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HomeClassic Car3 Quick Reviews: Canyon, Prius, Trax | The Daily Drive

3 Quick Reviews: Canyon, Prius, Trax | The Daily Drive

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A quick look at three exciting new rides.

2023 GMC Canyon AT4, Canyon, Prius, Trax
2023 GMC Canyon AT4

For the most part, Consumer Guide evaluates vehicles loaned to us by auto manufacturers. Those cars and crossovers are driven to and from the home office, and generally spend a week or two in our care. We’ve long regarded this as the best way to truly live with a vehicle, and use it in the same manner as consumers eventually will.

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That said, there is value in spending time with more vehicles, even if for just short periods of time. Enter the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), which produces several events annually for the working media,  at which dozens of vehicles are provided for quick, back-to-back evaluations. The value of this exposure cannot be overstated.

The Editors of Consumer Guide recently spent time at the MAMA’s Favorites Fall Fest held in the western suburbs of Chicago. Among the many vehicles available for brief evaluation, three in particular caught the attention of this author. I share my impressions here:

3 Quick Reviews: Canyon, Prius, Trax

 

2023 GMC Canyon AT4

2023 GMC Colorado AT4
2023 GMC Canyon AT4

Truckmaker GMC has struck a compelling rugged-luxury tone with its off-road oriented AT4 trim level. The AT4 is new to the Canyon, which was redesigned for the 2023 model year. We took a short drive in the Canyon AT4 seen here, and couldn’t help wanting to be driving through a blizzard on our way to a wine tasting. The leather-lined cabin is classy and man-cave rugged looking, and—and this is important to us—the Bose 7-speaker audio system is very good.

New for 2023 is 310-horsepower, 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine which cranks out a stout 430 pound-feet of torque. The engine quakes a bit at idle, but serves up robust acceleration from a stop, and sounds sporty doing so. Even in AT4 trim the Canyon ride is compliant, though there is a fair amount of unwanted up-and-down motion over bumpier surfaces.

What’s Cool: Man-cave classy, lots of power

What’s not: Canyon gets pricey in upper trim levels

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2024 Chevrolet Trax Activ

2024 Chevrolet Trax Activ
2024 Chevrolet Trax Activ

Though the Trax names lives on, the vehicle it’s attached to is, unlike the previous generation, a revelation of space efficiency, refinement, and value. Most impressive is the space. The subcompact 2024 Trax offers up ample room for four adults, and a healthy amount of cargo, too. Plus, the cabin, though not actually luxurious, is nicely designed and finished, and comes off looking like that of a much more expensive vehicle.

The new Trax is also nice to drive. The turbocharged 3-cylinder engine serves up plenty of power, and is unexpectedly smooth. The exhaust note is sporty, too. The high-value Trax starts at just $21,495 including destination. The rugged-looking Activ seen here—which Chevrolet describes as “muscular and monochromatic”—starts at $26,090.

What’s cool: Roomy, strong dollar value, surprising refinement

What’s not: Not available with AWD

Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast, Episode 167: Surprising Redesigned Chevrolet Trax, Automotive Subscription Services

 

2023 Toyota Prius Limited

2023 Toyota Prius Limited
2023 Toyota Prius Limited

Toyota threw us a curve ball for 2023. Not only did the Japanese maker completely redesign its iconic hybrid gas sipper, it also made the car good looking. Arguably sexy, even. Here’s the good news: The fifth-generation Prius is the best yet.

Prius is now a surprisingly zippy affair, with a classy cabin and refined road manners. We suggest that shoppers considering a Honda Civic or Mazda 3 also give Prius a look. One piece of bad news: The rakish new roofline means there’s a little less rear headroom than we’d like.

What’s cool: Fun to drive, still returns the big mileage numbers

What’s not: Limited rear-seat headroom

Note: Vehicles photographed at the Science of Spirituality International Meditation Center in Lisle, Illinois.

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Canyon, Prius, Trax Gallery

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