This is the first glimpse of the refreshed truck in the top-trim

GMC is finally getting out of Chevy’s shadow. Earlier this year, the company revealed that the brand’s mid-size pickup truck, Canyon, will receiving an AT4 trim. Now, the company has revealed that the refreshed truck’s top Denali will receive a new grille which it calls the ‘Heroic grille’ for some reason. The new grille is a tad bit larger than the one on the outgoing Canyon Denali, but thanks to the new design, it gives the truck a premium feel. Not bad, right?

The Grille Looks Much Better Than The One On The Current Canyon Denali

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The new grille has three thick horizontal slats with honeycomb detailing inside. It is still finished in chrome and receives thick borders on the edges, but it is a little asymmetrical when compared to the present Canyon Denali’s rectangle grille. The GMC branding stays put as it is, but it sits in a space carved-out in the middle of the grille. There is a slight opening at the tip of the hood which looks sweet. The hood and the headlights are carried over as it is.

The bumper is revised as well. The truck now has LED fog lamps stacked vertically in redesigned housing. It looks very fresh when compared to the present Denali’s setup. Even the air dam and tow hook bits at the bottom are tweaked and it doesn’t feature the faux skid plate as evidently. It now looks complete and proportionate.

Wood Inserts Are A Nice Add-On In The Cabin

GMC Reveals The 2021 Canyon Denali's 'Heroic Grille'
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A picture of the cabin was released as well and we can see quite a few changes.

For starters, the interior follows a new theme. GMC has made use of open-pore ash wood inserts all around that makes the cabin feel upmarket. A new ‘Cocoa/Dark Atmosphere’ is also being offered.

As stated by the company earlier, the Denali trim will also receive heated and ventilated front seats and heated steering wheel.

These features put the Denali a little more apart from the other Canyon trims. Since the Denali trim is the most premium offering, it made sense to spoil it with as many features as possible.

Same Powertrains Retained

GMC Reveals The 2021 Canyon Denali's 'Heroic Grille'
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As for the engine options, the Canyon is still being offered with the same workhorse – A 3.6-liter, V-6 gasoline mill that churns out 308 ponies and 275 pound-feet of twist. Power is sent to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The other option is a 2.8-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel Duramax diesel mill that will be available as an option. It makes 181 horses and 369 pound-feet of torque.

2021 GMC Canyon Denali specifications
Engine: 3.6L DOHC V-6 with Direct Injection 2.8L I-4 Turbo-Diesel
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 3.7 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6 3.7 x 3.94 / 94 x 100
Block material: Cast aluminum Grey cast iron
Cylinder head material: Cast aluminum Cast aluminum
Valvetrain: Dual-overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder; continuously variable valve timing Dual-overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder
Fuel delivery: High-pressure direct fuel injection with electronic throttle control Common rail direct fuel injection
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 308 / 230 @ 6800 (SAE certified) 186 / 135 @ 3400 (SAE certified)
Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm): 275 / 373 @ 4000 (SAE certified) 369 / 500 @ 2000 (SAE certified)

2021 Canyon Will Be Benefited By The New AT4 Trim

GMC Ups The Ante By Introducing The Off-Road AT4 Trim for The 2020 Canyon Exterior
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Earlier this year, the company announced the introduction of the AT4 trim in the Canyon’s lineup. The off-road trim seems to be making an entry into almost all new GMC products.

The AT4 will be replacing the All-Terrain trim, which was not doing well anyway.

All-in-all, the lineup looks a lot more balanced now.

The AT4 trim will be the go-to off-road trim in the 2021 GMC Canyon’s lineup. On the outside, the trim receives a new grille that looks kind of similar to the Denali’s Heroic grille. It looks a lot better to me, thanks to the dark chrome treatment. The trim receives a lot of differentiating features compared to the other trims, such as:

GMC Ups The Ante By Introducing The Off-Road AT4 Trim for The 2020 Canyon Exterior
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  • A bigger grille
  • Dark chrome finish on the face
  • Red tow hooks
  • Skid plate to protect the transfer case
  • 17-inch wheels wrapped in 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires
  • Four-Wheel-Drive System
  • Advanced Hill Descent Control
  • Off-road tuned suspension
  • Eaton G80 rear automatic locking differential
  • Two-speed AutoTrac transfer case

On the inside, things are familiar and the only thing differentiating is the “AT4” logo embroidered in the headrests of the seats featuring Kalahari accents. This pattern is exclusive only to the AT4 trim. Also, a Bose audio system will be offered here.

Final Thoughts

GMC Reveals The 2021 Canyon Denali's 'Heroic Grille'
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The 2021 GMC Canyon is shaping out to be better than the current model. With the introduction of the AT4 in the lineup, you can expect the sales to boost up. It is more than just a bunch of off-road stuff thrown in a regular trim. As for the Denali, the face sure looks fresh and upmarket, but we’ll have to see how it looks in person. The same goes for the cabin as well. Wood inserts are a premium touch and more than welcome, but in terms of features, we only know about the heated seats and steering wheel yet. As for the pricing, the Denali trim currently begins at $40,500. A price increase of up to $1,000 will be justified for all the extra features being offered. But, anything more than that will make it expensive.

The 2021 GMC Canyon will be built at the company’s Wentzville Assembly Center in Wentzville, Missouri. The 2021 model is expected to hit the showrooms by the end of 2020. What are your thoughts on the new Denali grille? Share them with us in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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