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Test drive: GMC Canyon shines with versatility



If you're testing a pickup truck, please take it to a crowded parking lot – unless you're planning it nowhere but cow pastures and streambeds.

Parking Some of Today's Pickups in Full Parking Lot is like pushing a barge into a backyard swimming pool; That is, it is almost impossible.

FAST FACTS

* Model: 2018 GMC Canyon Crew Denali

* Exterior color: Red Quartz Tintcoat

* Interior color: Jet Black

* Engine: 3.6-liter, V-6

* Performance: 308

* Transmission: 8-speed automatic

* Fuel consumption: 24 mpg highway, 17 mpg city

* Dealers Locations: Buick GMC Cadillac Integrity, 6025 International Drive

* Price (as tested): $ 45,935

Last week we were randomly testing with two pickups, a fully equipped one big monster that felt as big as a Abrams tank; and today's tester, the mid-size GMC Canyon, was much easier to handle in tight quarters.

In daily Chattanooga driving, the canyon was clearly the more practical vehicle. A lot of power to pull our steep hills, it was not a duty to park in the city center. In addition, the design bottlenecks of the Highway 127 were crossed with hardly a scratch.

WHAT IS THAT?

The mid-size GMC Canyon is a sleeker version of the Chevrolet Colorado pickup, competing in the Toyota Tacoma class. Our Denali trim test truck was equipped with a crew cab and a short bed, making it a good SUV alternative. If you need more transport capacity, a long bed double cabin is available. Anyway, it will pull about 7,000 pounds with a 3.6-liter, V-6 engine.

HOW MUCH

Like all truck lines, the Golf between the cheapest working version and the top-of-the-line, luxury-equipped model is huge. Our GMC Canyon Crew Denali tester, which includes such upgrades as heated leather seats, navigation and additional portions of chrome parts, lists for $ 45,935. Meanwhile, a slimmed-down Canyon SL starts at $ 22,095, less than half the price of the Denali.

WHAT WE LIKE

The quiet engine, ventilated and heated seats, compact steering wheel, secure handling rear spoiler bumper and Bose stereo

SPACE FOR IMPROVEMENT

No blind spot monitoring system, pinched view to the rear and a wobbly ignition switch

GOOD FOR CHATTANOOGA, BECAUSE

We are a pick-up truck kind of city and this model should keep its value spectacularly good. Also these Denali badges will impress the neighbors.

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

The 306 hp engine ensures surprisingly fast starts. The cornering is safe and the suspension absorbs bumps in the road. The view is generally good except for the rear window, which is somewhat blocked by the headrests and fittings associated with the sliding window

BOTTOM LINE

If your transportation needs are limited to kitchen appliances, occasional mulch loading, the Canyon should be a good choice. Even if you can not afford the Denali version, there are several cheaper options available. A diesel version is also out there if you need a higher torque.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.


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