The 2009 GMC Canyon 2WD is GMC's midsize pickup. It was originally released in the 2004 model year as a replacement for the Sonoma. First cousin to the Chevrolet Colorado and competitor to the Dodge Dakota, Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma, it was developed in cooperation with Isuzu and in 2005 Isuzu began selling a version called the i-Series. Canyon was due a major facelift for 2009 but, for some reason, that plan was scrapped and there are no major changes to the looks of the new model.
The Canyon comes with three engine choices. There is a 2.9 liter 185 horsepower I4 and, new for this year, a 300 horsepower 5.3 liter V8. The middle engine is the rather unusual 3.7 liter 242 horsepower I5. All three come with a four-speed automatic transmission but, on the I4 engine, only, you can also get a five-speed manual. The V8 is not available in the regular cab and the I4 is not available in the crew cab.
Fuel efficiency depends on the engine, of course. The I4 gives eighteen miles per gallon in the city and twenty-four miles per gallon on the highway, which is quite respectable for the size of vehicle it is pulling. Even more impressive is the I5, which delivers 30% more horsepower for only one less mile per gallon, highway or city. The V8 numbers are fifteen miles per gallon city and twenty-one miles per gallon highway, also not terrible.
The Canyon comes in regular, extended and crew cab. They claim seating for three, five and six respectively, but don't do it if you don't have to. For comfortable riding, two adults in the regular and extended cab and four adults in the crew cab makes more sense. Children, of course, could take up some of the additional seating space in comfort.
The regular and extended cabs come with a six-foot bed, while the crew cab comes with a five-foot bed to compensate for extra cab length. With its best configuration, the Canyon can tow up to six thousand pounds.
The NHTSA crash test ratings could be better. Canyon gets a four-star rating everywhere on the regular and extended cabs. The crew cab improves that to a five-star rating on frontal and rear passenger side impacts. This compares with solid five-star ratings for both the Dodge Dakota and the Toyota Tacoma.
The Canyon comes in three trims: SL, SLE and SLT. Prices and goodies go up with each level, of course, but suffice to say that you can get all the nice stuff you want on the Canyon. Coming in at just $15,570 base price, the Canyon is without doubt a bargain for a light truck and probably worth considering.