dash is standard on Denali and AT4X — 8.0 inches on lower trims — giving drivers more gauge customization along with off-road data monitoring. AT4X adds a head-up display, the first time that’s been offered on Canyon and not offered on Chevrolet Colorado.

Denali’s cabin gets laser-etched open-pore wood and leather on the dash for a more luxurious experience. AT4X gets a different dash with carbon-look trim, red accents, and special embroidery. Both will get heated and ventilated front seats and a heated wheel.

Automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, and lane keep assist will be standard. Rear cross-traffic braking and blind zone steering assist are available, and GMC will offer adaptive cruise and surround view cameras. Buyers can add up to 10 camera views, including waterproof cameras mounted under the truck (with lens washers) that let drivers see the trail directly under the pickup.

2023 GMC Canyon
(Photo/GMC)

GMC’s last trick is a new storage spot. A watertight compartment in the tailgate gives buyers a cooler for drinks or a spot to keep small and delicate items like levels, tape measures, and gloves.

2023 GMC Canyon Pricing & Availability

2023 GMC Canyon production starts in early 2023. Buyers who want the Canyon AT4X Edition 1 can place a reservation now, with an MSRP starting from $63,350.

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Evan Williams
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Evan has been drooling over cars since the time he learned to walk. Since then he's worked on controlling the drooling and expanded his interests to include hiking, cycling, and kayaking. He went to school for engineering but transitioned into a more satisfying career and has been writing automotive and outdoors news for nearly a decade