The GMC Canyon was introduced for the 2004 model year and is a midsize pickup truck. It is closely related to the Chevy Colorado, as both are constructed on the GM's GMT355 platform along with the Isuzu D-Max and Hummer H3. Both vehicles are assembled at the GM's Shreveport assembly plant (LA), though the GMC Canyon parts and components are manufactured by different operating units of GM. The Canyon is currently available in three configurations: standard cab, extended-cab, and crew-cab. Designated to replace the compact Sonoma on GMC's roster, the Canyon was initially equipped with a 2.8L inline four-cylinder engine that produced approximately 175 horsepower or a 3.5 inline five-cylinder capable of 220 horsepower. In 2006, the ZQ8 package premiered with a sport-tuned suspension, 17" wheels, fender flares, and a color-matching grille (and bumpers). There is also the GMC Canyon Xtreme, which showcases 18" wheels, side skirts, fender flares, and a more distinctive grille. As for the cab configurations, the extended and crew-cab models, both have four doors but laid out differently. The crew-cab's doors are regular sized, displaying a 60/40 folding seat that can fit three passengers. Extended cab Canyons have two reverse-opening doors and rear jump-seats. The crew-cab's bed is also five-feet long, while the standard and extended feature a six-foot long bed.
There are three trim levels for the GMC Canyon: Work Truck, SLE, and SLT. The Work Truck provides base-level amenities including air conditioning, an AM/FM stereo, and cruise control. SLE versions of the Canyon offer an influx of improvements, such as an upgraded stereo. The top-level SLT kicks it up a notch with leather upholstery and power seats. There are also three different engines available for the Canyon. On the Work Truck and SLE, standard is a 2.9 inline four-cylinder rated at 185 horsepower mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. A 3.7L inline-five cylinder engine that pumps out 242 horsepower can be had as an option. The most powerful engine option is a 5.3L V8 that produces 300 horsepower. The GMC Canyon is also available in both two and four-wheel drive.
Safety features are a big part of the GMC Canyon. Frontal driver-side air bags, right-front passenger air bags, head-curtain air bags, and side-curtain air bags are located throughout the vehicle. The tech-savvy Passenger Sensing System detects if a passenger is occupying a seat, and is also used to protect smaller passengers. Daytime running lamps, the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Top Tethers for Children), OnStar, and Crisis Assist round out the security highlights available with the model. Since its arrival in 2004, the GMC Canyon has sold an average of 21, 997 units per year, a respectable number given the segment. The AAA Auto Guide has praised the Canyon, declaring that “highway cruising is pleasant, with larger interior dimensions, making the Canyon more competitive in the compact pickup field." In 2005, the Consumer Review Buyer's Guide reported that the Canyon is a “quiet and comfortable ride with plentiful features." Still a presence on the road, the GMC Canyon is a successful American light pickup truck that cannot be ignored.
GMC Canyon owners are a satisfied bunch. Why shouldn't they be? This is one truck that delivers on every attribute that is considered a "necessity." The GMC Canyon displays remarkable efficiency, flexing enough muscle to haul and tow while displaying the "oomph" to perform on the highway. On top of that, the GMC Canyon exhibits a stylish image which only adds to the already attractive demeanor of this machine. Truly one of the more impressive little monsters in the game.
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