Compact pickup truck; Built in USA
  • crew cab
  • ext. cab
  • reg. cab
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $3,800 – $25,000*


2005 GMC Canyon


2004 GMC Canyon


2005 GMC Canyon


2006 GMC Canyon


2004 GMC Canyon

Pros:
  • Cargo room (crew cab)
  • Instruments/controls
Cons:
  • Acceleration (4-cyl/auto.)
  • Rear-seat comfort (extended cab)

GMC’s Canyon and its Chevrolet Coloardo companion target light-duty daily users, assuming that heavy haulers will move up to a full-size Sierra pickup. Overall, though, the Canyon is a well-balanced, modern, and attractive small truck that exudes considerable appeal.

Overview

General Motors introduced its new family of compact pickup trucks with the 2004 GMC Canyon and its Chevrolet Colorado sibling. GM called these “midsize” pickups. While Chevrolet’s Canyon was slightly larger than the GMC Sonoma model it replaced, it was smaller than the Dodge Dakota–the largest pickup in the compact class.

Available in regular, extended, and crew-cab body styles, Canyon and Colorado had separate trim details but shared a platform and two new GM truck engines. Replacing a 120-hp 2.2-liter as the base four-cylinder was a 175-horsepower 2.8-liter. A 220-horsepower 3.5-liter inline five-cylinder edged aside the prior 190-hp 4.3-liter V6. Both new engines had dual overhead cams rather than the previous overhead valves, and both teamed with a manual or automatic transmission. Each was available with rear-wheel drive or with 4WD that had low-range gearing but had to be disengaged on dry pavement.

Canyon’s regular cab seated up to three. Extended cabs came with dual rear-hinged back doors and seating for five, while the four-door Crew Cab seated up to six occupants. Crew Cab pickups had a 5-foot-long cargo box, while others had a 6-foot bed.

Antilock braking was standard. Available for the first time on a GM pickup were curtain side airbags that covered all seating rows. Available on all body styles, with either 2WD or 4WD, was the optional Z71 off-road suspension, which added elevated ground clearance. Canyon did not offer the Colorado’s ZQ8 sport-suspension option.

All Canyons had 15-inch wheels and were available with a locking rear differential. Traction control was a new option for 2WD versions. Additional options included heated leather seats, OnStar assistance, and satellite radio.

Sold alongside Canyon for the 2004 model year were heldover GMC Sonoma Crew Cabs. Canyon’s performance and accommodations mirrored those of similarly-equipped Colorados. With the Canyon, GMC competed against the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma, as well as the Dodge Dakota.

Yearly Updates

2005 Canyon
Little changed for 2005, except that a sunroof was newly available and extended-cab models could get a leather package. Side steps and a CD/MP3 player were now available for all Canyons, which came in SL and uplevel SLE trim. Traction control, optional for 2WD models, now included a limited-slip differential.
2006 Canyon
A ZQ8 sport suspension became available this year, including 17-inch wheels. A newly available SLT package for extended and Crew Cabs bundled the five-cylinder engine with leather upholstery and heated front bucket seats. Isuzu now offered I-280 and I-350 pickups that were similar to the Canyon and Colorado.
2007 Canyon
GMC’s compact pickup added more power for 2007. For ’07, a 185-hp 2.9-liter 4-cylinder replaced a 175-hp 2.8.
2008 Canyon
The 2008 GMC Canyon was little changed this year.
2009 Canyon
Canyon gained an optional 300-hp 5.3-liter V8.
2010 Canyon
The 2010 GMC Canyon was largely unchanged
2011 Canyon
The 2011 GMC Canyon is largely unchanged.
2012 Canyon
There were no noteworthy changes to the GMC Canyon for 2012.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

Initially, two engines and two transmissions were available in Canyons: a 175-horsepower 2.8-liter four-cylinder and a 220-horsepower 3.5-liter five-cylinder. Either could be mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. For ’07, a 185-hp 2.9-liter replaced the 2.8-liter four, and a 242-hp 3.7-liter V6 replaced the 3.5-liter version. For 2009, Canyon gained an optional 300-hp 5.3-liter V8. Both the 3.7-liter V6 and 5.3-liter V8 came only with automatic transmission.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.8/169
Engine HP 175
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 185
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
19/23
18/23
dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.9/178
Engine HP 185
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 190
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
20/26
17/24
dohc I5
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/211
Engine HP 220
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 225
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
18/23
18/23
dohc I5
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.7/223
Engine HP 242
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 242
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/23

