GMC unveiled the GMC Canyon 2WD, a compact truck slated to replace the GMC Sonoma in 2004. This small pickup was initially made available in various configurations, including the Canyon 2WD and 4WD; crew, extended, and regular cab, as well as your choice of three different suspension systems and two engine selections.
The three suspension systems available for the 2004 Canyon 2WD included a standard heavy duty suspension, an off road design and a street performance package to accommodate various trucking needs. The standard heavy duty suspension is more than suitable for every day driving, while the Z71 off road package increases the height by three inches on two wheel drive models. The Z71 suspension package also includes an underbody skid plate, a locking rear differential, larger tires and heavy duty shocks. The ZQ8 street performance suspension package reduces the overall height of the vehicle by two inches and includes Bilstein shocks. The ZQ8 package gives the truck a more customized look and provides better handling and control.
The two engines available for the Canyon 2WD are both realtively fuel efficient and suitable for a compact pick up truck. The 2.8 liter inline 4 cylinder engine will put out 175 horsepower and the 3.5 liter inline five cylinder engine deliver 220 horsepower. Both are capable engines, though neither are powerhouses, and for the size and utility of a smaller personal pickup truck they are very capable engines.
The Canyon 2WD saw no significant changes for the 2005 model year, which is typical for a vehicle that is new to the market the prior year. However, other manufacturers had begun to step up their game by producing competing compact trucks with more interior room, more comfort and convenience features and more powerful engines, causing a decline in consumer interest of the sharp little GMC pickup . In 2006, the street performance suspension package was enhanced and the SLT trim package was made available as an available option for crew and extended cab models.
The concerns over power were addressed for the 2007 model year. The 2007 GMC Canyon replaced the previous two engines with two new variable valve timing engines. The 2.9 liter 4 cylinder with variable valve timing replaces the 2.8 liter 4 cylinder and produces 185 horsepower. The 3.5 liter engine is replaced by a 3.7 liter, 5 cylinder with variable valve timing that delivers 242 horsepower. However, expressed desires for something more than the basic, drab interior truck interior have not been satisfied.