The GMC Canyon is a twin to the Chevrolet Colorado. The GMC versions are priced slightly higher than the Chevys, and that gets buyers more-contemporary styling and a refined interior. Mechanically, and in terms of feature availability, there are no differences between the two trucks. It’s all in the appearance and perception.
The Canyon returns with three cab styles and three trim levels: WT, SLE and SLT.
For businesses and contractors looking for a customized, small work truck, the Canyon can be ordered in a chassis-cab configuration that can be upfitted by the dealer with panel van-style or “midbox” storage solutions.
There are only marginal changes for the 2011 GMC Canyon, including the availability of the latest generation of OnStar — GM’s in-truck information and telecommunications service — Bluetooth wireless cell phone integration and redesigned front-seat headrests.
The Canyon is saddled with an angular headlight brow, borrowed from the Colorado, that forces a more trapezoidal execution of the grille than do standard GMC truckfront ends. Other GMC trucks, including the updated Sierra, have the more familiar rectangular-oval grille.
The Canyon still sports an athletic silhouette. Changes in recent years include additional body-colored moldings, bezels and surrounds to add a more sporty appearance to some trim levels. A chrome package is also available and includes a chrome fuel door and exhaust tip.
Exterior features include:
- Z71 suspension has taller ride height than previous models
- New colors include Merlot Jewel Metallic, Gray Green Metallic and Pure Silver Metallic
- ZQ8 Sport Suspension Package available on two-wheel-drive extended-cab and crew-cab SLE and SLT
The Canyon has a hint of cosmopolitan features inside, but the overall ambience suffers from a plastic overload. All the gauges and controls are in the right place, and the truck shines in the utility and functionality categories. Wide, comfortable front seats fit nicely in the spacious cab, but the rear jump seats in the extended cab are for kids only.
Interior features include:
- Available under-seat storage
- Leather seating in crew-cab SLT
- Available moonroof in crew cab, extended cab
- Available sliding rear window
Mechanical features include:
- 185-horsepower, 2.9-liter inline-four-cylinder with aluminum block and cylinder head, dual overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder that makes 190 pounds-feet of torque
- 242-hp, 3.7-liter inline-five-cylinder with aluminum block and cylinder head and dual overhead camshafts that makes 242 pounds-feet of torque
- 300-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 with aluminum block and cylinder head and two valves per cylinder that makes 320 pounds-feet of torque; variable valve timing is new for 2010, primarily for improved emissions
- Five-speed manual (standard on four-cylinder models)
- Four-speed automatic (standard on inline-five-cylinder and V-8, optional on four-cylinder models)
GM has improved the Canyon’s safety credentials with standard side curtain airbags. Stability and traction control are also standard. GM’s electronic stability system uses electronic brake controls to help the driver maintain control of the vehicle in certain situations.
Safety features include:
- Crash sensor sends GPS signal
- Front seat belt pretensioners
Maximum gross vehicle weight rating: 5,300 pounds (extended cab and crew cab), 5,500 pounds (5.3-liter and Z71 or Z85 4×4)
Maximum payload capacity: 1,422 pounds (4×2 regular cab)
Maximum towing capacity: 6,000 pounds (extended cab and crew cab V-8)
Axle ratio: 3.73:1 (all five-speed manual, four- and five-cylinder engines); 3.42:1, 3.73:1, 4.10:1 (V-8)
4×2 minimum ground clearance: 7.7 inches (Z85), 6.6 inches (ZQ8), 11.4 inches (Z71)
4×4 minimum ground clearance: 10.2 inches (Z85), 11.4 inches (Z71)
Cargo floor length: 72.8 inches (regular and extended cab), 61.1 inches (crew cab)
Cargo floor width: 57.2 inches
Cargo floor width at wheel well: 42.6 inches
Cargo bed depth: 18.6 inches