Report: GMC Canyon AT4 to Gain Special Edition As GM’s Midsize Pickup Gap Widens

The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon gain arguably overdue refreshes for 2021, ensuring continued consumer traction amid boosted competition from rivals. The midsize pickup segment has grown, and not just in volume.

Joining the GM duo and perennially popular Toyota Tacoma last year was the Ford Ranger; meanwhile, Nissan’s long-awaited Frontier revamp lands for ’21.

Word is that the Canyon, which sees a new AT4 trim for the new model year, will don extra goodies by year’s end. Good news for a truck that’s increasingly playing second fiddle to its bowtie-wearing sibling.

According to GM Authority, the uplevel, off-road-oriented Canyon AT4 will gain a Special Edition sometime later in the 2021 model year, potentially adding modest rough-and-tumble goodies from the scuppered Off-Road Performance Edition package expected to appear for ’21.

Should this come to pass, it’s an opportunity for GM to boost the truck’s margins with readily available add-ons.

Besides the new AT4 trim, which replaces the former All Terrain model, the Canyon sees carryover powertrains and a bolder front end that better mimics the larger Sierra. Since going on sale as a 2015 model, the current-generation Canyon soon saw the gap between it and the Colorado widen as midsize pickup sales (like that of larger segments) took off.

In 2015, GM’s midsize pickup sales amounted to 114,507 units, of which 26.3 percent (or 30,077 units) were Canyon. While Canyon volume stayed relatively stable, reaching a high point the following year (37,449), Colorado sales kept climbing, reaching 134,842 units in 2018, or roughly 50,000 units more than in 2015. Last year, Canyon volume (32,825 units) amounted to 21.2 percent of GM’s midsize truck sales.

At the halfway point in 2020, as GM, like all automakers, weighed the impact of the pandemic-related lockdowns on its sales ledger, the gap grew further. Sales through the end of June fell 36.7 percent for the Colorado and 48.5 percent for the Canyon. In this time frame, the General unloaded just 9,709 Canyons to the Colorado’s 41,273 units, meaning Canyon’s year-to-date slice of GM’s midsize mix was just 19 percent.

With increased consumer spending and improved inventory in the second half of the year, that relationship could change. The new midsizers kicked off production in June, with the models rolling into dealerships in recent days. New faces are good, but in the Canyon’s case, it still won’t be able to offer something on the same level as the Colorado ZR2.

a version of this article first appeared on TTAC