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A red 2023 GMC Canyon AT4x is shown from the front at an angle while driving off-road.

Off-Roading Gets an Upgrade in Power and Sophistication: Meet the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X

For fans of GMC, high quality and elevated performance are attributes that need little description. For fans of upscale trucks and SUVs, the news of a brand-new redesign for the 2023 GMC Canyon has generated great excitement. For those who enjoy traveling off the beaten path and living off the pavement, the 2023 GMC Canyon could very well be the last vehicle you’ll ever need. With the introduction of the AT4X off-road trim (the upscale equivalent to the Chevy Colorado ZR2), the Canyon is primed and ready to chart new territory and explore new frontiers. If you’ve been waiting for GMC to unleash the ultimate off-road experience, your patience has just been rewarded.

The AT4X Has Arrived…

Exclusive off-road packages for the GMC Canyon are certainly nothing new. It was back in 2021 when the AT4 trim was introduced. As a way of expanding the Canyon’s off-road capabilities, the AT4 was ideally situated between the base trim Elevation and the high-class Denali. As such, the AT4 served as the perfect compromise between the reasonably-priced Elevation and the expensive Denali. The AT4 packed several advantages for the rugged type, including a standard 3.6L V6 engine with a horsepower rating of 308, as well as 31-inch Duratrac tires. For those who enjoy towing in the dirt, the dunes were made easily passable, with a towing capacity of 7,550 lbs. As great as these attributes were, GMC has raised the bar to compete with offerings such as the Ford Raptor.

Bringing Off-Roading to a Whole New Level

There are a number of considerable differences between the AT4 trim and the new AT4X, which we’ll discuss throughout this article. The most notable is the powertrain that GMC has decided to implement. Scaling back from the V6 of the AT4, the AT4X will come standard with a 2.7L four-cylinder engine. While the size is certainly diminished, its heart is mighty, as in 310 hp and the ability to generate 430 lb-ft of torque, which places the Canyon on the same playing field as the Chevy Colorado ZR2 off-road package.

No definitive statement has been made by GMC, but it’s expected that this engine will be paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Off-roading calls for high-rated performance, and this engine outperforms many of the V6 engines of its competitors; most notable is the Toyota Tacoma and its performance packages. There won’t be anything that it won’t be able to accomplish. Of course, the advantages of the Canyon’s new terrain-conquering prowess don’t start or stop with its new super-charged engine.

A close-up of the headlight of a reed 2023 GMC Canyon AT4x is shown.

Built for Off-Road Excursions

As previously mentioned, the AT4X trim is much more than a powerful engine. Similar to its ZR2 sibling, the AT4X is built for traveling off the beaten path. Before we explain the adjustments to the suspension or ground clearance, we have some exciting news to impart: a new driving mode to accentuate the adrenaline rush of off-road excitement. As with the AT4, the AT4X will have driving modes such as normal, tow/haul, off-road, and terrain drive. GMC emphasized the off-roader who utilizes horsepower to its fullest potential in the form of a fifth mode, which they’re referring to as “Baja” mode. This is formulated for higher speeds, just in case you need to embrace your inner dune buggy persona and rip through the sand dunes with reckless abandon.

Not to be confused with the trim level of the same name, elevation is the name of the game when it comes to the AT4X delivering the goods to the legion of off-roaders that will soon be embracing its raw power. With over 10 inches of ground clearance, obstacles and roadblocks will soon be a thing of the past. Last year, the AT4 impressed many daredevils and drivers with its 31-inch Goodyear Duratrac tires. The AT4X knows that height is good, but more height is better. To coincide with this concept, the AT4X comes equipped with 33-inch mud-terrain tires. Right out of the gate, you can play in the dirt and, yes, cleanup is optional.

Just when you thought there couldn’t be more attributes to assist with your off-road adventures, GMC proves that there’s always improvement to be done. Off-roading requires much more than ground clearance and powertrains. To this end, GMC also placed an added emphasis on the frame of the AT4X. The front axle has been moved forward by almost three full inches, increasing the vehicle’s wheelbase. From top to bottom, GMC has revitalized the concept of the perfect off-road vehicle.

Venture Off the Pavement With Style and Intimidation

Perhaps you’re someone who spends as much time in the dirt as humanly possible. Perhaps you’re also someone who doesn’t put cleaning up at the top of your priorities list. You don’t adhere to the restrictive nature of pavement and believe rules were meant to be bent, broken, and sometimes completely tossed aside. We get it. Whether you believe in cleanliness or not, you still have a chance to look smashing while conquering the world before you.

With the new redesign of the GMC Canyon comes a bold new look that matches its off-roading prowess. Accentuating the intimidation of the elevated ground clearance is a new jet-black front grill. If the dust and dirt were sentient beings with emotions, they’d be running scared at the sight of it. Aside from the tires designed to break through any mud pit, the AT4X sits upon seventeen-inch wheels that match the rough and tough exterior perfectly.

Of course, there’s always a risk of your truck getting dirty, but that doesn’t mean you have to. While your wheel and undercarriage do the dirty work, you’ll be fresh, clean, and feel revitalized thanks to the Canyon’s all-new refined interior. The AT4X has been outfitted with an 11-inch infotainment center, perfect for providing the necessary navigation as you journey into the untamed wilderness of the unknown. If you’re someone who wants to drown out the sounds of worry on your trek, you’ll have no difficulty in accomplishing this task. A premium seven-speaker Bose stereo system will allow you to have your own soundtrack while you’re away from the rigid confines of civilization. You work hard. You deserve to play even harder. Make 2023 the year where you break all the rules in the name of enjoyment.

The interior of a 2023 GMC Canyon AT4x is shown from above the center console.

The 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X Offers an Off-Roading Experience Like No Other

Passions and lifestyles such as off-roading are often considered “niche” markets. That is to say, only a select few are thought to enjoy them, and they’re completely right. Off-roading takes a unique driver to be willing to follow the path less traveled and be willing to get their hands dirty from time to time. A vehicle such as the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X is made for those who don’t believe in conformity or convention. By improving upon its AT4 trim, GMC has taken the concept of off-roading and elevated it to the level of sophistication and style synonymous with its brand. If the other drivers you know are content to stay inside the lines and on the pavement, let them. You have a world to explore.

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