Motor Trend Drives the Canyon AT4X

February 23rd, 2024 by

GMC Canyon AT4X Edition


The Canyon AT4X is designed to take on some of the roughest off-road trails with aplomb and look good while doing it. Its middling size helps squeeze into tight areas. Motor Trend took a Canyon AT4X out to test what it could do both off and on the road.

GMC Canyon AT4X Edition Steering Wheel DetailSerious Hardware

Starting with the already off-road-focused AT4, adding the X at the end results in a 3-inch suspension lift, partially supported by industry-leading Multimatic spool-valve shocks and 33-inch tires. The front wheels being pushed forward 3 inches in the recent Canyon redesign results in a 36.9-degree approach angle and 25.0-degree departure angle. When that isn’t quite enough, thick skid plates are underneath, protecting vulnerable areas. Individual physical switches inside control front and rear locking differentials, and you can choose from Tow/Haul, Normal, Off-Road, Terrain, and Baja drive modes. The Baja mode shows that GMC is aware that there is more than one kind of off-roading, with Baja setting things up for rapid driving over rough terrain as opposed to Terrain mode, which is for slowly going over extremely rough terrain.  The latter even includes an EV-like one-pedal driving when crawling. Said Motor Trend: “We were impressed by the effort put into tailoring these modes to various on- and off-road scenarios.”

GMC Canyon AT4X Edition Components

Powerful and Tough, Yet Civilized

“Impressive” also describes the Canyon AT4X standard TurboMax engine. Like all other Canyon engines, it is a turbocharged 2.7-liter Inline-4, but the TurboMax is tuned to 310 horsepower and an even more impressive 430 lb-ft of torque. As of this writing, it is the most powerful engine in the mid-size class. Motor Trend found that on the road, the AT4X accelerated from a stop to 60 in 6.9 seconds and had a quarter mile time of 15.3 seconds. The Canyon also went from 60 back to stationary at a respectable 125 feet. They also found the off-road suspension surprisingly unpunished on the road: “The off-road-oriented shocks keep the ride pleasant without the floaty wobbles that can come with lifted trucks, even with a trailer in tow and under payload. Although it is a lifted truck, the Canyon AT4X does not ride like one. It feels relatively agile and sporty while cornering, where the Multimatic shocks continue to perform and keep head toss to a minimum, including over diagonal railroad tracks and broken pavement sections. Even with a full payload or a trailer in tow, we did not notice any inordinate sagging or errant behavior under steering input, acceleration, or braking.”

GMC Canyon AT4X Edition Off RoadThe magazine praised the dash design and the graphics on both the digital dash and 11.3 center screen, calling it “one of the most well-appointed midsize interiors on the market.” However, they did express quibbles over some screen-located controls. 

Motor Trend sums up their view on the Canyon AT4X this way: “From a do-it-all perspective, though, the AT4X with its trail hardware and independent front suspension is more well-rounded than its competition.”

If off-roading is in your blood, the AT4X simply must be checked out. Contact Valley Buick GMC about getting your own first test of the Canyon AT4X and other Canyon models