Although many midsize truck owners use their vehicles to pull double-duty as a work tool and a family hauler, few extended cab trucks in the segment offer a rear jump seat that is suitable for a child’s car seat. Child seat manufacturers recommend that at least 80 percent of seat’s base should fit on the seat cushion, but some midsize trucks simply don’t have enough rear seat room to meet that requirement.
The Canyon technically falls into the category, but GMC has found a clever way to circumvent the issue. GMC engineers developed a headrest that can be removed from the rear seat and inserted into the seat cushion bottom, allowing the Canyon to meet the 80 percent recommendation.
“It’s an elegant solution that makes efficient use of the limited space in the rear seat in this type of vehicle, by allowing us to adapt the seat cushion length for child restraint installation,” said Eduardo Bugelli, safety performance team lead. “The additional seat cushion length provides more support to the child restraint, which helps to reduce the rotation and the risk of injury in a crash.”
The seat cushion design is patent-pending.
The Canyon should also prove safe for other passengers as well as it will be the first midsize truck to offer Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning technology.
The 2015 GMC Canyon will enter production this fall. GM will also produce a Chevy-badged version of the truck at its Wentzville, Missouri, plant – called the Colorado – but the automaker hasn’t confirmed if that vehicle will also use the unique headrest design.