Last weekend I had the great fortune of being whooshed away by a couple of friends, groomsmen, and my best man to the desert for my Bachelor party. Because half of my friends are motorcyclists and the other half are automotive junkies, naturally, a discussion about transportation made its way into the plans.
The Plan? Make the drive out as exciting as our stay in the desert.
The caravan consisted of three motorcycles and the GMC Canyon Denali. Since the Canyon Denali was delivered to my residence a couple days prior to the trip, I enjoyed running a couple of errands with the beast. Right from the get-go, I was impressed with the crew cab. Inside I completely forgot that I was sitting in a truck. All the conveniences I would expect in a luxury sedan were present: heated seats, fully loaded infotainment system, Bose audio, comfortable leather seats, and a responsive and powerful diesel engine.
In all fairness, it’s all the truck you will ever need.
For the next three days, the Canyon Denali Diesel played an instrumental role as our support vehicle, hauler, and the cab ride to and from Pappy and Harriett’s because, at that point in the trip, I was not operating any kind of motor vehicle.
Before embarked upon our journey out to the desert, we loaded the bed up with an electrically assisted Propella Bike, a massive ice chest, and camping gear for five guys. Myself, Erik and Steve rode the bikes and kept some essential gear with us, but once we were on the road, the Canyon was anything but cramped.
Don’t let the midsize classification fool you. The interior remained spacious as the majority of our crew was taller than 6 feet.
On the way to dinner one night, we packed the Canyon to the brim and someone mentioned that it was more comfortable than a large sedan.
What might be the best feature of the Canyon Denali? Well, probably its fuel economy—20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway—because we never had to add a drop of diesel to its tank. The darn thing averaged almost 40 mpg and that was with my best man, Manuel doing a couple high-speed power runs down a dirt road for photos.
The 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder with 181-horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque proved to be a feisty little monster that can tow up to 7,700 pounds, but it’s still cheap to run.
The cherry on top—just like the color of the truck—is that from behind the wheel, it’s eerily car-like. The truck doesn’t lumber about because, at 4,489 pounds, it weighs only 111 pounds more than the Lexus LC 500, a two-door luxury coupe.
I asked my buddy Manuel how he enjoyed driving the truck for three days and he said, “the GMC Canyon is a formidable workhorse that made me smile a bit wider for three delightful days.”
What a damn fine truck.