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.3/325
Engine HP 300
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 320
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

Road Test

In nearly every area, the GMC Canyon is similar to Chevrolet’s Colorado. GM’s four-cylinder engine is underpowered for anything other than daily commuting. Adequate with 2WD and a manual gearbox, it’s sluggish with 4WD and an automatic transmission. The five-cylinder is sprightly with 2WD and adequate with 4WD. Both are considerably smoother than the engines they replaced, and they seem well-matched to the quick-shifting automatic transmission. No V8 models have been made available for Consumer Guide testing.

As expected, four-cylinder engines are a bit easier on fuel. An extended-cab five-cylinder with 2WD averaged 18.8 mpg in mostly highway driving. Under similar conditions, a Crew Cab 4WD pickup with that engine averaged 18.1 mpg. A manual-shift 2WD four-cylinder regular-cab pickup averaged 18.1 mpg in mostly city driving. Chevrolet recommends regular-grade fuel for both engines.

Jittery on rough surfaces or badly broken pavement, Canyons are otherwise composed. Overall, they ride better than most compact pickups. On the down side, abrupt vertical motions are felt over bumps and dips. The base suspension furnishes the best ride, while stiffer Z71 (off-road) and ZQ8 (sport) suspensions can grow tiresome on long drives.

Cornering with greater security and poise than the old Sonoma, GMC’s Canyon and its Chevrolet counterpart rank among the more agile compact pickups. Straightline stability is good, and steering has pronounced on-center feel, though some testers have claimed it reacts slowly to driver inputs. The turning radius is noticeably larger with 4WD than with 2WD. Brakes provide quick and even stops, with precise pedal feel.

Overall, Canyons are quieter than most competitors, but extended cabs in particular may suffer some wind rush where the front and rear door meet. Five-cylinder engines are louder and coarser than rival V6s, but the four-cylinder is about average for this class.

Instruments are easy to read, but some early digital displays could wash out in direct sunlight. Audio/climate controls are clearly marked and easy to use. Interior materials and fit/finish score above average for the class, though some early test models had a few squeaks and rattles from the dashboard area.

Front occupants get ample leg and head room, on seats that are adequately comfortable for long drives. Middle seats are for occasional use only. Some testers have complained of hard, flat seatbacks in base models. The extended cab’s rear seat is for preteens only; adults lack leg room if front seats are pushed more than halfway back. Crew cabs are somewhat more spacious, but rear leg space is no better than that of a compact sedan, and entry/exit is difficult through small door openings. All rear seats are hard and undersized.

Interior storage is limited in regular cabs, but good in extended and crew cabs with their rear seats folded. A unique dual-position support cable allows the tailgate to be secured in a partially open position, permitting 4×8 sheets to fit atop the wheelwells, supported in back by the tailgate.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 GMC Canyon 2WD Z71 ext.cab 5-cyl/auto.

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Rear - 1
10%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 44

Specifications

crew cab
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
126.0 207.1 68.6 64.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1343 19.6 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.3 38.3 44.0 34.8
ext. cab
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
126.0 207.1 67.6 64.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1539 19.6 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.6 37.9 44.0 23.1
reg. cab
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
111.3 192.4 67.6 64.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
1539 19.6 3
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.6 NA 44.0 NA
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Canyon reg. cab

