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A red 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X is shown parked off-road after visiting a Tullahoma GMC dealer.

Redesigned and Resilient: The GMC Canyon’s AT4X

As you weigh your options at your local Tullahoma GMC dealer, consider the all-new 2023 GMC Canyon. If you are in the market for a capable off-road-oriented pickup truck, the Canyon’s AT4X trim level might just meet your needs.

The Canyon is a mid-size pickup truck designed for all kinds of adventures, but it is the AT4X that takes the cake for the most adventurous trim level. While already a popular option for the Sierra, 2023 marks the AT4X’s very first year as a Canyon trim option, ushering in the Canyon’s third generation.

Complete with a torque-heavy engine and Multimatic DSSV spool-valve dampers, the AT4X is geared toward handling rugged terrain. But is the AT4X the right trim level for you? Let’s go over the finer details before you finalize your decision.

A red 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X is shown driving off-road.

A Glimpse at the 2023 GMC Canyon’s Line-up

The 2023 GMC Canyon got the redesign treatment to mark the advent of its third generation. There are some new styling elements that differentiate it from the outgoing second generation. Before we jump into what makes the AT4X so unique, let’s go over what has been changed on the Canyon overall.

The 2023 GMC Canyon is now powered by a beefy 2.7L turbocharged engine that delivers 310 horsepower and a best-in-class 430 lb-ft of torque. The Canyon’s body is bigger than ever before. It also looks more aggressive with a widened track, C-shaped LED headlights with the GMC logo embedded in them, and a revamped front grille. The decidedly enhanced athletic design matches the souped-up off-road prowess this vehicle displays. In the rear, there is a versatile tailgate storage system that is lockable and watertight, keeping your tools safe.

GM amped up the interior of the third-generation Canyon as well. The cabin is geared more toward performance, and can be ordered with a variety of decorative choices. For example, the AT4/AT4X trim levels come with sleek Jet Black leather-appointed front seats with Timber accents. On the line-topping Denali trim, you sit in the lap of luxury with its new perforated Jet Black leather-appointed seats with Teak accents. Completely new to the Canyon is the availability of a power sunroof.

Another major area of change for the Canyon comes in the form of technology. The Canyon now blows its rivals out of the water with ten different camera views. There are underbody cameras for the front and rear of the truck as well as the HD Surround View system. The new Canyon also features a 6.3-inch diagonal head-up display, a fully digital driver information display with either an eight- or 11-inch diagonal driver instrument cluster, and an 11.3-inch diagonal infotainment touchscreen display.

The 2023 GMC Canyon has been re-tuned for enhanced off-roading performance. Each trim level receives some upgrades in this regard, complete with a brand new off-road chassis package. This package gives the Canyon 9.6 inches of ground clearance and a 33.3-degree approach angle courtesy of the two-inch factory-installed lift. This makes it easier for the Canyon to clear obstacles off the beaten path.

A red 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X is shown parked on rocks.

What Sets the AT4X Apart?

This talk of the Canyon’s off-roading prowess in general leads us to the AT4X trim level in particular. The AT4X is the most off-road-oriented 2023 GMC Canyon trim level you can buy. Unlike the two-inch lift on the other trim levels, the AT4X comes with a three-inch lift. It is made for all kinds of terrain, for engaging in all types of adventure in the rugged outdoors.

The AT4X is able to tow up to 5,500 pounds. This trim level rides on top of 17-inch wheels outfitted with 285/70R-17 Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires that provide ample amounts of traction in situations where it is required. Also, a standard feature on the AT4X (which is optional on the lower trim levels) is a set of electronic locking front and rear differentials to help improve your off-roading experience.

Made for Mudding

The AT4X is absolutely made for running through the mud. GM originally launched the AT4 trim level, upon which the AT4X is based, in 2021. It became the second-generation Canyon’s most popular trim level, serving as a slightly less athletic version of the ZR2 Colorado truck. The new AT4X goes beyond the AT4’s capabilities.

Take note that there is an Edition 1 version of the AT4X available, and this is the only Canyon trim level that it can be equipped on. On the front fascia, you get a massive grille-mounted light bar that measures in at 30 inches long. A winch, 17-inch beadlock wheels, and special AT4X badging all come along with this tough mudder.

Something else that buyers will appreciate about the AT4X is that GM doubled down on the number of in-bed tie-down points, taking the number from four to eight. All of this is the result of consumers voicing their opinions. Yes, GM is paying attention to customer demands and expectations, especially when it comes to off-roading in the Canyon AT4X.

A High-Quality Interior Design

GM went all-out on crafting a high-quality interior for the re-envisioned 2023 GMC Canyon. This new interior is more high-tech than ever before, although it is certainly refreshing to see some physical climate controls placed conveniently in the cockpit.

On the AT4X (as well as the Denali), there is a standard head-up display that projects important vehicle information onto the screen before your eyes. The 11.3-inch infotainment touchscreen display delivers crisp graphic readouts, which drivers will appreciate whether they are driving on a paved pathway, across a desert plain, or up a winding mountain road. Smartphone app integration through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is wireless, eliminating the need for excessive cord clutter.

The AT4X’s seats are upholstered in a chic quilted leather material that echoes along the dashboard and door panels. Hard plastics are hard to find. Most surfaces have a soft touch to them.

The AT4X’s Drive Modes

Part of what makes the AT4X such a capable off-roader is its slew of drive modes. In addition to the four standard drive modes found on the AT4X, there is a Baja mode that is specific to the AT4X trim level. The drive modes include:

  • Tow/Haul Mode: A mode that enhances the driving performance while the truck is under heavy duress from towing or hauling.
  • Normal Mode: A mode that simply provides a balanced on-road performance.
  • Off-Road Mode: A helpful mode to engage when you stray off the beaten path. There are modes for when you are moving at either high or low speeds.
  • Terrain Mode: The AT4X’s low-speed off-road driving mode that delivers extra traction on rugged surfaces. This mode can be effectively used for rock crawling.
  • Baja Mode: This exclusive drive mode is brand-new and caters to high-speed off-road driving situations.

These drive modes will automatically engage, so you do not need to put in the extra effort to switch modes. With three modes reserved for off-roading, it is quite obvious what the AT4X was built for: fun on four wheels.

The AT4X: Fun On Four Wheels

It should be clear by now that the 2023 GMC Canyon’s fresh-faced AT4X trim level is poised to take the AT4’s title of most popular trim level. While this is one of the more expensive Canyon trim levels, it is optimized for off-roading in a way that none of the other trim levels are, which is why buyers will want to snag one. Whether you are making the commute to work or are trying to pull your buddy’s SUV out of the mud, you can have a blast in the AT4X.

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