Are you on the lookout for a truck with strong towing and hauling capabilities? If so, you might want to pause and take note of what the 2019 GMC Canyon has to offer. It does tend to get lost in a pretty dynamic array of competitors, but it should not be overlooked.
Granted, the base 2.5-L 4-cylinder engine makes the Canyon feel pretty under-powered. It comes standard on the SL trim, but the higher trim levels do offer the opportunity to equip a higher-powered 3.6-L V6 engine. As opposed to the 2.5-L's meager 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, the 3.6-L engine is capable of generating a much stronger 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. For this size of a truck, a good amount of power is required to get it up and moving at a reasonable rate.
This model year, there are six different trim levels that you can choose from, each with quite a few configurations. 2WD comes standard, and you can choose from a two- or four-seat extended cab and a five-seat crew-cab body style. Also, there are two bed lengths that you can select from.
With this many choices made available, how are you supposed to know which 2019 GMC Canyon trim level is the right fit for you? Read on through to the end of this comparison review, and you should have a clearer idea of which Canyon trim you should buy.
Compare the 2019 GMC Canyon SL vs Canyon - What is the difference?
This might be a little bit confusing, but the SL is the lowest trim level of the bunch, slated beneath the base Canyon trim. The SL comes with the 2.5-L 4-cylinder engine while the Canyon upgrades you to the more powerful 3.6-L V6. Both trim levels come with similar mechanical compositions, with features including 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, capless fuel fill, electric power steering, StabiliTrak (the electronic stability control system with traction control), and a fully boxed frame. They do have different rear axle ratios, and, when fully equipped, the SL does weigh about 300 pounds more than the Canyon.
On the outside, the two trim levels are pretty similar. Both trims come with 16-inch ultra silver metallic wheels, all-season blackwall tires, black door handles and beltline moldings, black manual side mirrors, a black tailgate handle, cargo area lamps mounted in the cab, a chrome rear bumper with the ever-helpful Corner Step, daytime running lights, halogen projector beam headlights, and a locking tailgate. The base Canyon does add a few more options, including black bed rails, cargo box LED lighting, a drop-in bed liner, a keyless entry keypad, and a spray-on bed liner.
The cabins of the SL and base Canyon are also set up in similar fashion. Each one comes with a standard 3.5-inch monochromatic driver information screen, a 4-way adjustable power driver seat and front passenger seat, a 6-speaker sound system, a 7-inch touchscreen monitor with the GMC infotainment system, an anti-theft system, black door handles, a manual day-night rear-view mirror up front, center dome lights, a manual tilt-only steering column, power door locks and windows, a rear-view camera, single zone climate control, and two Type A USB ports, one auxiliary input jack. The seats are upholstered in cloth, but you have the option of upgrading to vinyl on the base Canyon. This trim also offers a few more options, such as a techno steel interior trim kit, remote keyless entry, rear park assist, OnStar & GMC Connected Services, cruise control, and all-weather floor liners and mats.
Also, a lot of the same safety features come on the SL and Canyon trims. A tire pressure monitoring system, daytime running lights, and six airbags come included, as do a few other important standard safety features. However, these trims both keep the list of standards to a minimum. The Canyon does leave options for adding rear park assist and the OnStar & GMC Connected safety features, but that is about it. Advance driver aids are relegated to the higher trim levels.
Compare the 2019 Canyon vs SLE Trims. What is the difference?
Speaking of higher trim levels, we now come to the mid-level SLE. It hs the same mechanical configuration as the base Canyon, but it gives you a few more optional add-ons. These features include a 2.8-L turbo-diesel engine with four cylinders, a 6-speed automatic transmission, a cat-back performance exhaust system, a diesel exhaust brake, a mid skid plate, a performance air intake system, and a trailering package.
The exteriors of both trims do look a bit different. For example, the SLE gets larger 17-inch aluminum wheels cast in bright silver, but you can opt for 18-inch multi-spoke Satin Graphite painted aluminum wheels. Body-colored door handles and power side mirrors with heating also come standard. Chrome moldings for the beltlines and a chrome rear bumper are included in the design as well. There is an SLE Chrome Appearance Package that grants you chrome mirror caps, door handles, a tailgate handle, and a polished exhaust tip for the gas-powered engines.
On the inside, the SLE packs in more standard and optional features as well. The biggest change is that the infotainment system gets upgraded to an 8-inch touchscreen display with the Premium GMC Infotainment System included. GMC Connected Access comes standard, as do an HD rear-view camera and HD radio. You can opt for heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The steering wheel comes wrapped in leather, and the steering column is upgraded to a manual tilt-and-telescoping one.
As far as safety features go, a few more options open up on the SLE. Lane depature warning, remote start, and forward collision alert are all options that you can get added on to the SLE. Otherwise, its standard features are basically the same as those on the base Canyon trim.
Compare the Canyon SLE vs SLT - What is the difference?
