After spending a day prowling the trails of Montana in the ’24 GMC Canyon AT4X and AT4X AEV Edition, it was immediately clear that GMC has taken aim at the midsize and adventure truck market and hit a bullseye. 

Formerly the sole domain within GM of Chevrolet, GMC finally gets in on the action with the new Canyon, and for the first time in collaboration with premier adventure outfitter American Expedition Vehicles (AEV). 

While we recently drove Chevrolet’s Colorado in the California desert, and the majority of this story directly relates to the Chevy product as well, there are some differences between the two trucks (such as the hydraulic jounce bumpers, which are standard on the Colorado ZR2 Bison, and allow that truck to get real rowdy, are optional on the swankier Canyon).

Think of the GMC Canyon AT4X being enhanced for trail work and distance, while the Colorado ZR2 (and Bison) has been optimized for go-fast and fun. 


The GMC Canyon AT4X AEV Edition is a mouthful, but it’s a truck that is also full of content and capability.

Unlike the Colorado, every Canyon receives the wide track version of the platform, along with those cool muscularly blistered fenders that add to the Canyon’s great stance. The high-output version of the turbocharged 2.7L I4 is also standard. To that, you overlay the AEV Edition package, a collaboration between American Expedition Vehicles and GMC, and you get wheel well-filling 35-inch tires. On a midsize truck. From the factory. Even Jeep doesn’t have this one figured out for the Gladiator.



We found the base Canyon AT4X to be incredibly capable in technical terrain, especially in the hands of a skilled driver.

Canyon’s upper tier off-road hierarchy starts with the AT4X, which comes from the factory with a 3-inch factory lift, standard Multimatic DSSV dampers (with outboard mounting in the rear), front and rear lockers, and underbody protection in the form of skid plating for the for the front crossmember and transfer case and robust rock rails. It has 33-inch tires and is fully capable in its own right.


AT4X AEV Edition
Above that is the AT4X AEV Edition, which adds a massive amount of content for a relative bargain. For a $10,100 premium, the AEV Edition includes a 1.5-inch lift over the AT4X, 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires on 17-inch beadlock-capable AEV Salta wheels, with a full-size, bed-mounted spare. Flares are upsized to cover the increased tire size and track width and ground clearance grows to an impressive 12.2 inches. 


The AEV Edition Canyon includes a full-size, 35-inch spare tire mounted in the bed.


The front AEV Edition bumper is manufactured from stamped steel and is designed to accept a winch.

Beyond suspension and tires, the AEV-optioned trucks also include five high-strength, hot-stamped Boron steel skid plates that protect the radiator, steering rack, transmission, transfer case, fuel tank, and rear differential.


The rear AEV Edition bumper is also stamped steel and incorporates heavy-duty cast iron tow points. Unique sliders along the lower edge of the bumper use easily removed plastic beauty covers and allows the bumper to slide along obstacles without being damaged.

Stamped steel AEV front and rear bumpers are designed for durability, include heavy-duty recovery points, and the front bumper is winch capable. On the inside, upfitter switches are standard and AEV branding is added to the headrests and all-weather floor mats.


In our opinion, the Canyon is one of the best-looking trucks on the market. GMC really nailed the styling, especially with the front end, which looks modern and contemporary, and vastly different from the arguably less cohesive face of its Colorado stablemate.


The 17-inch AEV Salta wheels are beadlock capable and the factory rock sliders will prevent the Canyon from receiving body damage in rugged terrain.

Once you add 35-inch tires to take advantage, visually, of those fender blisters, the truck looks wide and squatty, with perfect toy-like proportions.



GMC bestowed the highest output version of the 2.7L turbo four on all Canyons. Output is 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, backed by GM’s 8-speed automatic transmission. The trans has a fairly low 4.56 first gear, giving the Colorado a respectable 42.4:1 crawl ratio. With an EPA rating of 18 city and 22 highway and a 21.5-gallon fuel tank, we would estimate real world highway range at more than 400 miles and trail range to be over 200 miles.



There are some differences between the AT4X and AT4X AEV Edition when it comes to the numbers. While the AT4X has some solid specs in terms of approach angle (37 degrees), departure angle (25 degrees), breakover angle (24.5 degrees), and ground clearance (10.7 inches), it is handily beaten by the AEV truck which increases those numbers to 38.2 degrees, 26 degrees, 26.9 degrees, and 12.2 inches.

