General Motors is hoping to rekindle the passion for mid-size trucks in the U.S. with the 2015 GMC Canyon, but it also plans to show customers that they won’t have to sacrifice safety to get smaller, more efficient trucks. On the Canyon (and presumably its twin the Chevrolet Colorado), the space-saving rear seats are now able to accommodate child seats, making it an ideal small-family vehicle thanks to a low-tech solution.

While the extended-cab GMC Canyon models should provide far more rear-passenger comfort than the awkwardly undersized rear jump seats found in many small trucks over the last 30 years, there still wasn’t enough room to safely install a child seat in the back seat based on recommendations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). To combat this problem, GM came up with a surprisingly simple fix.

As demonstrated in the video (and shown in the image here), it designed the rear seat headrests to detach and be placed on the leading edge of the seat bottom, which in turn provided adequate support for the child seat. In this example, the Canyon is shown with a forward-facing child seat in place, but it isn’t clear if a rear-facing seat would work as well.

GM also incorporated some high-tech safety features into its mid-size trucks that will go on sale this fall. Although pricing and availability have yet to be announced, the Canyon can be equipped with a Driver Alert Package that includes lane-departure warnings and forward-collision alerts. Being almost a decade newer than the current competitors left in the segment, it’s no wonder that GM is able to tout these features as segment-exclusive.


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