Ike Gauntlet Extreme Towing Test: 2016 GMC Canyon Duramax 2.8L [Video]

2016 GMC Canyon Duramax Ike

The wait is finally over. One of the most anticipated trucks of the year, the GMC Canyon Duramax with the 2.8L turbo-diesel, made it to the Rocky Mountain region to be put through the Ike Gauntlet extreme towing test. It may be obvious to some, surprising to others, but the truck did quite well. A big part of the truck’s success – besides its diesel – was its exhaust brake. The number of brake applications was the lowest of any truck so far this year. It also excelled in the uphill MPG category. For a full explanation of the scoring system, watch the video. We also had a chance to test the Canyon Duramax on our standard 100-mile towing test loop to see how the small 4-cylinder compares to a 5.0L V8 from Ford, watch that video here.

The Canyon’s Duramax diesel is mated to a Hydra-Matic 6L50 6-speed sutomatic and a standard 3.42 rear axle ration. The combination is good for an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined. The truck is available in SLE and SLT Crew Cab models only. Shoppers who want the turbo-diesel over the V6 will need to pony up an additional $3,700 for a comparably vehicle (that’s before supply and demand is taken into account… remember freshman economics?). In any case, our tester came in at just over $44k.

2016 GMC Canyon 4WD SLT Crew Cab Short Box

Engine: 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel I4

Power: 181 hp @ 3,400 rpm

Torque: 369 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Rear Axle Ratio: 3.42

Max Towing: 7,600 lbs.

Max Payload: 1,470 lbs.

GVWR: 6200 lbs.

EPA-estimated Fuel Economy: 20/29/23

As-tested Price: $44,365 (incl. destination)

Brian is an engineer by trade but his true passion is anything automotive. He wakes up every morning to search the web for the latest industry news. He enjoys taking his Tacoma 4×4 off-road in the mountains of Colorado where he spends his free time hiking, biking, and snowboarding with his wife and dogs near their Rocky Mountain home.