Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

Black GMC Truck parked on a mountain top

My Truck Could Beat Up Your Truck in a Fight

Pickup trucks are more popular in the United States than anywhere else in the world. Some people might find cultural reasons for this, but I would argue that it’s owed to necessity. There’s a list longer than the second Godfather movie of tasks and jobs made measurably easier by using a pickup truck, so it only makes sense that a hard-working country like the US would take advantage of the benefits they have to offer. What’s honestly more surprising than the popularity of trucks in America is their lack of popularity in other countries, but I won’t get into that for fear of upsetting a mob of muscly Australians. (I’m not about to piss off a continent full of Hemsworths.) Regardless of what other parts of the world think, we know how useful trucks can be, which is why the best pickups are made right here in the US of A. Of course, we can’t have a conversation about solid American manufacturing without mentioning the go-to for hundreds of thousands of Americans: GMC trucks.

2018 Canyon

At a starting MSRP of $28,500, The Canyon is the cheapest option for GMC when it comes to pickup trucks. Don’t let that fool you, though, this midsize truck is capable and efficient, and it offers a wealth of luxury and technology options. It’s sportier than other vehicles in the same class, and if you’ve driven other pickups before then you’ll enjoy a noticeably smoother ride than you’re used to. The interior looks classier than you would expect from such an affordable option, but if the price point is more accessible then it’s only reasonable for the vehicle to try to seek a wider audience appeal than the typical utilitarian truck cabin.

A lineup of three possible engines gives the Canyon an impressive range of capabilities and performance options. The Combined fuel economy provided by the 2.5-liter base engine is 22 MPG, but if you opt for the 2.8-liter turbodiesel alternative you can bump that number up to 25 MPG. The standard option will grant you 200 horsepower and 191 lbs per foot of torque, but if you want to tow more than 3,500 lbs you’ll need to spring for one of the two other available engines. The 3.6-liter option can pull a maximum of 7000 lbs, and the turbodiesel engine pushes that just a bit further, achieving a towing capacity for 7,700 lbs. The Canyon also offers a choice in transmission, between 6-speed and 8-speed automatic options.

In terms of interior technology, the Canyon’s available features are up to date with some of the most modern developments inconvenience and mobile entertainment. The GMC Infotainment System is the foremost of these features, offering a host of different functions, including the ability to sync with your phone using Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or Bluetooth compatibility. There are a number of places for available USB charging ports if you want them, so regardless whether you need to charge two devices at once or your passengers don’t like to take turns, there are options to help. A 4G wireless hotspot can be built-in, with the capability to manage up to seven connections at a time. The Internet has become a staple of the modern era, but sometimes it can be like a ball and chain keeping us from going out and having new experiences. Whether you need to answer work emails or record the newest episode of your podcast, having an internet connection in your truck means that you’ll be able to do either one from anywhere you like, be it a public beach or a campsite in the woods.

There are four major driver assistance features available for the 2018 Canyon, each doing their part to help prevent potential accidents. Forward collision alert detects impending accidents and issues a warning, and it can also tell the distance between your car and the vehicle ahead.  Another assistive alert feature is the lane departure warning, which emits a few beeps if the vehicle ever drifts too far to one side. Since most people are already familiar with rear vision cameras I won’t bore you with the details, but they come included in all 2018 Canyon models, which is a nice addition to say the least. The final assistive driving technology installed in the Canyon is an electronic stability system that activates during emergencies. It adjusts braking and torque in order to help regain or increase control, and it’s an invaluable system to have when you’re driving in hazardous conditions.

2018 Sierra 1500

While the midsize Canyon is a great option if you’re looking for an entry-level pickup or something casual, the Sierra 1500 is GM’s top-selling full-size truck, and for good reason. Even when you set aside their extra-fancy Denali options, GMC pickups are genre-defining in the world of Luxury trucks. When you couple that with the Sierra’s overall power and durability, you get a refined kind of vehicle that could only be voiced by the likes of Liam Neeson were it to ever feature in one of Pixar’s many “Cars” sequels.

When you purchase a 2018 Sierra, you’re met with a choice between either a 4.3-liter V6 or one of three different V8 engines. If you’re looking for the optimum fuel efficiency, you’ll want the available 5.3-liter V8 engine with eAssist technology. If you’re more interested in power, however, the 6.2-liter V8 is your best bet, delivering a whopping 420 horsepower and 460 lbs per foot of torque.

All of the interior technology I mentioned for the Canyon is also available in the Sierra 1500, plus a few other great modern conveniences. If you’ve ever lived somewhere that goes through a miniature ice age once a year (and by that I mean a period of extremely cold weather, not a series of hackneyed animated movies), then I don’t need to tell you how pivotal a heated steering wheel can be. Wireless charging is also available, as well as a fully capable 110-volt outlet, guaranteeing charging compatibility with virtually any mobile device (made with human technology, at least).

The safety technology for the Sierra is similar to that of the Canyon, but taking the concept behind each feature one step further to add another layer of protection. Like an upgrade to the forward collision alert, forward automatic braking is possible at low speeds. Lane keep assist goes above and beyond the lane departure warning by gently influencing steering to keep you safe and centered. The final noteworthy difference is the option to include a safety alert seat, which delivers a directional vibration to your butt area to indicate the presence of a potential hazard.

GMC Trucks – A Better Option

GM’s first pickup truck was built over a hundred years ago. Any company to stand the test of time is worthy of praise, but the fact that they’re a household name in popular pickups even now is a testament to the reliability of not only their brand, but their products as well. Even if you don’t work a job that’s complemented by driving a pickup truck, the number of day to day tasks that are made easier by owning one make it worth the consideration at the very least, and the power and options offered by GM’s trucks can only sweeten the deal.