General Motors arguably rolled the dice by reentering the midsize truck segment last year. In a time when the segment was all but dead with long-in-the-tooth players like the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma, GM decided to disrupt it with an all-new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Despite critics, the gamble appears to have paid off with the two (no-so) little trucks gaining much fanfare, and selling over 8,000 units in November alone. GM’s brevity with this decision needs expanded to include a new GMC SUV based on the same chassis.
Based on what is referred to internally as the GMT-700 architecture, the Colorado and Canyon are essentially scaled down versions of the half-ton pickups. They’re proper body-on-frame design gives them true truck credibility, while still maintaining remarkable efficiency with the optional Duramax 2.8-liter diesel that churns out up to 31 mpg on the highway. Having spent quite a bit of time with the gas versions of these pickups, it’s very obvious why they’re selling so well that GM is struggling to keep up with demand.
Where things get interesting is in the fact that the GMT-700 chassis has already generated an SUV at GM. In several Asian markets the Chevrolet Trailblazer is already sold off of this Colorado chassis. In fact, the Trailblazer is even powered by the Duramax in several markets, such as Thailand.
Compounding matters here is the fact that the GMC brand is arguably the only consistent success within GM’s North American operations. It’s the only brand that has maintained the same marketing message (“Professional Grade”) for many years, it’s also the only brand that has managed to consistently push itself up-market with product lines like Sierra and Yukon Denali. In other words, GMC deserves some more exclusivity for being the GM brand that has its collective s*** together.
The fact that national gas prices are currently at $1.99 and dropping like a rock also aid in this decision. GM knows how to do crossovers, but do they remember how to do SUV’s that aren’t the size of homes?
So let’s see the Canyon joined with a new body-on-frame Envoy. The new Envoy could be a proper SUV that competes with the likes of the Toyota 4Runner, and maybe even a two-door off-roader to compete with the Jeep Wrangler and rumored Ford Bronco. This new Envoy would need gas and diesel power with no lack of features and technology. Oh, and be the pinnacle of GMC design, which is apparently one of the main reasons people buy the Sierra over the corresponding Chevrolet Silverado.