The 2.8L Duramax is an engine that will extend the capability of the Colorado and Canyon to within a stone's throw of the full-size Silverado and Sierra. From the moment you turn the key, there’s no mistaking this as a diesel engine. Noticeably louder than GM’s other gas engine offerings, owners will probably enjoy that their pickup sounds remarkably similar to the bigger 6.6L Duramax V8.
In our short drive time we were impressed by the massive amounts of low end torque for a vehicle of this size. 369 lb-ft of torque at only 2,000 rpm goes a long way. However, with only 181-horsepower, the Canyon 4x4 crew cab we drove didn’t feel as quick as its 3.6L gas-powered counterpart.
Point the nose of the GMC up a steep hill and the Duramax diesel’s benefits are immediately apparent. Nothing is going to stop this truck once it gets moving and you feel like the hand of God has your back. Acceleration is smooth and linear through the entire engine range. That’s the experience diesel truck buyers want and GM has given it to them. Bolder, louder and purposeful in nature.
Oh and did we mention fuel economy? Prepare to be impressed. We saw over 30 mpg on our drive loop. GM executive Mark Reuss confirmed to us that the final EPA number should be very close to our results. That would place the Colorado and Canyon has the most fuel efficient trucks you could buy.
No wonder GM is exploring options to increase the number of Colorado and Canyon it can build.
What struck me first was the great look of the Canyon. Particularly from the front ¾ view. I had just left off-road testing in a 2016 Tacoma and in terms of looks, the Canyon wins hands-down. My tester was a $45,280 SLT Crew Cab with 4WD. Trucks are expensive now, but this one had it all. Premium Bose audio and Nav ($500), Spray in bedliner ($475) and Chrome assist steps ($725). I was impressed that the Canyon had Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert at no extra charge. That will cost you $500 on a Tacoma. The biggest single adder was the $3,730 Duramax engine. Although that buys a lot of gasoline, the Duramax has benefits beyond fuel economy to its fans.
Hills surrounded the venue we were attending, and they were steep. Like Zane, I was immediately impressed by how strong the Canyon I drove felt. I too noted the fuel economy. Over the past 50 miles that it had been driven in rural NY the vehicle had averaged 22.2 MPG and its peak had been 34.5 MPG (according to the truck).
Writers at this event were passing up track time in a Corvette to drive the Canyon on-road. It was one of the most popular vehicles at the event. The new Canyon and Colorado Duramax will not disappoint. GM is proud of this new truck, and as Zane’s interview with Mark Reuss proves, GM is looking hard for places to build more. The Canyon Duramax looks, drives, and acts like a winner.