GMC introduced the Canyon pickup truck for the 2004 model year. Designed from the ground up, the Canyon is similar to Chevrolet's Colorado pickup. Both were larger than the previous compact models they replaced — the GMC Sonoma and Chevrolet S-10. Competitors include the Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma.
Available with rear- or four-wheel drive, Canyons come in regular cab, extended cab and Crew Cab body styles. After an increase in engine size and power for 2007, GMC has made few changes to the Canyon for 2008. Three new colors are offered, and all models have standard fog lamps. GM's OnStar communication system is also standard and comes with one free year of service.
A distinctive front end that features a prominent red GMC logo on the grille gives the Canyon a strong family resemblance to other GMC products. The grille has a chrome surround and dark smoke-gray crossbars. Overhangs are short, and GMC promotes the body's "chiseled" appearance. A sunroof is optional.
Built on a ladder-type frame, the Canyon uses rack-and-pinion steering. Rear-drive models have an independent front suspension and a live rear axle, while four-wheel-drive and High-Stance Off-Road models use a torsion bar front suspension. All Canyons have a front stabilizer bar.
Heavy-duty and off-road suspension packages are available. An optional ZQ8 sport suspension features a rear stabilizer bar, sport-tuned shocks and quick-ratio power steering. Canyons with the ZQ8 package also have 18-inch aluminum wheels and a lowered ride height. A 6-foot cargo box is standard, but Crew Cab models get a 5-foot box. Fifteen-inch aluminum wheels are standard.
For 2007, GM says the Canyon's interior trim was revised to include chrome accents. Regular cab pickups contain a standard 60/40-split bench seat upholstered in cloth or vinyl, but reclining bucket seats are available. Four-door extended cab trucks have two forward-facing rear seats with under-seat storage. Crew Cab models contain front bucket seats upholstered in cloth or leather, and a 60/40-split flat-folding backseat that holds three adults.
Options include heated leather front bucket seats, an in-dash six-CD changer, and an electrochromatic inside mirror with a compass and an outside temperature gauge. XM Satellite Radio is available.
Under the Hood
The Canyon can be equipped with a 2.9-liter Vortec four-cylinder that produces 185 horsepower and 190 pounds-feet of torque, or a 3.7-liter inline-five-cylinder that generates 242 hp and 242 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic transmission is available. Both engines operate with electronic throttle control, variable valve timing and coil-on-plug ignition.
Canyons equipped with four-wheel drive offer electronic shift-on-the-fly capability via a dashboard-mounted switch. A traction control system that includes a locking differential is optional. Canyons come with a choice of three rear axle ratios.
Four-wheel antilock brakes and a tire pressure monitoring system are standard. Side curtain airbags are optional.