Updated: January 14, 2014 3:45 PM | By Jeremy Sinek for MSN Autos

2015 GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado preview



2015 GMC Canyon (© Photo: GMC)
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2015 GMC Canyon

GM returns to the smaller (but don’t call it small-) pickup market

2015 Chevrolet Colorado (© Photo: Chevrolet)

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Detroit, Mich. -- Whether your taste in pickups is defined by small-footprint values or just a tight budget, don’t get too excited about the apparent revival of small pickups. GM’s reborn Canyon and Colorado are not small – at least, not the way four-cylinder regular-cab short-box Chevy S10 and GMC Sonoma commuter trucks were small 20 years ago.

Those were compact pickups, a breed that no longer exists in North America. The only thing small about the new GM trucks is that they’re less-huge than the super-sized “full-size” pickups that have long dominated the sales charts in Canada and the U.S.

The new Canyon made its debut just prior to the North American International Auto Show (and its Chev Colorado twin that broke cover in November at L.A.) are officially called midsize pickups. So are the segment-leading Toyota Tacoma and the also-ran Nissan Frontier, which have been the sole occupants of the “not-full-size” segment since the Dodge Dakota and the Ford Ranger/Mazda B-Series twins departed the market.

Smaller, but far from small

2015 GMC Canyon interior (© Photo: GMC)

2015 GMC Canyon interior

Like the Toyota and Nissan in Canada, the “Coloranyon” isn’t even available in a regular-cab configuration. At 5.4 metres in overall length the extended-cab base model is bigger even than its Japanese rivals, and closer in size to the full-size Silverado/Sierra of 15 years ago than to the compact S10/Sonoma of the same era.

Still, with around 400 kg less body fat to haul around, and no V8 engines on the menu, the smaller pickups promise to be less thirsty. A 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and a 3.6-litre V6 will be offered at launch. In 2016, a 2.8-litre four-cylinder diesel engine will elevate fuel economy to an even higher plane.

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