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Brakes
Description: The rear brakes may grab or drag after the vehicle sets for a while (overnight) due to a problem with the automatic adjusters star wheels. (2005-08)
Brakes
Description: The rear brakes may grab or drag after the vehicle sets for a while (overnight) due to a problem with the automatic adjusters star wheels. (2005-08)
Fuel gauge
Description: The engine may not start or may stall because the tank is empty yet the gauge shows fuel remaining, or the fuel gauge will not show full after refilling due to sulfur corrosion of the fuel level sender and if after treating with Fuel System Cleaner PLUS the problem remains, the sender may need to be replaced. (2004-06)
Fuel gauge
Description: The fuel gauge may not move on trucks with the 4-cylinder or 5-cylinder engine, and all California models, requiring recalibration of the PCM. (2004)
Keyless entry
Description: The keyless remote transmitter may not work, but function may be restored if reprogrammed only to quit working again due to water leaking into the body control module from a leak in the cowl. (2005)
Audio system
Description: When using a portable music player (e.g. iPod) there may be noise in the car’s speakers whenever the vehicle’s power adapter is used and a ground loop isolator (from Radio Shack) is required between the device and the power outlet to prevent the noise. (2004-07)
Battery
Description: The engine may run at lower power and the check engine light may illuminate if the engine was started with a weak battery. (2004-07)
Hood/trunk
Description: Pickup box must be reinforced with available kit before installing a tool box, cap, etc. to prevent collapse. (2004-06)
Electrical problem
Description: If the OnStar system quits or won’t come on (no power), but comes back to life if the fuse is removed for five minutes, the vehicle communications interface module must be replaced or else the problem will recur. (2005-06)
Electrical problem
Description: The DVD monitors in the front seat headrests may quit working because the video feed cable comes loose requiring installation of cable clamps. (2006-08)
Electrical problem
Description: When using a portable music player (e.g. iPod) there may be noise in the car’s speakers whenever the vehicle’s power adapter is used and a ground loop isolator (from Radio Shack) is required between the device and the power outlet to prevent the noise. (2004-07)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine light may come on accompanied by an engine misfire due to weak exhaust valve springs which must be replaced. (2004-05)
Check-engine light
Description: The engine may run at lower power and the check engine light may illuminate if the engine was started with a weak battery. (2004-07)
Entertainment problems
Description: The DVD monitors in the front seat headrests may quit working because the video feed cable comes loose requiring installation of cable clamps. (2006-08)

Recall History

2004-09 Canyon
Description: Brake lamps may fail to function, or may illuminate at all times; also, cruise control may become inoperative.
2004-2011 Canyon regular cab vehicles and extended cab vehicles without a rear seat and equipped with a front 60/40 split bench seat.
Description: The top tether anchor for the front center seat is not accessible and the owner manual does not include instructions regarding how to use the top tether. Lack of access to the top tether anchor and a lack of instructions as to how to use it, may result in improper installation of a child restraint which can result in a reduction in the restraint’s performance in the event of a crash and an increased risk of injury or death to the child seated in the restraint. Dealers will cut a hole into the back panel trim cover to allow access to the top tether anchor for the front center seat position and will provide supplemental information as to use in the owner’s manual.
2006 Canyon
Description: Tire and loading information label may list inaccurate vehicle capacity weight.
2009
Description: The fuel system control modules may have a faulty seal, possibly allowing water to seep into the module. This could cause a short, illumination of the service engine soon lamp, setting of diagnostic trouble codes, or the engine may be hard to start. Dealers will install a new fuel system control module free of charge.
2011 Canyon
Description: The rear axle cross pins were not properly heat treated and could fracture and become displaced within the rear axle. Should the pin shift out of position, it could create an interference condition and cause the rear axle to lock. The driver may not be able to maintain directional control of the vehicle and a crash could occur without warning. Dealers will install a new rear axle cross pin free of charge.
2011 Canyon vehicles manufactured from September 22, 2010, through November 5, 2010.
Description: Some of these vehicles have the condition in which the windshield wiper motor crank arm nut may not be tightened to specification. When the wipers are operated with a build-up of snow or ice, or if the wipers are operated on a dry windshield, the nut could loosen. If there is sufficient loosening of the nut, the wipers could become inoperative. Driver visibility could be reduced increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will secure the wiper motor crank arm nut free of charge.
2011 Canyon passenger vehicles equipped with a 2.9 or 3.7 liter engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission
Description: These vehicles may have been built with an automatic transmission adjustment clip that may not retain the shift cable in the correct position. If the shift cable is not in the correct position, the PRNDL shift lever may not accurately reflect the position of the transmission gear. The driver could move the shifter to “park” and remove the ignition key, but the transmission gear may not be in “park.” The driver may not be able to restart the vehicle, and the vehicle could roll away as the driver or other occupants exit the vehicle or have exited, resulting in the possibility of the vehicle striking them or someone around the vehicle, or could result in a crash without prior warning. GM dealers will install a new automatic transmission adjustment clip free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.