New & Used GMC Canyon: In Depth
2009 GMC Canyon Work TruckEnlarge Photo
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The GMC Canyon is a mid-size pickup truck that is no longer being produced, though has GM promised a new version will come "in the future" from a factory in Missouri.
As the replacement for the GMC Sonoma (and as the Chevrolet Colorado, for the S-10) the GMC Canyon sold well during its first few years on the market, outpacing many rivals, including the Ford Ranger and Nissan Frontier. Toyota's Tacoma has proven more serious competition, outselling the Canyon/Colorado, and making for an interesting fight in the segment. Priced from the mid-teens, the Canyon offers a lot of capability for a low price, but scores poorly in crash tests.
After most of a decade on the market, the GMC Canyon is aging but still competent, offering a setup to suit everyone from the trade worker to the commuter and weekend hauler, and even those looking for a sporty city truck. Mechanically the Canyon is solid, particularly its four-wheel-drive system but inside, reviewers have found problems with cheap materials and unrefined design. It's probably best suited to life as a work truck.
The Canyon is available, like most pickups, in a range of cab configurations. Regular cab, extended cab, and crew cab models are all available, and can be had in a range of trims, including Work Truck, SLE, and SLT, differentiated primarily on the basis of equipment and features, though the crew cab models get a shortened 5-foot, 1-inch bed in place of the standard six-foot bed. Powertrains available include a 2.9-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 185 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque, a 3.7-liter five-cylinder good for 242 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque, and a 5.3-liter V-8 rated for 300 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque.
The four-cylinder can be had with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic, while the five-cylinder and V-8 are limited to the four-speed automatic. The V-8 is only available on crew and extended cab models. Despite the smallish engines and mid-size positioning, the Canyon has fair towing and payload capacities, good for at least 1,200 pounds payload depending on the cab selected. Towing capacities are determined by the engine selected, with the automatic four-cylinder rated for up to 3,400 pounds gross trailer weight, while the manual maxes out at 2,400 pounds. The five-cylinder can tow up to 5,500 pounds, while the V-8 is rated at 6,000 pounds across the board.
A sportier version of the truck can be configured with the addition of the ZQ8 sport suspension, available on two-wheel-drive extended and crew cab models with either the V-8 or four-cylinder engines.
For 2012, the Canyon adds standard Bluetooth connectivity, among other minor detail changes and trim adjustments.
GM's announced plans to build a replacement for the identical Chevy Colorado, and has since confirmed a Canyon replacement is in the works, but hasn't given up any specifics on the new pickup truck as of yet.