New Model News

Refreshed 2021 GMC Canyon adds AT4 trim, improves Denali grade

The new GMC Canyon AT4 carries over many of the equipment and design attributes of the GMC Sierra AT4.

Photo courtesy of GMC

GMC is upping its game at just the right time. As the midsize truck segment gets more competitive with the addition of new Jeep, Honda, and Ford trucks to the roster, the Detroit-based automaker is moving to to make the 2021 GMC Canyon more off-road worthy and more premium.

The first iteration of the GMC Canyon AT4 trim level brings the type of equipment improvements and styling that are featured on the GMC Sierra and Sierra HD AT4 grade. Designed for active lifestyle buyers, the model has a bold exterior design with dark chrome finishes, a larger grille, and red recovery hooks. Its 17-inch aluminum wheels are wrapped in 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTec tires. The truck has an off-road tuned suspension with the Advanced Hill Descent Control System. Its four-wheel drive system has an Eaton G80 Rear Automatic Locking Differential while the transfer case skid plate provides additional protection.

2021 GMC Canyon AT4 The Canyon AT4 is meant for buyers with an active lifestyle. Photo courtesy of GMC

The Canyon AT4's cabin is outfitted with unique detailing including Kalahari stitching and AT4 headrest embroidery.

"The new 2021 Canyon AT4 broadens the appeal to midsize truck customers who live an active lifestyle," said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC. "Much like the Sierra AT4 has attracted new customers from outside GMC, the Canyon AT4 will attract outdoor enthusiasts looking for a premium midsize truck to GMC with the capability, technology and refinement they've come to expect."

The 2021 GMC Canyon Denali gets 5-inch chrome assist steps, signature chrome accents, and Denali-exclusive 20-inch Diamond Cut aluminum wheels as well as an interior filled with open-pore ash wood trim, aluminum accents, and unique stitching. The model has standard heated and ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

2021 GMC Canyon AT4 The interior of the AT4 features unique stitching on headrests. Photo courtesy of GMC

"Denali represents GMC's bold design philosophy and these changes further elevate the Canyon from the mainstream competition, while delivering a modern look for the customer," said Holt Ware, director of exterior design, GMC. "It features a more distinctive and sophisticated design that has become synonymous with Denali."

Both models are powered by a standard 308 horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine. A 2.8-liter diesel engine is available and delivers 369 pound-feet of torque.

The 2021 GMC Canyon is built at GM's Wentzville Assembly Center in Wentzville, Missouri and will be available later this year. Pricing will be announced closer to the model's on-sale date.

Henrik Fisker, the CEO of Fisker, accidentally tweeted a picture of Ann electric pickup truck, or did he?

Photo courtesy of Henrik Fisker, Twitter

Henrik Fisker may rue the day he "accidentally" tweeted, then quickly deleted, a teaser for what AutomotiveMap can only assume is a forthcoming electric truck. Or, he may not. The CEO of Fisker Inc. is known for his showmanship and the company is facing stiff competition for its new Ocean SUV in an electric vehicle market that is heating up.

What better way to stir up some publicity than "accidentally" tweeting an image of a possible forthcoming product?!

2021 Fisker Ocean SUV EV 2022 Fisker Ocean The Fisker Ocean SUV was recently revealed during CES in Las Vegas.Photo courtesy of Fisker Inc.

Fisker's tweet included a image of what appears to be a slightly different take on the design of the Fisker Ocean SUV with the word "Alaska" across the backside, and the words "Electric pickup truck!"

What the image didn't look like was a pickup truck. Well, at first glance.

Turn up the brightness on your screen and take a closer look to see the differentiation between the cab and bed, as well as beefy tires. Still, it doesn't have traditional pickup styling, if the rendering is to be believed.

It looks like the Fisker Alaska pickup truck would have dimensions more similar to the forthcoming Hyundai Santa Cruz, which the company considers to be more of utility truck than a typical pickup.

As a startup, it's likely that Fisker would be looking for ways to keep costs down while delivering a good product. Because of this, it's probable that any Fisker truck would be built on the same platform as the Fisker Ocean. That could mean that any pickup would be midsize rather than full-size.

In the next three years, the electric pickup truck market is looking to explode with promise. Ford has promised an electric F-150. General Motors is reviving the Hummer brand for an all-electric pickup truck under the GMC nameplate. Rivian, Tesla, and Nikola have all recently thrown their hats in the ring as well.

The Hyundai Nexo is noted for its well-designed headlights.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has announced its results from the latest round of testing. Five vehicles came out on top earning the highest headlight score across all trim levels.

How does IIHS test? According to their website:

IIHS engineers measure the reach of a vehicle's headlights as the vehicle travels straight and on curves. Sensors on the track measure how far from the vehicle the light extends with an intensity of at least 5 lux. A lux is a unit of illuminance, or the amount of light falling on a surface. For comparison, a full moon on a cloudless night illuminates the ground below to about 1 lux.

Both low beams and high beams are measured on five approaches, shown in the graphic below:
- Straightaway
- Gradual left curve (800-foot radius)
- Gradual right curve (800-foot radius)
- Sharp left curve (500-foot radius)
- Sharp right curve (500-foot radius)

On each approach, visibility measurements are taken on the right edge of the roadway. On the curves, measurements also are taken on the left edge of the travel lane. On the straightaway, the second measurement is taken at a point corresponding to the left edge of a two-lane road. This allows the engineers to gauge the illumination on both the right and left side of a straightaway, which are typically quite different. With most headlights, there is a steep drop-off in light on the left side of a straight road in order to prevent glare to oncoming vehicles.

Glare for oncoming vehicles is also measured from low beams in each scenario. Engineers record the percentage by which it exceeds a set threshold.

Headlights are tested as received from the dealer. Although many headlight problems could be resolved by adjusting the aim of the lamps, IIHS doesn't change headlight aim. Few vehicle owners adjust the vertical aim of their headlights, so leaving the aim the way it was set at the factory makes the testing more realistic. Horizontal aim also is important, but in most vehicles it can't be changed after the initial factory setting.

Readings are taken 10 inches from the ground for visibility and 3 feet, 7 inches from the ground for glare.

IIHS testers use a system of demerits to rate the headlights. Low beams are weighted more heavily than high beams. Straighway readings are weighted more heavily than curved ratings because crashes happen most often on straight roads. Vehicles equipped with high-beam assist get their low beam demerits reduced.

All the vehicles on this list earned a perfect "Good" score in IIHS headlight testing across all trim levels.

2020 Honda Insight

2020 Honda Insight

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The 2020 Honda Insight comes standard with multi-element LED headlights. The Insight starts at $22,930.

Hyundai Nexo

2020 Hyundai Nexo

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2020 Hyundai Nexo comes standard with LED headlights, daytime running lights, and taillights. Automatic headlights are also standard. Hyundai prices the Nexo starting at $58,735.

Lexus NX

2019 Lexus NX

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Lexus has equipped the 2020 Lexus NX with standard automatic headlights. Premium triple-beam LED headlights and enhanced LED daytime running lights with integrated turn indicators are available. The Lexus NX starts at $36,870.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America

The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid comes standard with LED steering responsive headlights and LED fog lights. The Crosstrek Hybrid starts at $35,145.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Photo courtesy of Tesla

The Tesla Model 3 starts at $39,990 and comes standard with LED headlights and taillights. Automatic high beams are standard and fog lights are available.