The outgoing GMC Canyon wasn’t a chart-topping seller compared to say the Toyota Tacoma or Ford Ranger have been. Or even its brother, the Chevrolet Colorado. However, there’s more to the story than that. Because while other trucks in the midsize segment have stressed frugality and volume, the GMC Canyon broke new ground by leveraging the Denali sub-brand to target a more affluent customer that perhaps didn’t want to live with the bulk of a full-sized truck.
Later in the truck’s product lifecycle, the GMC Canyon AT4 was introduced. And while it was no Colorado ZR2, it will close out the second-generation Canyon’s chapter as being the top selling trim level for the GMC truck. This could be a sign of good things to come for the next-generation 2023 GMC Canyon, as it looks to deliver more off-road capability than ever before with the first-ever AT4X model.
2023 GMC Canyon Marketing Strategy Builds On Success
“Denali is a quarter of the mix right now. AT4 is over a third. So between the two, we’re almost 60 percent Denali/AT4,” said GMC Canyon marketing manager Will Mellon to MC&T. “So we expect AT4 to continue to be very strong, and then AT4X to mirror that. I won’t give the exact numbers, but we do expect AT4 and AT4X to be the majority of the lineup together.” said Mellon.
GMC first introduced the AT4 trim level on the Sierra in 2019. In the following calendar year, AT4 was added to the GMC Canyon for the 2021 model year, signaling pent up demand for off-road capability from the nameplate.
“We’ve had a lot of success with AT4,” said Mellon. “It gives you some off-road capability, some technology, stuff our customers love. It’s actually the highest-selling trim on Canyon now. So, it’s very successful in the market.”
The success of the AT4 with the outgoing model is helping build momentum for the new truck and the new AT4X trim. Other variants of the GMC Canyon, such as the Elevation, are expected to start around $40,000 USD.
Canyon AT4X Edition 1 Chosen Over Denali Edition 1
When asked why GMC went with a Canyon AT4X Edition 1 instead of a Denali Edition 1 – like we’re seeing with the Sierra EV – Mellon said the following:
“From the beginning, our focus has been AT4X and the capability it brings, all the technology, all in a super premium package. So AT4X is our halo lead vehicle, and that’s what we want to do the Edition 1 on.”
The Canyon marketing manager nevertheless tipped the cap to the success that the Denali trim has achieved on the midsize truck thus far.
“I think we’ve had a lot of success with Denali. It’s actually just about a quarter of all Canyons that are sold…it’s an exceptional vehicle, and it will be in the next generation as well,” said Mellon. “But AT4X is a really important step for GMC. Our vision has always been premium and capable, right? So AT4X is one of our new sub-brands, but we really believe in it. We think it’s just as great of a vehicle as Denali, so we wanted to make it a big part of the Canyon. But certainly, the Denali is a foundation of the next-gen Canyon.”
The hierarchy of the 2023 GMC Canyon trim level will be as follows:
All trims will come with a high output turbocharged L3B four cylinder engine with 430 lb-ft of torque, as well as well-proportioned wide-body style, giving customers a lot of value on lower trim levels such as Elevation and standard AT4. Soon, GMC will leverage American Expedition Vehicles with the even more capable AT4X AEV Edition. According to our sources, this upcoming package will feature the same sort of kit as the Canyon AT4X Edition 1, but with 35-inch tires (instead of 33-inch tires), and an optional snorkel attachment. As for whether or not GMC is planning to launch a Canyon Denali Ultimate, there was no official comment.