Big updates, mid-size trucks: Canyon, Colorado twins receive new V-6 for 2017

Were you randomly holding out for a new V-6 and a transmission with more gears? If so, today's your lucky day.

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Not all GMC Canyons will be as sparkly as the top-trim Canyon Denali seen here.

GMC

You don't typically see cars with new engines until it's time for a new generation or a serious mid-lifecycle refresh. General Motors is bucking that trend this week with its two midsize pickup trucks, the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado and 2017 GMC Canyon.

Despite being out for just two model years, both midsize pickups are on the receiving end of a big powertrain update. The pair's 3.6-liter V-6 engine is gone, and in its place is...a 3.6-liter V-6 engine. But, rest assured, it's a new one, offering improved variable valve timing and direct injection, and it will now shut off two cylinders under light load to improve fuel economy.

All those changes add a bit to output, as well. Power is up to 308 horsepower (formerly 305), and torque is up to 275 pound-feet (formerly 269). That's not enough to change its tow rating, and fuel economy is believed to be the same. But, in conjunction with a new eight-speed transmission, Chevrolet says the additional performance will be quite apparent, whether the bed is laden or unladen.

There's no word yet on what this will do to pricing. Currently, a bare-bones, crew cab Colorado V6 retails for about $27,000, and the GMC equivalent will set you back just a few hundred bucks more than that. The 2017 models hit dealerships this fall, so we'll know for sure in just a couple months' time.