2021 GMC Canyon AT4 is Very Tough

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Drivers are digging the aggressive off-road pickup trucks these days, which is why almost all automakers have their own trucks in this segment. But since not everyone is eager for the full-send treatment, there exists a sub-genre of less powerful trucks that come with fewer off-road equipment. 

The pick-up trucks belonging to this sub-genre sport huge tires and boast an aggressive attitude. However, they lack a locking differential and a remote reservoir damper. Joining this latter car segment is the 2021 GMC Canyon AT4. 


Fast with the V-6, the center differential allows a valuable automatic 4-wheel drive mode and a strong off-road stance

Models equipped with the chatterbox turbocharged 4-cylinder engine have the ability to tow around 7700 pounds. This is 700 pounds more than the V-6 engine models. Plus, they boast an additional 4 mpg on the highway, which gives a total of EPA estimated 28 mpg. The diesel variant deletes 127 ponies from the power output. 

What’s more, the diesel engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission as compared to the V-6 8-speed. Can you guess where this math is going? The diesel engine is much slower due to the lack of power output. The V-6 fueled AT4 Tru can race to 60 mph in only 6.7 seconds with it’s big tires. As a comparison, the outgoing Canyon diesel reached this goal in 9.3 seconds. 

The diesel is definitely a wooer with the trailer but if you do not own a trailer, the gas variant will have to do. Due to the sufficient power output of V-6, the 4-wheel drive layout of the truck is a pleasant surprise. It is not unusual for rough off-roaders to display an old 4-wheel drive system with an absent center differential. 

Plus, it should only be driven on low traction terrains, like snow or dirt, to make the system run smoothly. But the issue is that the rugged off-roaders usually have powerful off-road tires, such as the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTracs, with big open tread blocks which offer an on-pavement grip of a 1969 Chevelle. 

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Options lead it to a Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 cost category, off-road attitude is sufficient but the off-road gear is lacking, and mud tires have poor grip on the terrain.

Blend the weak grip with an aggressive V-6, 2-wheel drive system, an unladen cargo bed, and a light drizzle. You will get a commute looking similar to a Formula Drift audition. As much as that sounds desirable, no one can deny that it feels great to have both ends of the car agree in a single direction. 

This makes a 4-wheel a significant feature for a truck like the GMC Canyon AT4. Whenever you experience very rugged terrain, the truck displays a 4Hi mode which locks the center differential. This, along with the automatic locking differential in the back, means that you will get two-thirds of the lockers of a Chevrolet ZR2. 

The GMC Canyon AT4 surely is reminiscent of the Chevrolet ZR2 – not the present one, but instead, the old S-10 variant from the 1990s – that also had 31 inches tires. But it did not feature hardcore off-road gear. The reviews said, “The ZR2 is like an elevator button. It works best when pressed. And pressing it twice as hard only breaks the button.” Apart from the classic stitching, the truck’s cabin is similar to others – nicely laid out, handsome, and updated. 

AT4 displays both wireless charging and an ignition that demands turning a metal key. The only interior flaw is that the knobs for controlling the 4-wheel drive system and headlights not only look but feel similar. Moreover, they are situated very close to each other. 

The GMC Canyon AT4 might not feature triple locking differential or exotic suspension details, but it is still fast and a genuine off-roader. This rugged, mean truck is for those who do not want to jump their trucks. This is to say, the majority of us. 

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