When it comes to compact or midsize pickup trucks taking on towing tasks, most people don’t give it much thought because it seems like a conversation only worth having when a full-size or heavy-duty truck is the topic of discussion. However, it’s important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater when talking about towing capabilities and midsize trucks because some trucks are a lot more capable than you might have thought, like the 2022 GMC Canyon. So that’s what we’re going to discuss a little bit here when it comes to some real-world towing conditions and capabilities.
Most people go with a midsize pickup as an affordable alternative to a full-size pickup. They’re typically fully equipped at a much lower price than their larger siblings. In this case, the GMC Canyon is the little brother of the GMC Sierra. Most times, when we talk about towing and trailering capabilities, the Canyon rarely ever comes up in the conversation because the general conclusion is that if you do need to tow, you better get a full-size truck and call it a day. But for people who are looking at a Canyon or who already own a Canyon, you’re probably curious how well it actually does in a real-world situation towing over 5,000 pounds worth of cargo, and we’re going to talk about it.
Judging A Truck By Its Tow Rating
The 2022 GMC Canyon has a best-in-class tow rating of up to 7,700 pounds. That’s actually quite impressive for what’s considered a small pickup. Some enthusiasts, however, wanted to put that rating to the test with a real-world trailering situation, so they decided to hook up a 5,000-pound camper and give it a go on various undulating paths, dirt roads, and streets to test the sway control, the stability, as well as the speed, performance, and handling. The video was published by the outfit Truck King, where they detail the capabilities of the Canyon and how well it handles towing the trailer.
In the video, they’re using the GMC Canyon AT4 trim, which actually has a slightly lower tow rating than the standard GMC Canyon trim. The AT4, which is the off-road rendition of the Canyon, has a max tow rating of 7,550 pounds, which is still pretty good. In fact, it’s more than good. As demonstrated by the Truck King crew, the Canyon AT4 was able to make use of a hitched trailer at 5,000 pounds with no problems. There were noted moments of sway due to the wind, and they didn’t have a weight-distributing hitch, but the AT4 managed to handle the load like a pro.
Ratings Versus Real Life
The real highlight of the demonstration isn’t just to show that the Canyon is a stable tow-machine; it’s also about how well the Canyon can tow near top-end loads without hitch equalizers. However, every trim still comes with helpful trailering tools like hitch guidance, which makes it easy to line up the hitch even if you are by yourself. But what’s more is that is the added integrated trailer brake controller, and the fact every trim offers receiver hitch, electrical harness, and automatic locking rear differential, the GMC Canyon actually – on paper and in real life – seems like it was built as a tough midsize trailering pickup.
Now some people might say that videos of the 2021 GMC Canyon aren’t representative of the 2022 GMC Canyon’s capabilities, but GMC didn’t modify or change any of the performance or trailering capabilities of the 2022 GMC Canyon compared to the 2021 model. So you have a good idea of how well the midsize truck can handle actual loads very close to its max rating. Most truck drivers top out around 10,000 pounds when it comes to trailering in full-size trucks, so a max of 7,700 pounds is darn good figures for a midsize truck.
Trim-Wide Towing Stability
Since the 2017 model year update, GMC has consistently maintained a high quality of structural integrity for the GMC Canyon when it comes to suspension, powertrain, and drivetrain attributes. This is why the truck is regarded so well as a towing machine despite being a midsize truck. The 2022 model year doesn’t deviate from this set path, either, which continues to make it a really good solid truck for towing.
Another highlight is that even with the Denali trim, you’ll still have access to high-end towing capabilities. The 2022 model year Denali for the GMC Canyon is rated at 7,550 pounds for max towing and trailering capacity, the same as the AT4 trim. The YouTube channel The Fast Lane Truck actually tested out a Denali towing up to 5,600 pounds worth of cargo in a 14×6 trailer. How well did it do? Exceptionally well. The ride was smooth, the fuel consumption was low, and it was surprisingly quiet.
Even a high-end luxury trim, when paired with the Duramax 2.8-liter turbo-diesel, makes short work of towing. This engine offers 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and the added exhaust brake makes it perfect for trailering moderate loads even on trims with a lower-rated tow capacity. GMC has only refined the experience of the Canyon and improved its overall capabilities over the years. This is even when considering that they seem to have taken a rather conservative approach to new features for the 2022 model.
Is a 2022 GMC Canyon Worth It for Trailering?
It’s not a hard question to answer. It’s an unequivocal “yes.” The 2022 GMC Canyon takes every upgrade, improvement, and enhancement since the start of the generation and rolls them all out in a solid, respectable fashion. What the 2015 and 2016 model years lacked, GMC made up for it with the 2017 and 2018 model years, and from there, they’ve just refined the experience further.
So is there anything new in particular that would make the 2022 GMC Canyon worth it if you were planning on using a midsize truck for towing small to moderate loads? Well, since we know that the Denali is a good trim option not just for luxury but for towing as well, GMC did make an all-new Denali Black Edition exclusively for the 2022 model year. If you like the GMC Canyon for its towing capabilities but you really like the way the new Denali Black Edition looks, then you have an added reason to take an interest in the truck.
It’s a shame they didn’t add a few more trailering tech features to the Canyon’s line-up in recent times. For instance, additional trailer cameras and trailer customization apps are seemingly absent from the line-up despite being a major feature of the larger Sierra. I guess if you really are that serious about trailering, they expect you to go with a full-size truck like the Sierra. But more options never hurt. Anyway, for the most part, I think GMC has taken an “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” approach to the Canyon in terms of towing capability, and most people don’t seem to mind given how well the Canyon handles on the road as a midsize machine both with the gasoline and diesel power plants.