2021 GMC Canyon gets off-road AT4 trim, updated Denali, but skips manual transmission

The 2021 GMC Canyon pick will add an off-road oriented AT4 trim level but eliminate its available manual transmission, the automaker announced Monday.

In August, when GMC announced it would expand the AT4 lineup to the Canyon, some hoped it would be a reskinned Chevrolet Colorado ZR2. The GMC version isn’t that, but it’s a real off-road package that should significantly increase the Canyon’s ability once the pavement ends.

2021 GMC Canyon AT4

2021 GMC Canyon AT4

The 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires on 17-inch alloy wheels will provide traction off-road while an Eaton G80 locking rear differential will put power down with minimal slip from the four-wheel-drive system. A skid plate on the transfer case will protect oily bits should the off-road suspension bottom out. A standard hill descent control system will help keep the truck in line down a steep grade.

The AT4 model will stand out thanks to the red tow hooks, larger grille, and dark chrome trim. Inside, Kalahari stitching and AT4-branded headrests differentiate the off-road Canyon from the rest of the lineup.

2021 GMC Canyon AT4

2021 GMC Canyon AT4

GMC didn’t release any images of the refreshed 2021 Canyon outside of the AT4 model, but the Denali version will receive a new grille, featuring a layered pattern, along with 5-inch chrome side steps. A new 20-inch alloy wheel design will bring the look closer to the larger 1500 and 2500 Denali models.

Inside, the 2021 Denali model will now have open-pore ash wood and aluminum trim along with Denali-specific stitching. Heated and cooled front seats with a heated steering wheel are standard on the luxury model while a new, dark, Cocoa color scheme is on the options list.

2021 GMC Canyon AT4

2021 GMC Canyon AT4

Base Canyons will still be powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 with 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. For those that need more power, an available 3.6-liter V-6 with 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque or a 2.8-liter turbodiesel-4 with 186 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque are available. While the 6- and 8-speed automatic transmissions carry over, the available 6-speed manual transmission disappears for 2021, ending GMC’s #GiveAShift run.

Despite the updates the Canyon’s current fuel economy ratings will carry over into 2021 according to GMC, including 30 mpg on the highway with the turbodiesel.

How much the 2021 GMC Canyon will cost wasn’t announced, but it start production this year at the Wentzville Assembly Center in Wentzville, Missouri.

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