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2015 Chevrolet Colorado vs. 2015 GMC Canyon: What’s the Difference?

Editor’s note: You may want to read more of Autotrader’s model vs. model comparison reviews as well as the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado review and the 2015 GMC Canyon review.

 

The all-new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and 2015 GMC Canyon midsize pickups have a lot in common. They look similar, they’re priced about the same and they offer mostly the same equipment: similar available features, engine options, transmission choices, and bed and cab configurations. What are the key differences between the two trucks? We’ll take a closer look to find out.

    

Exterior

The biggest differences between the Colorado and the Canyon are on the outside, though you might not realize it at first glance. Yes, it’s true that the trucks share the same profile, but there are a few differences. Some are small, such as the taillights, which feature clear accents in the Canyon and no such touches in the Colorado. Other differences are bigger, such as the front end: While the Colorado boasts more of a sporty appearance with a smaller front grille and narrow headlights, the Canyon comes standard with its traditional GMC look: large, square headlights and a huge grille, ensuring that you won’t confuse the Canyon with any other brand’s pickup. The trucks also offer different wheel designs to further distinguish themselves.

    

Interior

There aren’t many interior differences between base- or midlevel versions of the Canyon and the Colorado. In fact, we could only spot a handful after serious searching. The biggest distinctions are the steering wheel, which looks a little more brawny in the Canyon, and the accent lighting, which is red in the Canyon compared to a more typical General Motors teal blue in the Colorado.

With that said, high-end versions of the Canyon — SLE and SLT trim levels — do boast a few extra touches compared to upscale Colorado models, including attractive dashboard stitching, extra door-panel padding and more aluminum trim.

    

Mechanicals

The Canyon and Colorado are identical under the hood. They offer the same base engine — a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that makes 200 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque — mated to a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. Both also boast an optional 3.6-liter V6 that makes 305 hp and 269 lb-ft that’s only offered with the 6-speed automatic. There may, however, be some upcoming mechanical differences; Chevrolet has announced that the Colorado will soon offer a 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine for improved gas mileage; that’s one option that has not yet been confirmed for the Canyon.

    

Features

There aren’t any major feature differences between the Colorado and the Canyon. Both trucks offer all the important items such as infotainment systems, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a standard backup camera and other available upgrades (including forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control). In fact, the only differences in equipment between the Canyon and Colorado are slight: For its $900 premium over the Colorado, the Canyon adds some LED interior lights and standard rear-wheelhouse liners, both of which aren’t offered in the Chevy. As we mentioned, upscale versions of the Colorado also add extra aluminum interior trim and a few upgraded interior surfaces, such as door-panel padding and a stitched instrument panel.

    

Technology

While high-end Canyon models have a few interior-quality benefits over the Colorado, the two trucks offer very few substantive differences in terms of technology. The biggest is a full-color driver-information center located in the gauge cluster, which is only offered in the Canyon. Otherwise, the trucks are almost identical in their technological offerings, with both including a backup camera, a center touchscreen infotainment system, adaptive cruise control and forward-collision alert.

    

Safety

In terms of safety, the Canyon and Colorado are virtually identical. Both pickups come standard with all the necessities, including front- and rear-side airbags, automatic headlights, traction control, a backup camera and anti-lock brakes. The trucks also offer the same safety options, including forward-collision alert with automatic braking, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control. In short, both of these trucks are high on safety, but neither one offers a clear advantage over the other.

Conclusions

No matter how you look at it, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and the 2015 GMC Canyon are highly similar. However, they don’t look like identical twins as they did when both trucks were last sold in 2012.  The GMC Canyon looks like a baby Sierra while the Colorado looks more like a sport truck designed to compete with the Toyota Tacoma — which it is. The grille, front bumper, headlights and taillights are the main things that give each truck a somewhat unique look. The GMC’s LED lights up front are unique to the Canyon as well. The differences are less obvious on the inside, where the Canyon offers interior LED lighting, available instrument-panel stitching and a full-color driver information display. Otherwise, these two pickups are identical in all the major areas: equipment, features, safety technology and mechanical components. In the end, then, your decision about which truck to choose should largely depend on your personal preference and which one is available with a better deal.

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