2012 GMC Canyon

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2012 GMC Canyon
2012 GMC Canyon

Key specs

Base trim shown


The good:

  • 300-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 option
  • Low entry-level price
  • Four available trims suit a variety of needs from work to off-road
  • Full 6-foot bed with taller bed sides

The bad:

  • Interior quality
  • Very small jump seats in extended-cab trucks

4 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2012 GMC Canyon trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Bodyguard Package includes molded splash guards and bed rail protection
  • Available chrome fuel door and exhaust tip
  • Bluetooth connectivity added to stereo
  • Automatic rear locking differential standard on 4WD and crew cabs

2012 GMC Canyon review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview

The GMC Canyon is almost identical to the Chevrolet Colorado, sharing the same platform but adding some style and trim differences that appeal to those who want a little more flash in their midsize pickup truck.

Available in Work Truck, SLE, SLT and Z71 off-road models, as well as a variety of cab styles, there’s a Canyon to fit just about every need. While the Canyon is smaller than its Sierra full-size siblings, it can still seat up to six people in certain configurations. Its cargo capacity is impressive, with a 6-foot-1-inch bed on regular- and extended-cab models and a 5-foot-1-inch bed on crew-cab trucks.

New for 2012
The Canyon sees only some minor changes for 2012. A Bodyguard Package provides bed rail covers and molded splash guards, and an available Chrome Accessory Package includes a chrome exhaust tip and fuel door. For off-road enthusiasts, four-wheel-drive models come with an automatic rear locking differential, which is also standard on crew-cab models.

While there’s lots of news about the upcoming redesigned Chevy Colorado, the Canyon hasn’t strayed from its current platform. The Canyon’s exterior still offers more chrome and tasteful accents that distinguish this truck as a premium offering. As of publication, there’s no word whether the 2013 Canyon will share the new Colorado’s platform, but it’s probable, and GMC will likely add additional trim and accents. Exterior features include: 

  • Two-position tailgate
  • Sixteen-, 17- or 18-inch wheels

With a variety of interior packages, the Canyon offers something for everyone. The Work Truck Package isn’t all that bland, as it comes standard with chrome door handle bezels, air conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity. Both WT and SLE1 interiors come with cloth seats, but only the SLT offers leather upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a six-way power-adjustable front-passenger seat and front seat heaters.

All models come standard with a tilt steering wheel and a leather-wrapped rim. A rear sliding window is only on SLE2 and SLT trims. Interior features include:

  • Standard cruise control
  • Standard AM/FM stereo; CD stereo available
  • Available satellite radio

Under the Hood
The Canyon is available with a choice of three engines, and rear- and four-wheel-drive versions are available. Mechanical features include:

  • Base 185-horsepower, 2.9-liter four-cylinder makes 190 pounds-feet of torque
  • Available 242-hp, 3.7-liter inline-five-cylinder makes 242 pounds-feet of torque
  • Available 300-hp, 5.3-liter V-8 makes 320 pounds-feet of torque
  • Standard five-speed manual transmission on four-cylinder models
  • Four-speed automatic transmission is standard with the five-cylinder and V-8, and available with the four-cylinder engine

Standard safety features include:

  • Side curtain airbags
  • Antilock brakes
  • Electronic stability system


Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.3
  • Interior design 3.9
  • Performance 4.3
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.5
  • Reliability 4.7

Most recent consumer reviews


2012 GMC Canyon inline 5

Well I bought a 1year old 2012 4 door with the inline 5 it had just about 16k on the dash when I took it home and this truck has been worth every penny that I spent in it . I've had No major issues with it other than I had to put a water pump on it and basic maintenance. It's a smaller truck, but I can put my whole family in it with all of my grandsons toys and his car seat and we all are comfy. The truck cleans up really nice and I still get occasional compliments on how nice it Looks So if your looking for a smaller truck with a smaller price tag then give the ol' Canyon a shot.


A fine 'no frills to break' truck

Ok Readers looking for a used GMC Canyon truck, read on. I bought this 04 door SLE model used. It has a towing package and a chrome upgrade, and the odd 05 cylinder engine. I have had it 04 years, and just now replaced the traction control components. That is all the 'big work' of repairs its needed. Its a good size, very useful, and rides well. It does seem to 'list to port' a bit on level ground, reasons unknown, but common for the brand. I have ZERO complaints of it. It is far and away better than the Scion Xb I used to drive!


Great size for our needs

Great size and met our needs for hauling a trailer. Perfect for our family and out door sports events. Good on gas mileage and east to drive

See all 16 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by GMC
New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
36 months/36,000 miles
60 months/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance
60 months/100,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)
6 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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