As with everything in life, there are tradeoffs, as the maximum tow rating drops from 7,700 to 6,000 pounds on the AT4X and 5,500 on the AEV edition. Payload drops from a maximum of 1,640 on the best hauling Colorado to 1,250 pounds on the AT4X and to just over 1,000 on the AEV Edition. Of course, one needs to take into account that a similarly modified truck in the aftermarket will have a commensurate decrease in payload, as well.


Behind The Wheel
Sliding into the driver’s seat reveals a striking cockpit, which is a huge departure from the previous-gen truck and definitely one of the best interiors in the segment. We love the bold use of white, charcoal, and red textiles with cool red anodized accents on the control knobs, but we wish there were an alternate interior color to replace the white.

For a truck designed for heavy trail use, we wonder how durable the white material will be in the long run. Well, at least it looks nice when it’s clean.


The ’24 GMC Canyon AT4X interior is a huge improvement over the previous generation truck and is available in one bold colorway.

A fully modern dash incorporates a 11-inch gauge cluster and 11.3-inch center display that is big, but doesn’t overwhelm the interior. The Canyon is loaded with tech and there is a bit of a learning curve on how to use it all, for example the headlight controls moving from a traditional hard switch to a setting in the display.


AEV Edition Canyons receive AEV branding throughout the truck, including AEV logos on the headrests.

On the road, the turbo four is torquey, but the engine runs out of churn at a somewhat low 5,600 rpm. Fortunately, the torque peak comes in at 3,000 rpm so you won’t have to wring it out in normal driving, which is probably a good thing considering it isn’t the sweetest sounding four cylinder out there.

We also weren’t huge fans of the pedal latency conspiring with a bit of turbo lag and transmission tuning that feels a bit lazy to us, responding too slowly to our inputs. It isn’t a deal breaker, but it is noticeable at times. It also seemed to us that the power output is a bit muted, especially on the trucks wearing 35-inch tires. We can attribute some of it to the unchanged 3.42 final drive ratio and we think the AEV Edition would benefit from 3.73s, or even 4.10 gearing.


At the heart of the AEV Edition package are the 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory tires.

Outside of that, the AT4X proved to be a skilled wheeler, taking our technical trail in stride. From the available 10 camera views to the new drive modes that include “Terrain”, “Off-road”, and “Baja”, the Canyon is loaded up with technology that can assist novices, and veteran adventurers alike. We can see how the new one-pedal drive feature in Terrain mode can be beneficial to some drivers, but we are thankful it can be turned off for old school off-roaders such as ourselves, who still prefer not to cede all the fun to the machine.

We drove an AEV Edition Canyon up the trail and swapped for an AT4X for the return trip, experiencing both trucks back-to-back. While we worked a little harder to pick our way through the mud holes and rock gardens, the AT4X conquered everything we threw at it, but we preferred the point-and-shoot nature of the higher-clearance AEV Edition.


With more than a foot of ground clearance and 35-inch tires, the AT4X AEV Edition Canyon is an absolute beast on the trails.

In addition to being one of the best midsize trucks available for off-roading, the Canyon offers a quiet highway ride and is perfect for those looking for capability in a pickup truck that rivals some of those convertible off-road SUVs in a much more refined and livable platform.


Our Take
After spending a day on- and off-road in both the GMC Canyon AT4X and the AT4X AEV Edition, we have a pretty good understanding of how different, and similar, the two trucks are. If you are considering your next midsize truck, the Canyon should be at the top of your list and if you need a capable daily driver, with good chops on the trail, the AT4X will get the job done in style.


The differences between the AT4X and AT4X AEV Edition are apparent in this photo that shows the change in tire size and ride height, as well as the distinctive flares on the AEV Edition.

However, if your intention is to modify, you are dollars ahead by choosing the AEV Edition from the start. However, if you are willing to live with a little less style, the functionally similar Chevy Colorado ZR2 or ZR2 Bison can be had for several thousands of dollars less than the $55,895 price of admission for the Canyon AT4X, or the $65,995 asking price of the AT4X AEV Edition.


Quick Specs

 ’24 GMC Canyon AT4X’24 GMC Canyon AT4X AEV Edition

Base Price




2.7L turbocharged I4/8-speed Auto

2.7L turbocharged I4/8-speed Auto

Horsepower/Torque (lb-ft)



Wheelbase (in.)



Tire Size 



Approach/Breakover/Departure Angles (degrees)



Ground Clearance (in.)



Crawl Ratio



Payload (lbs.)


1,050 (est.)

Towing (lbs.) 


5,500 (est)


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This article originally appeared in OVR Issue 07. For more informative articles like this, consider subscribing to OVR Magazine in print or digital versions here. You can also find the print edition of OVR at your local newsstand by using our Magazine Finder.