GMC Canyon Denali: A Solid Bachelor Party Support Vehicle

Good friends, good times, and this diesel beast.

bySam Bendall|
GMC Reviews photo


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. 

Best Damn Support Truck

, There is nothing quite like going on a motorcycle journey and having a truck as a support vehicle. Purists will piss and moan but my buddies and I ride solo all year round so we have nothing to prove. This was a nice little luxury to have.  , Sam Bendall 

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. 

Provisions Stop

, We loaded up the cooler in Upland, California with enough meat to give us all heart attacks in 10 years. , Sam Bendall

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. 

A Peppy Mid-sized Truck

, I told Manuel to go fast. He laid his foot down with the force of Thor's hammer. The GMC Canyon Denali responded in kind. , Sam Bendall

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. 

Gotta Love That Diesel

, Power 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder with 181-hp and 369 pound-feet of torque proved to be a feisty little monster. It packed all the punch you'll need and was mighty satisfying., Sam Bendall

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. 

GMC Canyon Denali

, This truck is made to be out here in this desert environment, but it's just as happy in the city or on the interstate. , Sam Bendall

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. 

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