With trucks and off-roading as popular as ever, it’s no surprise to see the GMC Canyon return for 2023, and this next-generation mid-size pickup puts out some serious off-road vibes.

The new Canyon is built in one configuration: crew cab, with a five-foot short box. It’s grown in almost every dimension, including a 4-inch wider stance. But beyond the rugged bodylines and muscular sculpting, standard is an off-road suspension package lifting the Canyon to at least 9.6 inches of ground clearance and improving important off-roading angles.

Consistent for all trims is a turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-4, rated at 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, sent through an eight-speed automatic. Tow rating, however, is trim dependent, but expect up to 7,700 pounds. Four-wheel drive capabilities can be optioned on the base Elevation trim, but come standard on the AT4, Denali, and all-new AT4X.

This is the first time the AT4X treatment has found its way to the Canyon. Expect an additional inch of ground clearance, Multimatic DSSV dampers, front and rear e-lockers, and plenty more. Spring for the AT4X Edition 1 and you’ll get even more, like a COMEUP winch, safari bar and beadlock-capable wheels.

ALEXANDER KELLUM: Now, despite its off-road abilities and us hitting the trail here, I’m still moderately comfortable. I mean, of course, I’m getting thrown around a little bit– that’s just the nature of the beast, right? Uh, but this is an elevated interior. It has really nice leather appointments, it has the nice screens and everything– you really do feel like you’re in a premium truck. So, despite having all the off-road abilities, you don’t feel like you’re getting beat up. Uh… You can have a lot of fun out here and then when you’re commuting most of the time in this, you know, you’ll still be comfortable, and you’ve got room to take people along for the ride.

The 2023 GMC Canyon is available this spring, starting around $40,000 and topping-out around 60-grand for the AT4X– near 64-grand for the Edition 1. It just goes to show that midsize trucks can pack a big punch, and this new Canyon is a real contender. We’ll flex its muscles in a full Road Test soon.