The SLT trim is pretty different the SLE in terms of mechanics. A few of the bigger differences on it include an rear differential that is automatically locking, black recovery hooks (chrome ones are optional), and the standard inclusion of four-wheel drive. Rear-wheel drive is not available.
The body of the SLT gets some noticeable upgrades as well. The wheels are boosted to 18-inch aluminum wheels, and door handles and heated power side mirrors come decked out in some seriously chic chrome. A rear window that manually slides also gets thrown into the mix. Optional features include a black molded hood protector, LED cargo box lighting, chrome body side moldings, and the Power Package (which has the cat-back exhaust system and the performance air intake system).
Upgrades to the interior of the SLT are also pretty noteworthy. A 4-way power front passenger seat comes standard, as does automatic climate control. You can opt to upgrade to an 8-inch infotainment system with built-in navigation. The heated steering wheel and front seats that are optional on the SLE become standard issue on the SLT. You also get chic leather seats instead of the cloth ones that come on the lower trim levels. Also, rear park assist comes equipped on the SLT as part of its standard list of safety features.
Compare the Canyon SLT vs Denali Trims. What is the difference?
The Denali is probably going to be the most attractive trim level for buyers. Consumers tend to see the word 'Denali' slapped on the rear of a vehicle and associate it with the utmost in luxury and performance. And they are not wrong to do so.
The Canyon's Denali trim comes only as a rear-wheel drive vehicle, and, unlike the SLT, it includes a polished exhaust tip. It also takes everything in the Trailering Package (a 2-inch hitch receiver, 4- and 7-pin connectors, a 7-wire electrical harness, a 7-pin seal connector for lights and brakes, a 4-pin seal connector for brake-less trailers, and automatic locking rear differential) and makes it standard equipment.
The exterior of the Denali trim also has some distinguishing features. It equips 20-inch aluminum wheels that are bright machined(black-painted aluminum wheels of the same size are optional), and 5-inch assist steps designed specifically for the Denali trim are included for easy access. The rear bumper is body-colored, and the front fascia receives a signature Denali chrome grille. A spray-on bedliner also comes with the Denali, which will help to reduce the amount of cargo shifting that can happen while the vehicle is in motion.
On the inside, the Denali gets quite an upscale cabin for a truck in its class. The 8-inch infotainment system with navigation comes standard, and a 7-speaker Bose premium audio system blasts out crystal-clear sound for a concert-like experience. Although the seats come standard with the same leather upholstery that is found in the SLT, you can choose to upgrade to some seriously stunning jet-black perforated leather. An SD card slot gets added to the front console, alongside the two USB data ports and auxiliary input jack. Oh, and for some extra comfort, both front seats are heated and ventilated.
Safety gets a huge boost on the Denali with the standard inclusion of the Driver Alert Package. This means that you get the lane departure warning and forward collision warning included on your vehicle.
Compare the 2019 Canyon SLT vs All Terrain - What is the difference?
Finally, we have the All Terrain trim, which is one that off-roading enthusiasts will likely consider buying. Like the SLT, it is bulky in its weight, coming in at 6,000 pounds when fully equipped. Also, like the SLT, it has the Autotrac 2-speed transfer case, which electronically shifts the vehicle's power from 2WD to 4WD. This is usually done automatically whenever the system senses any alterations in road conditions. The All Terrain also has black recovery hooks, hill descent control, an off-road suspension, and a transfer case shield to protect from hazardous road debris.
On the outside, the All Terrain is distinguished by its 17-inch dark argent metallic cast aluminum wheels, black grille with a body-colored surround, and body-colored door handles and heated side mirrors. The spray-on bed liner, rubber bed mat, Power Package, front and rear splash guards, Exterior Convenience Package, and LED lighting for the cargo box all come as optional add-on features.
The interior of the All Terrain is also somewhat like that of the SLT. The All Terrain has the same 6-speaker audio system, 6-way power-adjustable driver seat, 8-inch infotainment system, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and manual tilt-and-telescoping steering column as the SLT. However, the All Terrain has cloth upholstery, unlike the leather-adorned SLT. There is an optional All Terrain X Package, which gives you 3-inch black round step bars, all-weather floor liners, the spray-on bed liner, and 17-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac all-terrain tires.
In terms of safety features, the All Terrain trim keeps it fairly basic. You cannot get forward collision warning or lane departure warning on this trim level.
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Which One Should You Choose?
Have you made up your mind yet on which trim level is the best fit for your needs? All of these trims are considerably well-equipped for trucks in their class, but, to be honest, some of these trims are better deals than others. If you want to get something that meshes off-roading and luxury, skip the All Terrain and go for the SLT.
Both the SLE and SLT are great choices since they each have a lot of standard features. Of course, the line-topping Denali trim is always a crowd-pleaser, and it definitely feels like the most luxurious trim in the line-up. But if you are working within the confines of a strict budget and want to get the most bang for your buck, stick to the middle of the trim level line up and consider choosing either the SLE or the SLT.