2017 Chevrolet Colorado vs GMC Canyon
As more and more buyers are starting to realize, there’s a lot to love about a midsize pickup truck if you don’t actually need the size and capability of a full-size model. How do two domestic models, that can sometimes sadly fly under buyer radar, shape up? Let’s compare the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon in a head-to-head.
2017 Chevrolet Colorado vs GMC Canyon
Those who want full-size SUV styling but car-like handling go for crossovers, so those who want the styling and flexibility of a pickup with more car-like handling and fuel economy should consider a midsize truck. The Colorado has a very attractive look, with even a hint of the sporty Camaro on the face. The Colorado definitely checks all the pickup styling boxes, but with a little less bulk than many of us are probably used to.
Although the Canyon is closely related to the Colorado, the styling is distinctly more traditional. If you want a truck that looks like a full-size but isn’t a full-size, the GMC is probably the one to go for. But as the Colorado strikes a nice balance between unique modernity and comforting tradition, we’d opt for the Chevy.
Three engines are available for the Chevy Colorado: a 200 horsepower four-cylinder, a 3.6-liter 308 horsepower V-6, and a 2.8-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel offering 181 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard in the Base trim and optional in the WT, but the rest of the time it’s either a six- or an eight-speed automatic. Believe it or not, despite their very different styling, the Colorado and the Canyon share the same engines.
However, the Colorado has a few edges on the Canyon. The first is the standard Tow/Haul mode that’s available on the base model WT Colorado but NOT on the base model Canyon–a definite perk for anyone who is using their truck for what it was made for. The other edge for the Colorado is a higher GVWR–not by much, a mere 200 pounds, but a difference nonetheless.
For a pickup, especially one that’s not a heavy duty model, the Colorado has fewer number of trims than you might expect, with just three. Even so, you’ll get an impressive amount of flexibility and customization available. All models may get vinyl seats as standard, but you also get a rearview camera, a locking tailgate, tilt steering, power windows, air conditioning, and an AM/FM radio with a USB port and a 4.2-inch touchscreen interface. We’re also fans of the standard Onstar with WiFi and the Basic OnStar plan that comes on all trims but the Work Truck.
You’ll get six trim levels to choose from in the GMC Canyon lineup: the SL, Canyon, SLE, All Terrain, SLT and the impressive Denali. The SL is pretty basic, but still covers the basics. All of the other options may be to your benefit–and it’s true that the Colorado has nothing to offer that can meet the opulence of the Canyon Denali. But there’s a dizzying number of options to choose from, amplified by the choose of 2WD or 4WD options. Having an escalating number of permutations of the GMC Canyon doesn’t seem to fit its primary buyer–if you’re in the market for the poshest pickup truck out there, the midsize market probably won’t be your choice.
The best fuel economy you can get from a gas Colorado is a rear-wheel drive four-cylinder with an automatic transmission, which is then rated by the EPA at 20 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg combined. Go for the diesel though, and those numbers can then be as good as 22 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined, which is seriously good for a pickup truck.
Since they share the same powertrains, the Canyon and the Colorado also share the same fuel economy ratings. The base model Canyon comes in at a price tag nearly $6K less than the base WT model Colorado–a stunning difference that may make budget-conscious buyers pause.
Learn More about the Chevrolet Colorado
Honestly? The GMC Canyon and the Chevrolet Colorado are well-matched and nearly twins, with the same basic structure and shared powertrains. But we think the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado is better-looking and offers a slight edge in performance, while the GMC Canyon has more to offer budget-friendly buyers.