2021 GMC Canyon Denali Crew Cab Review: Expected Price, Release Date, MPG and Performance

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John Bedrow 

Automotive Journalist

August 5, 2020  at 10:08 AM

The GMC Canyon is one of the best half-ton pickup trucks in the market, and one of the most successful GMC vehicles. GMC reserves the Denali badge for the most luxurious variant of their vehicles, and the Canyon Denali is no exception. It comes with one of the most luxurious and comfortable cabins in the segment. The 2021 model is around the corner and it comes with a price tag of $42,095, and it will bring with it redesigned exterior and additional features. It will face off against other half-ton trucks in the market, like the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, Ford Ranger Lariat and the canyons corporate cousin the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.

In the year 2004, the GMC Canyon range was launched for the first time, since then it has been one of the highest seller products for the brand. Denali is the term that GMC uses for its luxury vehicles lineup. GMC is all set to introduce 2021 Canyon Denali with small changes that have been done to make it a better package in front of its audience. Let us see what to expect and when to expect the 2021 GMC Canyon Denali Crew Cab.

Most of the changes will be cosmetic updates. The 2021 Canyon Denali will have new front fascia credits to the bold new grille and subtle interior updates. Other than that, it is most likely to be carried forward from its 2020 model. As far as the reports are to be believed, the same engine options will be carried over for the 2021 model of the GMC Canyon Denali.

What’s New in the 2021 GMC Canyon Denali?

  • Redesigned Exterior 
  • Revamped Interiors 
  • Come it more features 
  • More safety features.

What to expect in the engine department of the 2021 GMC Canyon Denali Crew Cab?

The same engine as of the 2020 model is found in the 2021 model. The Canyon Denali is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine that pumps out 308 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft of torque. The customers can also choose the Duramax 2.8-liter turbodiesel that produces 181 hp and 369 lb.-ft of torque. The engines in the Canyon is the same as the ones you get on its corporate cousin the Chevrolet Colorado 

The V6 engine is very responsive and when mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission which gives smooth gear shifts making it a great city car. The car has a rear lock differential which helps in the towing capability of the Denali; the towing capacity is outstanding. The figures for the acceleration of the car will be the same as of the 2020 model of the GMC Canyon Denali. To put things in perspective, the 2020 model reached from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds.

Models

2021 GMC Canyon Denali Crew Cab (Expected)

2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

2020 Ford Ranger Lariat

MSRP

$42,095

$43,000

$46,665

$34,675

Engine

3.6L V6

3.6L V6

3.5L V6

2.3L turbocharged inline 4

Drivetrain

RWD

RWD

RWD

RWD

Transmission

8-speed manual

8-speed manual

6-speed automatic

10-speed automatic

Power

308HP @6800 rpm

308 HP @ 6800 rpm

278 HP @ 6000 rpm

270 HP @ 5500 rpm

Torque

275 lb.-ft @ 4000 rpm

275 lb.-ft @ 4000 rpm

265 lb.-ft @ 3800 rpm

310 lb.-ft @ 3000 rpm

0-60 MPH

6.3 sec

6.5 sec

7.3 sec

7.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec 

15.8sec 

16.2 sec 

16.5 sec 

*2020 figures used for reference

As 2021 will have the same engine as the outgoing model, the power will also be the same. The Canyon has the most powerful engine in the comparison. As mentioned earlier it shares the same engine with Colorado. The Ford Ranger Lariat is the least powered in this segment, but the inline 4 engine offers the best gas mileage in the segment. 

How does the 2021 GMC Canyon Denali Crew Cab handle?

The ride and handling of the GMC Canyon Denali are decent and do hit the sweet spot. The suspension and the transmission of the car surely help in delivering a smooth and adventurous ride. The vehicle is designed with comfort in mind. In fact, the best thing in the Canyon Denali is the 4-wheel independent suspension which really focuses on delivering the best comfort and ride quality. 

Even though the suspension is tuned for comfort it sticks to the ground on curvy roads. There is no sway or body roll when turning the vehicle. The vehicle also has a very capable off-roading system which makes sure you have a good off-roading experience while with our losing comfort. Most capable off-roader in the comparison the GMC half-brother the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

How many miles to the gallon will the 2021 GMC Canyon Denali deliver?

The V6 used in the Canyon Denali makes it as efficient as a pickup truck can be. We all know there will be no changes in the powertrain section. SO, it is expected that the 2021 Canyon Denali will have the same MPG figures as the 2020 Canyon Denali. The vehicle can do 18 miles on a gallon of fuel in the city and 25 miles on a highway. But the best in the segment is the Ford Ranger Lariat.

