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2021 GMC Canyon AT4: Is $45k too much for a midsize truck?

2021 GMC Canyon AT4

The 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 is a good lookin’ mid-size truck with some great off-road capabilities. (Photo by Tim Esterdahl)

With a starting price of $40k, the GMC Canyon is a popular midsize truck. But what happens when you add an off-road package that costs another $5k, bringing the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 off-road special edition to $45,780? Publisher Tim Esterdahl walks us through some of the extras in his video below where he points out the good and bad things about this midsize truck.

2021 GMC Canyon AT4 pluses

The GMC Canyon is a really good-looking little truck. With its bright red tow hooks, beveled bed-side panels and side steps on bed corners, GMC has done a great job of creating an attractive vehicle.

Esterdahl also gives GMC props for the quiet ride and the comfort — both on and off-road thanks to sound-dampening and good suspension. Even with the big off-road tires, the truck rides smoothly on Nebraska’s washboard dirt roads.

The 3.6-liter V-6 is a well-suited engine for this truck. It’s fun to drive off-road, even with the controversial 8-speed transmission. The locking rear-differential and auto 4-wheel drive that kicks in when the truck senses slippage means less guesswork while off-pavement.

A few more things to like include auto-dimming interior lights, really nice fog lamps and a nice tailgate.

Not bad, but not good either

Again with the uncomfortable seats. There just isn’t enough padding to make for a comfortable ride for more than a few miles. And in the same vein, the interior design feels lacking in the materials chosen. Esterdahl points out a lot of cheap plastic parts, a very small driver’s display, and a lackluster infotainment screen that just isn’t that exciting for a $40k truck.

Compared to some of its competitors, the Canyon is equipped with a pretty low-quality backup camera which seems very pixilated. It also does not have a 360-degree view or overhead shot like we are starting to see on other trucks.

No lights in the truck bed? No bueno.

Included in the AT4 off-road package

We know you’re wondering just what the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4 Special Edition Off-Road package will include so here’s a little breakdown:

  • 17-inch wheels
  • spray in bed liner
  • off-road rocker protection
  • suspension leveling kit
  • all-weather floor liners
  • black AT4 badges
  • black exhaust tip
  • front and mid skid plates

What do you think? Is all of this worth $45k? Join Esterdahl for a walk around, and see for yourself.

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Erica Mueller

Erica Mueller is a Texan, which means she believes that trucks are family vehicles and giant SUVs make good second cars. As part-time auto journalist for almost a decade, Erica enjoys driving all kinds of vehicles and sharing her experiences with others. Erica is the secretary of the board for the Texas Auto Writers Association as well as a contributor at A Girls Guide to Cars.

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