Now that GMC has provided the previously optional side-curtain airbags as standard on all 2010 Canyon models, the new Canyon qualifies as one of the safest small trucks on the market, especially with its StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, which is also included across the line as a standard feature.
The GMC Canyon earns four stars for driver-side impact protection and another perfect five-star rating for passenger-side impact protection in crash tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA also reports that four-door models achieve a perfect five-star rating in front impact tests, while two-door models get four out of five stars in the same category.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) supports NHTSA’s findings, at least in terms of front impacts, where the GMC Canyon earns the Institute's highest possible rating, "good," in frontal offset impact tests. The ratings between the two agencies differ, however, when it comes to side impact protection. Whereas the GMC Canyons tested by NHTSA had the previously optional side-impact airbags installed, and thus earned high ratings, the IIHS versions did not and therefore were slapped with a "poor" rating in side impact tests. GMC has addressed the "poor" side impact rating given by the IIHS by making these side-curtain airbags standard across the model range.
Car and Driver also likes that "one year's OnStar coverage"—which might help you more quickly locate assistance if you have an accident or a breakdown—is included on all GMC Canyons.