Models

2021 GMC Canyon Denali Crew Cab (Expected)

2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

2020 Ford Ranger Lariat

Mpg (city)

18

16

18

21

Mpg (highway)

25

18

22

26

Mpg (combined)

21

17

20

23

Fuel tank capacity (gallons)

21.0

21.0

21.1

18.0

Range (City/ Highway, in miles)

378 / 525

336 / 378

380 / 464

378 / 468

*2020 figures used for reference

Ford might have the best gas mileage, but it has the smallest tank in the segment and hence it suffers when it comes to range. The GMC offers the best range in comparison, it returns 378 miles in the city the same as the Ford and 525 miles on a highway, the best compared to rivals. All the cars have every similar gas mileage figure, but surprisingly the Chevrolet with the same engine as the GMC has the worst fuel economy.

What to expect from the 2021 GMC Canyon Denali interior?

Luxury lives in the finer details, and this is what the Canyon Denali is about from the inside, which differentiates it from all other variants of the Canyon. The interior has soft-touch material and high-quality leather is also used in the cabin. Now, for the 2021 model year, Canyon Denali will offer new color tones. Furthermore, the ash wood trims and the aluminum trims add to the luxury ambiance.

The front seats are 8-way driver and 6-way passenger power-adjustable with heating function. The pickup truck also comes with a heated steering wheel, surely a plus point for the Canyon Denali. Front seats offer great lumbar support for long journeys. The Canyon Denali offers the most spacious cabin in the segment and even comfortable for a claustrophobic person

Models

2021 GMC Canyon Denali Crew Cab (Expected)

2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

2020 Ford Ranger Lariat

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

41.4/57.5/45.0

41.4/57.5/45.0

39.7/58.3/42.9

41.4/56.7/43.1

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.3/56.2/35.8

38.3/56.2/35.8

38.3/58.9/32.6

38.3/56.3/34.5

Cargo Capacity (cu.ft.)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

*2020 model used for reference

Most of the vehicles have cramped rear seats but this is not the case with the Canyon Denali. A 6 ft. tall passengers can sit comfortably and easily in the rear seats. The rear seats also come with a retractable armrest with two cup holders as well. As far as storage, the Denali comes with a big truck bed which can hold more than half-ton of payload. There is also plenty of storage inside the cabin as well. 

2021 GMC Canyon Denali Crew Cab: Infotainment System and Connectivity

Every car in the car nowadays comes loaded with tech, the GMC Canyon Denali is no exception in this case. In fact, it has more tech than most of its rivals. The car comes equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that is super-responsive and is user-friendly too. Features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto makes it much easier to connect your smartphones with the infotainment. 

In addition, for all the truck drivers who are audiophiles, it comes with a premium audio system. It is equipped with a 7-speaker Bose sound system. Music experience in the Canyon Denali is one of the best you can have. Other infotainment features include Bluetooth, 3D Navigation, Satellite Radio. In addition to all the standard tech in the vehicle you also have plenty of option tech that you can get for a price.

Will there be any changes to the exterior of the 2021 GMC Canyon Denali?

The GMC Canyon is one of the best-looking half-ton trucks in the market. Furthermore, the changes that the 2021 GMC Canyon Denali will receive will mostly be on the exteriors of the car that will make it more appealing. Starting from a new grille that gives a new look to the Canyon Denali and one can easily differentiate it among the long lineup of the Canyon pickups. New skid plates are now offered in the 2021 Canyon Denali. 

Coming to the sides, the car still has 20-inch Denali specific rims. Sidestep is provided for passengers to get in and out of the car easily. It also has body-colored rails that are placed on either side of the roof. Dimensionally, the truck will have the same dimensions as the outgoing 2020 model of the Canyon Denali. However, the update that it is receiving makes it one of the most alluring trucks in the market.

Models

2021 GMC Canyon Denali Crew Cab (Expected)

2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

2020 Ford Ranger Lariat

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4248

4586

4425

4,232

Length (in.)

212.7

212.4

212.3

210.8

Width (in.)

74.3

74.3

75.2

73.3

Height (in.)

70.7

70.7

70.6

71.1

Ground Clearance (in.)

8.3

8.6

9.4

8.6

Wheelbase `(in.)

128.3

125.9

127.4

126.8

Track Width (in.) F/R

62.4/62.4

62.4/62.4

63.0/63.2

61.8/61.8

*2020 figures used for reference

Speaking of dimensions, the dimensions of all the pickup trucks in the comparison are pretty much the same. If anyone was wondering why the Canyon and Colorado have the same dimensions you need not worry anymore. This is because both the trucks are built on the same GM Platform. The lightest of the lot is the Ford Ranger Lariat, but it is only by a small margin compared to the GMC Canyon.

Will the 2021 GMC Canyon Denali be worth my money and time?

The car falls under the segment of a pick-up truck but believes us, the car has performance statistics as of a compact SUV. The car is fun to drive whether in the city or on long journeys, the ride quality is great, and the interior is comfortable and premium. Moreover, the GMC Canyon offers all these at a lower price than its competitors. If you are thinking of buying a pick-up, you can surely go for the 2021 GMC Canyon Denali Crew Cab.

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