In July, GMC finally debuted the 2024 Canyon AT4X AEV Edition. After getting a sneak peek earlier this spring, we couldn’t have been more excited, and now, MC&T had the opportunity to get behind the wheel and take it off-roading, and it’s everything we expected and then some. It also wasn’t that long ago that we had the opportunity to drive the 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison, which incidentally, is also made in collaboration with AEV; however, where the ZR2 Bison is designed for more Baja and technical off-roading, the Canyon AT4X AEV is a more turn-key overlanding rig.
What’s The GMC Canyon AT4X AEV Edition Like To Drive?
From the moment you get behind the wheel of the GMC Canyon AT4X AEV Edition, you can tell this truck was designed with extended drive periods in mind. The seats are exceptionally comfortable, and though they don’t feature a massaging mechanism like in the Sierra, they are still fantastic. Visibility is also slightly better thanks to the GMC Canyon not having a sizeable appearance-driven hood scoop. Plus, with a heads-up display; navigation, speed, and distance from the vehicle in front of you are readily available without taking your eyes off the road. Additionally, with three auxiliary control switches that come standard on the AEV Edition, the truck is ready to integrate off-road and overlanding accessories straight from the factory. Notably, AT4X these aux switches are currently not found on this truck’s mechanical equivalent, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison, but jounce shocks (which are recommended if you ever plan on making four wheels airborne) are.
Like the 2024 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison, however, the Canyon AT4X AEV Edition features hot-stamped boron steel skid plates, rock sliders, and bumpers. All of this means that if you’re new to off-roading or take a bad line, you won’t have to worry *too* much about damaging something. If you get stuck, the bumpers feature integrated heavy-duty cast rear recovery points and front winch capability.
When going off-roading, the truck is prepared to handle all of the technical stuff to get you and your party to the mountain campsite, thanks to a 1.5-inch lift compared to the standard Canyon AT4X. That means the AEV Edition improves on the standard truck with a 38.2-degree front approach angle, a 26.9-degree breakover angle, and an optimized 26.0-degree departure angle. That alone is impressive, but the AT4X AEV also has 9.9 inches of front wheel travel and 11.6 inches at the rear, which was extremely apparent during our drive as the 2024 GMC Canyon AT4X AEV Edition was visibly more flexible than the standard AT4X when traversing over large rocks.
What Would We Still Like To See Out Of The GMC Canyon AT4X AEV Edition
Mechanically, the top-end 2024 GMC Canyon AT4X AEV features the same powertrain as the base Canyon: a high-output L3B turbo engine that produces 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. That is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission with incredibly smooth shifting. For the money, though, we’re kind of left wondering if it’s possible for GM to take another look under the hood of its top-end midsize trucks, and see if they can give them something special. Regardless, engineers have been mentioned that the new Canyon and Colorado focus more on technology this go-round, and that’s definitely the case with the AT4X trim. For instance, if you’re seek extra visibility, the truck has it, with more cameras than an art museum, two of which can be found underneath the truck and even have the capability to be cleaned should they get caked with mud during excursions.
So, if you’re more into loading up the truck with all of the necessary gear to go cross-country and camp out on the side of the mountain, the 2024 GMC Canyon AT4X AEV Edition will be the truck for you. On-road comfort is exquisite, and quite frankly, so is off-road, which is not something many people can say about their overlanding rigs, as some suspension systems are designed to be stiffer, and that results in some severe jostling of everyone inside.
Production of the 2024 GMC Canyon AT4X AEV Edition will begin in Q4 of this year, likely when the GM-UAW strike ends. Unfortunately, pricing still remains officially undisclosed, but as most vehicles that receive the AEV treatment see a price bump of around $10,000, it’s safe to assume that the premium midsize truck will start under $70,000, since the standard AT4X has a starting price of under $60,000. That’s the going rate these days for overland-ready vehicle straight from the dealer lot, without having to spend another massive sum of money on adding steel bumpers, underbody protection, improved suspension, auxiliary control switches, and all the other goodies to turn your used truck into a legendary overlanding rig. Sure, some accessories may be needed, but this is an easy solution for all parties involved. Think of the GMC Canyon AT4X AEV Edition as a Corvette-equivalent of an off-road truck, because it’s priced as such, and like the Corvette, can deliver big on the smiles, thrills, and curb appeal. Plus, the kids love it.