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.

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The Hyundai Santa Cruz will debut next week but ahead of that, the design department is giving a closer look at the truck in a new video.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

We'll see the Hyundai Santa Cruz in full for the first time when it debuts on April 15 but ahead of time, Hyundai is setting the stage for expectations with the model. To help with that, the company released a video today featuring the truck's design manager discussing the inspiration for the utility vehicle.

The quick one-minute video is hosted by Brad Arnold, design manager at Hyundai North America. The Southern California native is the leader of the team that created the Santa Cruz, a project that began years ago. He's joined in the video by Senon Franco, the lead designer at Hyundai North America.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
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As Arnold explains in the video, the design of the Santa Cruz started with a simple premise: "this is not a typical truck". Based on how Arnold describes the capabilities of the truck, that sounds true. It is meant to "thrive in dense urban environments and the open outdoors". One could argue that no full-size truck on the market today does that. Neither do most of the midsize models, though their sizing is better for that landscape.

Arnold says that the Santa Cruz is "small in size", a call that serves to remind viewers that the Santa Cruz isn't a big truck. It's more similar in size to the forthcoming Ford Maverick, a small truck that slots below the Ranger in Ford's lineup.

However, the company isn't even calling it a truck. The new model is being referred to as the Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle. This sounds a lot like how Kia is referring to the new generation of its Carnival minivan as a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

Arnold says that the design is meant to make the Santa Cruz not look like a truck. Rather, it's supposed to look "like a Santa Cruz". Part of that includes the front end, which looks like a carryover from the fascia of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson.

Among the other secrets Hyundai is giving away ahead of the product's reveal is that there will be more than one "efficient" powertrain, a flexible bed, "cutting-edge" connectivity, and all-wheel drive.

Watch the video for yourself below.

Design Inspiration | 2022 Santa Cruz | Hyundai www.youtube.com

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The 2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST gives buyers more performance at a lower price.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Explorer lineup is getting a three-model enhancement for the 2021 model year. The Explorer Enthusiast ST, Platinum, and Platinum Hybrid will be making their way to dealership lots later this year in a targeted attempt to identify customer desires.

The new models join the just-announced 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch, also a new addition.

2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST

The Enthusiast ST grade takes a lot of what customers like about the existing Explorer ST and delivers it at a far cheaper price. The Enthusiast ST has a starting MSRP of $48,750 as opposed to the ST, which starts at $52,830.

Setting it apart from there Explorers is the Enthusiast ST's quad chrome exhaust tips, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets, and sideview mirrors with ST projection lamps.

The new model comes equipped with the same 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine that's in the Explorer ST that churns out 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission completes the powertrain.

Ford has given the model a sport-tuned suspension and a top track speed of 143 mph. A standard Class III Trailer Tow Package provides towing capability of up to 5,600 pounds.

The cabin of the Enthusiast ST is complete with leather seating surfaces, unique Miko micro-perforated inserts, and City Silver accent stitching with the ST logo. There's a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, heated sport-style steering wheel with the ST logo, and paddle shifters.

The Explorer Enthusiast ST also features standard Ford Co-Pilot360 technology.

2021 Ford Explorer Platinum

2021 Ford Explorer Plat Ford has two new Platinum models coming to a dealership near you.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

2021 Ford Explorer Plat

The new Explorer Platinum is powered by a 3.0-liter engine and comes standard with rear-wheel drive. Four-when drive is available.

To make the Platinum version worthy of its upscale price tag, its packaging includes door handles with satin aluminum insert, liftgate appliqué, lower bodyside cladding insert, roof-rack side rails, a twin-panel moonroof, and a unique grille with satin aluminum finish. Its cabin is fitted with leather seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dashboard, door rollovers, and door and front console armrests.

The 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum has a starting MSRP of $52,480. The hybrid version of that model starts at $53,085.

All the models are currently available for order via Ford dealerships. Deliveries are expected to begin this summer.

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