General Motors unveiled its new 2105 GMC Canyon mid-size pickup this week at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the twin to the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado unveiled by the OEM in November last year.

Mary Barra, GM’s CEO-elect, headlined the introduction of the Canyon at NAIAS and stressed that it is part of the OEM’s “three-truck strategy” in North America.

“[We want] to let buyers choose precisely the right truck for their needs: Light Duty, Heavy Duty or Midsize,” she said during the Canyon presentation. “The midsize truck segment is especially interesting [as] other manufacturers have either ignored it or abandoned it.”

That means midsize pickup customers have had to compromise, Barra noted in her remarks. “To get the features, content and amenities they're looking for, they've had to either leave the segment – most often to a compact crossover or car – or choose from a limited selection,” she pointed out. “That's why we're getting back into the segment with not one, but two all-new entries: the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.”

[To view more photos of the 2015 GMC Canyon, please click here.]

The GMC Canyon will initially be offered only with gasoline engines, the OEM noted, with an optional Duramax 2.8 liter turbodiesel engine earmarked to be added in the 2016 model year.

Standard on the 2015 GMC Canyon is a 2.5 liter I-4 gasoline engine, with a 3.6 liter V-6 is available as an option. The 2.5 liter engine cranks out an estimated 193 hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, with the optional 3.6L liter V-6 generating some 302 hp and 270 lb.-ft. of torque.

Both engines feature direct injection and variable valve timing to make the most of power and efficiency, GM said, with an aluminum block, forged-steel crankshaft, dual-overhead camshafts and jet-spray piston cooling featured on both engines. The 2.5 liter engine model also incorporates a two-stage variable-displacement oil pump, for greater efficiency, as well as a balance shaft located in the oil pan, for greater refinement, the OEM noted.

All of the Canyon’s gasoline engine variants are matched with a six-speed automatic transmission that includes auto grade braking and a tow/haul mode. A six-speed manual transmission is also available with the 2.5 liter engine in base extended cab/two-wheel drive models, GM added.

The GMC Canyon will be offered in base, SLE and SLT models, with two-wheel and four-wheel drive options and what the OEM calls an “aggressively styled” all-terrain package for the SLE version.

Three body configurations will also be offered for the Canyon: An extended cab model with a six-foot bed, a crew cab with a five-foot bed and a crew cab with a six-foot bed. With the tailgate down, the six-foot bed allows eight-foot-long items to be hauled within the vehicle, GM noted.

The 2015 Canyon also features electric power steering, which enhances efficiency because it is not driven by the engine, GM said, along with a  coil-over-type front suspension features aluminum knuckles that are low in mass and high in strength contributing to a more responsive, immediate feel to driver inputs, as well as efficiency.

An optional automatic locking rear differential can also give drivers a traction advantage when needed and everyday comfort when it’s not. It is available on SLE and SLT, and standard with the All-Terrain package, the OEM noted.

AutoTrac automatic four-wheel drive, which employs an electronically controlled transfer case that allows the driver to shift from 2WD to 4WD, is another new option – allowing the driver to select four modes, 2WD, Auto, 4WD HI, or 4WD Lo. By selecting ‘Auto’ mode, the transfer case will operate in 2WD and will automatically apply traction to the front wheels (4WD) when the vehicle senses wheel slippage, GM said.

“The all-new 2015 Canyon completes GMC’s three-truck family, which started with the redesigned 2014 Sierra 1500 and 2015 Sierra HD,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of GMC Marketing, in a statement.

He added that GMC Canyon also “rounds out” GM’s truck lineup so it can offer the broadest range of capabilities to customers so they have more choices to find the vehicle that meets their professional, personal and lifestyle needs.

“Not everyone needs full-size capability, but they still deserve strength and true-truck attributes that come in larger models,” DiSalle stressed. “It also delivers the technology customers want with more standard features.”

Other features on the new 2015 GMC Canyon pickup include:

  • An 8-inch-diagonal color touch screen and multiple USB ports combined with OnStar 4G LTE connectivity that includes a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Driver alert features such as forward collision alert, lane departure warning and a standard rear-vision camera
  • RemoteLink Key Fob Services to allow owners to lock and unlock their vehicle, flash the lights and honk the horn, and, on equipped models, even remotely start the engine using the RemoteLink smartphone app – a service that will be free for five years, with additional OnStar services and data plans will be available with a paid subscription
  • Six air bags, including head curtain side air bags that can also reduce the risk of occupant ejection
  • StabiliTrak stability control system with rollover mitigation technology, trailer sway control, hill start assist and hill descent control
  • Standard projector beam headlamps and GMC’s signature C-shaped LED daytime running lamps on all models
  • An all-new aluminum hood to help keep overall mass down and improve the front-to-rear weight balance
  • Active aero grille shutters, which close at certain highway speeds to enhance efficiency through improved aerodynamics
  • Triple-sealed doors inlaid in the body sides, like the 2014 Sierra, for improved aerodynamic performance and a quieter interior
  • CornerStep rear bumper design, pioneered on the 2014 Sierra, as a standard feature
  • EZ Lift-and-Lower locking tailgate that uses an internal torsion bar to make raising the tailgate easier with one hand, and a damper for more-controlled lowering
  • Thirteen reconfigurable and four stationary tie-down locations throughout the bed for use with available, removable cargo tie-down rings, along with standard bed rail and tailgate protectors
  • Available factory-installed spray-in bed liner

Canyon models equipped with the 8-inch IntelliLink screen will also feature a new in-car app marketplace dubbed “GMC AppShop” that will allow customers to download apps directly to their IntelliLink system and organize, update or delete them throughout the life of the vehicle. Available apps will connect drivers to music, news, weather, travel information, vehicle data and more, GM said.

The OEM is also offering “Teen Driver,” which is a new, configurable IntelliLink feature that allows parents to set a radio volume limit, establish a speed warning set between 40 and 70 mph, and set a speed limiter.

It also automatically mutes the radio when the driver or front passenger safety belt is not fastened and a “report card” that records mileage, wide-open throttle events, antilock braking system (ABS) events, maximum speed and other data. The custom features are locked by a PIN that is set by the parent, GM noted.

In terms of warranty and service programs, GMC’s ProGrade protection program is being offered for two years/24,000 miles – whichever comes first – of scheduled maintenance as a standard feature, which covers four oil changes, tire rotations and 27-point inspections.

A three-year/36,000-mile – whichever comes first – bumper-to-bumper limited vehicle warranty and five-year/100,000-mile – whichever comes first – powertrain limited warranty are also included.

The 2015 GMC Canyon will be assembled at GM’s Wentzville, MO, assembly plant, with production slated to start in the fall this year.