A close up of the front end of a 2020 GMC Canyon is shown.

Build Your 2020 GMC Canyon SLE


The new 2020 GMC Canyon is a sophisticated and strong four-door pick-up truck. It is available in six different trim levels, starting from the most basic SL, base Canyon, SLE, All-Terrain, SLT, and eventually to the highest trim, the luxurious Denali. The SLE model offers a generous package of standard equipment for a starting MSRP of just $29,100. Upgrading to the SLE provides the option to get the 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine. This produces up to 181 horsepower and 369 pounds per foot of torque. Optional driver safety aids and high tech interior features make this model the top choice for expert reviewers at Edmunds. Let’s dive in and build one to see exactly what’s in store for the mid-level trim.

Choose Your Cab Length

The Crew Cab or Extended Cab are both available on the SLE. The Crew Cab comes in two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive. It’s offered as a short bed, which is five-feet and two-inches, or a long bed, which is six-feet and two-inches. Cargo volume on the Crew Cab ranges from 41.3-49.9 cubic feet. The maximum vehicle gross rating is 5,400-6,200 pounds. The max payload is estimated at 1,386-1,605 pounds.

The Extended Cab only has a long bed of six-feet and two-inches long. Its cargo volume is 49.9 cubic feet. The maximum gross vehicle rating is a bit more narrow at 5,400-5,900, as is the max payload, which ranges from 1,386-1,599 pounds. When deciding on your desired cab length, remember to also consider the amount of interior space you prefer to have. The Crew Cab provides 45 inches of legroom in the front and 35.8 inches of legroom in the rear. For the Extended Cab, you can expect 45 inches of legroom in the front but only 28.6 inches in the rear.

Compare Three Powerful Engines and Two Drivetrains

A side view of the 2020 GMC Canyon SLE that's parked on a dirt trail near a grassy field.

You can choose between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive for the SLE. Three different engine options exist, all using a dual overhead camshaft design and direct fuel injection. Variable valve timing optimizes both efficiency and power. The first option starts with the standard 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine for two-wheel-drive models. This is paired with a six-speed shiftable automatic transmission. It provides 20 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway. This fuel-efficient option produces 200 horsepower at 6300 rotations per minute. It also offers 191 pounds per foot of torque at 4400 rotations per minute.

In a Crew Cab SLE, you can opt for a 2.8-liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel four-cylinder inline engine. This upgrade is available regardless of which drivetrain you choose, however, it is not available with the Extended Cab variants. The 2.8-liter diesel produces 181 horsepower at 3400 rotations per minute and 369 pounds per foot of torque at 2,000 rotations per minute. It features an exhaust brake and a capped fuel fill. The diesel engine is only available on the SLE trim models and above.

Two-wheel-drive SLE models have a third option of upgrading to a 3.6-liter V6 engine. This comes as the standard engine in four-wheel-drive SLEs. It produces 308 horsepower at 6800 rotations per minute and 275 pounds per foot of torque at 4,000 rotations per minute. For maximum power, the 3.6 liter V6 certainly delivers on its promises.

Consider Packages and Accessories

A few desirable packages are available if you’d like to add upgrades to your SLE. The California Elevation Special Edition Package adds a black GMC emblem and black three-inch round assist steps. Front and rear splash guards and all-weather floor liners help protect your SLE from the mud, rain, and slush. If you just want to keep it simple with just a little bit of extra guarding against the elements, The Interior Protection Package simply adds all-weather floor mats and an all-weather cargo mat.

With the Performance Skid Package, you’ll get a front skid plate and mid skid plate. The Power Package brings a performance air intake system and cat-back performance exhaust. For some added sparkle and shine, the SLE Chrome Appearance Package redesigns the door handles, tailgate handle, mirror cap, and exhaust tip in chrome plating. A single-zone automatic climate control, remote vehicle starter system, and sliding rear window are provided as part of the SLE Convenience Package.

Choosing the Elevation Edition puts 18-inch multi-spoke aluminum wheels painted in satin graphite on your vehicle. Blackwall tires are offered as 265/60R18 all-season tires. A black grille is surrounded by a body color grille to give Elevated Edition trucks a polished exterior. The Elevated Edition offers additional exterior color choices, including Carbon Black Metallic, Dark Sky Metallic, Satin Steel Metallic, Red Quartz Tintcoat, Summit White, and Onyx Black.

Accessories you may want to add include the choice of upper tie-downs, which can be placed in thirteen locations. If you plan on transporting a lot of cargo in your Canyon, this useful accessory makes it easier to secure items of various shapes and sizes. Other cargo accessories include a cargo bed divider for organization, tiered storage cross rails, and assist steps for easy access when packing and unpacking your truck. For added ease when lowering and raising your tailgate, the EZ-Lift and lower tailgate with new remote locking features can help. Using an internal torsion bar, this allows your tailgate to be locked and unlocked using a key fob.

Enjoy the SLE’s Upgraded Interior Features

The front brown leather interior of a 2020 GMC Canyon SLE.

Instead of the 7-inch touchscreen that comes with SL and base Canyon, the SLE offers a larger standard 8-inch touchscreen and 4G LTE WiFi hotspot capability. A 4.2-inch diagonal color Driver Information Center comes standard on the SLE, along with a six-speaker audio system with Sirius XM Radio. Cruise control and USB ports for charging are also included in this high-tech cabin.

Available add-ons include Navigation, a Bose premium audio system, all-weather mats, and heated front row seats, and a heated steering wheel wrapped in leather. Several safety features also become available in the SLE model, with Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and Rear Park Assist technology available. Standard SLEs provide GMC’s Teen Driver safety program, Stabilitrak (electronic stability control system with traction control), and an HD rear vision camera. The SLE is capable of connecting to OnStar and GMC Connected Services for added security as you travel further from home.

What Are You Waiting For?

Designing your own 2020 GMC Canyon is like being a kid in a candy store. With so many great features to choose from, you can customize your vehicle precisely to suit your needs. The new year brought lots of exciting upgrades to this already popular truck. The remote-locking tailgate, big towing capacity, and comfortable ride make the 2020 Canyon your perfect companion on the road. Depending on the configuration, this truck can tow up to 7,700 pounds. Whether you’re driving back and forth from Home Depot or taking this truck on long, off-road adventures, the 2020 Canyon is well-equipped to rise to the challenge. Don’t wait, be sure to schedule your test drive before these trucks are all “picked-up” off the lot.