Motoring: Nauman's picks for pickup trucks
Credit: NAUMAN FAROOQ
Great for all types of terrain, GMC and Chevrolet make solid trucks. Which one is the best?
Times have changed, and full-size pickup trucks have only gotten bigger. While Ford and Ram have abandoned the midsize truck segment in North America, General Motors (GM) saw a hole that needed to be filled. The second generation of the GMC Canyon and the Chevrolet Colorado are now with us.
While the first generation of the Canyon and Colorado were often seen as minimalistic vehicles, GM’s approach for the second-generation models was to dress things up. Not only do these new pickup trucks look good from the outside, step inside and you are greeted with a modern, well-built interior with features you’d find in entry-level luxury cars.
These new trucks are after a different market.
There is a market for trucks outside of construction workers and farmers, and this market delves in sporty activities like dirt biking and jet skiing, among other things.
The Canyon and Colorado seem well suited for such activities, but with towing capacities between 1,588 kg to 3,175 kg – depending on the engine you pick – these new midsize pickups can also appeal to traditional truck buyers.
Speaking of engines, there are two offered. The base model gets a 2.5 l I4 engine that develops 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. The upgrade motor is a 3.6 l V6 that develops 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. Both engines can be had in either twowheel drive or all-wheel layouts. While the four-cylinder engine is available with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox, the six-cylinder motor can only be had with the six-speed auto-box.
At an event held by GM in Ajax recently, I got to try both the GMC and Chevrolet versions of these midsize trucks. The only drivetrain on all the test vehicles was the V6 motor, however.
On a short road course, they fared well. These midsize trucks are car-like to drive and handle well. What’s most impressive is how the trucks handled on rough terrain.
While I managed to get one vehicle stuck, I’m glad I was in a 4x4 version. I switched it from twowheel to all-wheel, and I was out of the mud. If ever there was a test to show the worthiness of all-wheel drive, this unplanned test surely proved that to me.
The most pleasing features of pickup trucks are all the options – and that includes size. These new midsize trucks are no exception. You can have a crew-cab body with a 5 ft. 2 in. box or a 6 ft. 2 in. box, or you can get an extended-cab version with a 6 ft. 2 in. box. So there is a Canyon or Colorado that will fit in your lifestyle, unless you have limited parking facilities.
While both vehicles are fairly equal, the Chevrolet Colorado is a bit cheaper, starting at $21,695. The GMC Canyon is yours from $22,395. Well-equipped prices can easily nudge $35,000 on either model.
Which one would I pick? The GMC version, because I think it looks better, and GMC is the original truck company, so there is longer heritage in that badge.