2009 GMC Canyon Review
This review was written when the 2009 GMC Canyon was new.
The Canyon delivers a nice ride and exterior, and with a new V8 engine, finally offers as much power as its competitors.
The 2009 GMC Canyon is easy to overlook -- competitors offer nicer interiors and it's a virtual twin of the Chevrolet Colorado. However, the Canyon is a comfortable compact truck and, on the whole, the automotive press likes the Canyon for work or play. Consumer Guide says, "GMC's Canyon, like the similar Chevrolet Colorado, focuses on the light-duty noncommercial user--assuming heavy haulers will move up to the large Sierra. Given that mission, these are useful, well-balanced small trucks."
But despite the overall praise, the Canyon is also seen as an also-ran when compared to Japanese rivals. This is due in large part to its underwhelming interior and high price. In fact, at higher trim levels, the Canyon costs about as much as larger GMC trucks. The Detroit News notes the base GMC Sierra and the Canyon are virtually the same price. "Against that backdrop, the two-wheel-drive Canyon Crew Cab SLE doesn't look like a great value." Adding to this sentiment, Car and Driver calls the sticker price "a shocker," saying, "I'd be more forgiving if there were some neat touches," but "I'd need something more than just increased agility to keep me out of a full-size truck." If you're shopping for a compact pickup, also check out the Nissan Frontier or Toyota Tacoma.
The Canyon is available as a regular cab model, an extended cab, or as a crew cab. Buyers can chose between a four- five- or eight-cylinder engine. The V8 is new for 2009, as is standard satellite radio, StabiliTrak and a bedliner.
General Motors, GMC's parent company, has recently declared bankruptcy. While the company says that business should continue as usual, the bankruptcy could add a layer of uncertainty for GM buyers. However, those who are able to stomach the uncertainty may be able to get a great deal on a new GMC. Check out What GM's Bankruptcy Means for You to answer any questions you have before buying.
- "If you like the clean yet bold look of GMC pickup design, but want it in a smaller package that gets better fuel economy, check out the 2009 GMC Canyon." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "While a new V8 engine option addresses past performance deficiencies, the 2009 GMC Canyon's passenger comfort and overall fit and finish still don't measure up to those of Japanese rivals." -- Edmunds
- "The Canyon was fun to drive and it felt zippier than a large pickup. ... It also manages to look rugged -- though not quite ready for the lumberyard parking lot." -- Wall Street Journal
- "The GMC Canyon is ideal for people who need a real pickup but don't need or want the size and cost of a full-size truck." -- New Car Test Drive