2016 GMC Canyon API

In the Mid-size Truck segment, the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado (2.5L) gasoline powered truck leads the vehicle segment in environmental performance, outperforming the new and highly anticipated diesel configuration for the Colorado and Canyon, along with the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. With the GM 2.8L diesel gaining only 2 MPG over the 2.5L gasoline engine, while adding 440 pounds to its curb weight, the diesel fuel economy gains are not sufficient to offset the higher emission factor for diesel fuel, with the diesel option producing 4% more CO2-equivalent emissions over the truck’s life-cycle.  

Further, ASG found that the cost premium diesel demands at the pump cancels out the fuel economy gains from an economic view, with diesel fuel costs over the first 5-years coming in slightly higher than the gasoline option. The diesel variant also costs $5,250 more at purchase than the comparably equipped 2.5L, leading to significant cost premium for the diesel option when assessed over the first 5-years of ownership.

With these facts in mind, the diesel does have advanced utility for truck buyers that require greater towing capabilities beyond the limits of the 2.5L. In this respect, buyers are wise to consider the 2.8L diesel over the 3.6L V6 engine, with the diesel delivering a 4% life-cycle CO2-e benefit. The diesel will also save over $500 in fuel costs over the V6 in the first 60-months of ownership, however the diesel still costs more than the V6 variant given the $3,730 price premium paid at purchase.

In 2016, it’s the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado (2.5L) that provide the BEST ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE in the Mid-size Truck category, according to ASG’s assessment.


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The Automotive Performance Index (API) applies statistical methods to demonstrate each vehicle rating in relative comparison. For example, the vehicle that performs highest in environment performance in a given class obtains a rating score of 100. Each vehicle in its class is then compared relative to the top-performing vehicle with a rating score reflecting the statistical difference in performance outcomes. A score of 91 translates to a 9% environmental performance deficit as compared to the top-performing vehicle.  

Due to the API’s relative vehicle rating method, vehicle class divisions were identified as a critical input - these class divisions are detailed here.

While the Automotive Performance Index is indeed an exhaustive list of vehicles to trim level detail, with each vehicle assessment reporting over 200 unique data outputs (the culmination of thousands of data inputs), ASG has taken additional measures to ease the burden of sorting through all data points and all vehicle assessments. We have developed key performance categories and sorted all vehicles in each class according to Environmental Performance, Social Performance, Economic Performance and All-Around Performance. The vehicle in each class with the best score in each unique category is named the performance award winner (i.e. Best Environmental Performance Award winner). The vehicle in each class that scores highest combined scores in Environmental Performance, Social Performance and Economic Performance is named the ASG Best All-Around Performance Award winner.

One step further, we also name the Best 5 All-Around Performance Award winners in each class to provide consumers with a concise product comparison guide.