The GMC Canyon is an expensive midsize truck. Like really expensive. It begins at $38,395, while the very similar Chevrolet Colorado has a $30,695 MSRP. So what gives? At that price, you only get a 2WD entry-level GMC Canyon with cloth seats. Sure, other GMCs may be a bit more expensive than their Chevy counterparts. But never this much! Read on to see how the two trucks stack up. Then let us know if you think this is price gouging or if there’s something we’re missing.
- The entry-level GMC Canyon has a more powerful tune of the Colorado’s engine but is otherwise an entry-level 2WD truck.
- Most GMCs cost a bit more than their Chevrolet counterparts–never $7k more!
|2023 Chevrolet Colorado WT||2023 GMC Canyon Elevation|
|Engine Type||2.7-liter turbocharged I4||2.7-liter turbocharged I4 (high output)|
|Horsepower + Torque||237 horsepower + 260 lb-ft of torque||320 horsepower + 430 lb-ft of torque|
|Transmission + Drivetrain||8-speed automatic + 2WD||8-speed automatic + 2WD|
|Rims||17″ metallic steel wheels||18″ dark grey aluminum wheels|
|Interior||Cloth bucket seats (6-way manual driver’s) and carpet||Cloth bucket seats (6-way manual driver’s) and carpet|
|Infotainment||11.3-inch touch screen + 6 speakers||11.3-inch touch screen + 6 speakers + wi-fi hotspot|
|Power features||Power windows + keyless entry + push-button start||Power windows + keyless entry + push-button start|
Are GMC and Chevrolet the same company?
Chevrolet’s co-founder–William C. Durant–also invented the concept of a family of automotive brands. Today, General Motors’ major brands include Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC. The unique thing about this trio is that both Cadillac and GMC are upsells of Chevrolet vehicles–with very different flavors.
Cadillac is a regular luxury brand, competing with Lincoln and Chrysler. But GMC is a different kind of upsell. Its tagline is “professional grade.”
If you want a General Motors half-ton pickup truck, you can choose between a Chevy or GMC truck: the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (starting at $36,300 in 2023) or a GMC Sierra 1500 ($37,100). This $800 price difference is consistent through most of the trim levels, and the spread is always below $2,000. The heavy-duty Silverado and Sierra lineup are similar.
So what is “professional grade?” GMC advertised with some work-oriented pickup truck features before Chevrolet, such as standard folding bed-steps, multi-function tailgates, tie-down rails, and worklights. But for the most part, GMC buyers are paying for the squared-off utilitarian look and some luxurious features–often in the form of a bit more chrome and leather.
So who buys GMC pickup trucks? According to Hedges Company, the average Sierra 1500 buyer has a household income over $80k, more than the average Silverado buyer. Also, a greater percentage of Sierra buyers are male than any other Detroit half-ton.
The 2023 GMC Canyon Pro vs. 2023 Chevrolet Colorado WT
To be blunt, the biggest difference between the entry-level GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado pickup trucks is their price. Both the “Pro” and “WT” trims come with 2WD standard. They both share a turbocharged I4 engine and eight-speed automatic with all trim levels.
The GMC Sierra 1500 does have the high-output tune of this engine. That means that the Chevy Colorado has 237 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, while the GMC Canyon comes with 320 horsepower + 430 lb-ft of torque. But Chevrolet buyers can opt for the same high-output tune, and it will only cost them $1,420 to upgrade.
Otherwise, the “Pro” is very much a “work truck” level trim of the GMC Canyon. It has the same cloth seats and carpets as the Chevy. It does have a nice 11.3-inch touchscreen and six speaker system–but so does the Chevrolet Colorado. The GMC Canyon also offers keyless entry, power windows, power locks, and all the latest driver aid/safety software. But again, so does the Colorado.
Why does the GMC Canyon cost so much?
To be blunt, even the Chevrolet Canyon’s MSRP ($30k), is high for the midsize segment. Just last year, you could buy a half-ton Chevy for less than $30k. GM decks its midsizes out in “luxury” features such as a good infotainment system and keyless entry. And it shows in the Colorado’s price. But that doesn’t explain why the GMC Canyon price is nearly $8k more.
It looks like Canyon buyers are paying thousands of dollars for that GMC logo. Is there something we’re missing? Or is this good old-fashioned price gouging? Let us know in the comments below.
Next, read about the other $37k midsize pickup truck that may be a bargain, or see the GMC Canyon reviewed in the video below: