This Kentucky Girl is at home in a GMC Canyon.
On a recent trip to Florida, I needed a big vehicle to outfit my son’s first apartment, and a comfortable ride so I could take my daughter to visit my mother.
I needed a GMC Canyon.
The midsize truck not only provided the necessary utility, but also elevated my cred with my kids.
The first thing my son, the millennial, said when I pulled up in the GMC Canyon was “Oh my God, this is so cool.” And again, when my gen Z daughter got in the the truck, she echoed, “Oh my God, this is so cool.”
I wasn’t sure what they meant; was this a cool truck, or was it cool that an, ahem, mature woman was driving a truck, but I decided to go with it – it WAS cool.
Back to my roots
As a Kentucky native, I have an affinity for trucks & banjos; my father has not one but two pickup trucks and I learned to drive on a truck. But I don’t feel comfortable driving a full-size pickup; I am nervous and hyper alert. A midsize truck truly made a difference; great elevation, so it’s easy to see, but not a beast that I feel controls me.
The interior of the Canyon felt more like a car, with a big console between two bucket seats. The console was big enough for my purse.
The back seat had plenty of room; though we drove only five hours at a stretch, I could see the kids being comfortable for a 12 hr drive. The official name of the car we had was the Canyon 4WD SLT Crew Short Box; the ‘crew’ is two row cabin, and the short box is a smaller bed for hauling gear.
Utility – shopping like a boss
First things first; I had to take the truck on multiple trips around Miami to Ikea, Trader Joe’s and Target. My son needed everything, including, strangely, a crockpot. We easily fit a bed, mattress, flat screen TV and desk in the truck bed and 15 bags of groceries roomy back seat. The bed had a cover that locked, so you could shop at one store, then head to another and keep your purchases safe. My daughter was able to easily unclip and unroll the cover, and the fit was tight enough that we felt our new purchases were safe.
Time to hit the road
I had planned a ‘recovery’ trip to visit my mom, and I wanted the truck to serve a dual purpose; it had to be easy to drive and get good gas mileage. As a bonus, I really wanted a vehicle that would be easy to park. Driving around in the ‘burbs with a giant vehicle is not my idea of fun. But the Canyon was so easy to park, it put me at ease.
When I drive my gargantuan Suburban all day around, yes, the Connecticut suburbs, I am exhausted, but driving the GMC truck all day, I didn’t feel tired in the least. I don’t think long-haul trucking is in my future, but I liked that I could spend so many hours behind the wheel and still feel fresh.
Not so easy exit
I didn’t love the running boards; for me to get out of the truck, I had to slide out of the seat and kind of skip over the step. It was just too high for me to easily get out of the seat. My mother, though, liked using the running boards for climbing into and out of the truck.
Lots of tech
The GMC Canyon has a USB port in the front console, but there is no port for back seat passengers. There also is no vent for back seat passengers, so you have to run the AC for a minute to cool to truck off.
The navigation system, the same as in Chevrolet cars, is frustrating to use; I don’t find it at all intuitive. As many times as I’ve tried out this system, I still don’t find it easy to use. But the Canyon was also equipped with OnStar, which provides directions. The truck also had a Wifi hotspot.
What we loved
- Easy to drive
- Easy to park
- Fuel economy of 24 mpg on the highway is great for such a big vehicle; 17 mpg in the city and 20 combined
- Very comfortable ride
- Chevy OnStar and Wifi hotspot
What you need to know
- Base price $36,950; price for the model we drove, with premium audio, driver alert package, navigation system and more, $41,785
- No USB ports or vents for back seat passengers
- Takes regular gas
Note: GMC loaned me this truck for a review; opinions expressed are my own.