With a design that’s markedly different from its sibling, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, the all-new midsize 2015 GMC Canyon took to the stage at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Competitors for the two midsize GM trucks now only include the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier, since the Ford Ranger and Dodge Dakota have been discontinued. But the market for midsize trucks has declined substantially over the past 30 years. At its peak, about 1.4 million were sold in 1986, compared to about 227,000 in 2013.

2015 GMC Canyon models and trim

The 2015 GMC Canyon will be available in two- or four-wheel drive and in extended cab and six-foot bed, crew cab with a five-foot bed, or crew cab with a six-foot bed.

As for trim levels, these include base, SLE and SLT. An All-Terrain styling package will be optional on the SLE. Not available at the start of production, however, is a Denali. No word when or if a Denali will be available.

Bold styling, custom details

There’s no mistaking the ruggedness of the 2015 Canyon, beginning with the front-end styling that incorporates the segment’s only standard projector-beam headlights and the signature GMC C-shaped LED daytime running lights (DRLs) on all models.

Other exterior features include the CornerStep rear bumper, a design first offered on the 2014 GMC Sierra, and an optional segment-first EZ Lift-and-Lower locking tailgate. The latter uses an internal torsion bar to make tailgate raising easier using one hand, and a damper that allows for more lowering that’s more controlled.

On the inside, the 2015 Canyon is undoubtedly a GMC. The midsize truck uses premium materials and provides an interior that incorporates the technology-infused design aesthetic introduced on the 2014 Sierra 1500 and 2015 Sierra HD models.

Canyon’s available technologies include OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot and what GMC says are expected segment-first available driver alert features such as forward collision alert and lane departure warning, and a standard rearview camera.

On Canyon models with an eight-inch IntelliLink screen, there’s also a new in-car app marketplace, called AppShop. This allows consumers to download apps directly to IntelliLink and the ability to organize, update or delete them throughout the life of the vehicle.

Performance

Powering the all-new Canyon is a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing an estimated 193 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. An optional 3.6-liter V6 engine is estimated to deliver 302 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. The Canyon will offer a six-speed manual transmission, but only for the base extended cab, two-wheel drive model with four-cylinder engine.

Looking ahead to the 2016 model year, GM will offer the Duramax 2.8-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel, a segment first. The diesel will offer even greater towing capability.

Fuel economy numbers are not yet available, but GM says it expects them to be better than the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier.

Towing capacity is expected to be at least 6,700 pounds, which should put the Canyon at the top of the segment. Payload capacity will be at least 1,450 pounds. With the six-foot bed and the tailgate down, eight-foot items can be hauled within the vehicle.

Highly customizable

Catering to the personalization trend for trucks, more than 50 accessories will be available to buyers of the 2015 GMC Canyon. These include bedliners and splash guards, among others.

General Motors said that the 2015 Canyon completes GMC’s three-truck family, which started with the redesigned Sierra 1500 and the 2015 Sierra HD.

Pricing for the 2015 GMC Canyon, which goes on sale later this year, has not yet been released.

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