2011 GMC Canyon

The 2011 GMC Canyon is the latest from General Motors under its compact pickup truck lineup. Although outshined in every review category, it offers its own features that consumers may find advantageous.


With the optional ZQ8 suspension, you can get the standard five-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission power. The four cylinder engine is available with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission powers.

Both four and five cylinder engines give acceptable gas mileage but fuel consumption on a V8 engine matches that of a full-size truck thus making it a better buy than a compact truck.

The GMC Canyon can haul up to 6,000 pounds and offers a wider bed volume. Its positive handling and braking performance makes it a manageable drive.

Exterior & Interior

The Canyon’s rugged looks, although not competitive, complements its low ground clearance. This makes it manageable to load the more accessible bed. The GMC Canyon comes in Regular, Extended, and Crew Cab models.

The front seats are comfortable but the even the rear seats on the extended and crew cab models are tight for adults. Depending on the model, a maximum of six people may be seated. Then again, it’s the cramped feeling. Regarding the dash, people appreciate how the gauges and controls are arranged for better driving but a lot complain about the cheap materials used. Plastic generally makes up most of the vehicle’s interiors.

Safety & Reliability

The GMC Canyon is rated under the 2010 safety test by the federal government. Crash test results earned it five stars, rollover tests gave it four stars, and side passenger crash tests earned it three stars. In contrast, insurance industry tests had poor evaluations of the GMC Canyon specifically for the Crew Cab model: in frontal offset tests, it scored ‘Acceptable’, in side impact tests, it scored ‘Poor’, and in both roof strength and rear crash tests, it scored ‘Marginal’.

The Canyon was ranked at 5 out of the possible 10 scoring scale. The rating was given by J.D Power. This means median quality and dependability for the vehicle as predicted from the analysis of data within its three years in production. It comes with a limited warranty and a powertrain warranty that is transferrable. A 24-hour roadside assistance is also offered alongside the warranty offering.


  • Ideal in day to day use.
  • Simple dashboard layout.
  • Gas mileage even on non-V8 engine.
  • The price is affordable when compared to other makes.


  • Slow transmission speed
  • Lacks standard airbags and wheels.
  • Lacks seat back support and comfort
  • Lacks more power for non-V8 engines.

The Competition

Toyota Tacoma (MSRP $16,875; 21 city / 25 hwy): Its Double Cab model has a comfortable rear seat, it has a lot of powertain, and it boasts acceptable safety ratings but it offers a rough ride experience and has tight seating in its Access Cab model.

Ram Dakota (MSRP $23,210; 15 city / 20 hwy): It boasts the best towing capacity, allows for six seaters, and has storage features that are remarkable; however, its exterior design and interior materials are disappointing together with its uncomfortable rear seats.

Suzuki Equator (MSRP $17,595; 19 city / 23 hwy): It offers a long warranty and a fine interior. It also has an in-bed cargo system that is standard but the engine is loud and the rear seats are cramped.

Ford Ranger(MSRP $18,160; 22 city / 27 hwy): It has a comparably lower price than other makes of its kind and its four-cylinder engines boast fuel economy although it has an uncomfortable interior and a plain external style.

Overall Rating
54 out of 100

What others say:

“The Canyon is a decent, inexpensive option for those seeking a basic work truck–the same reasons you’d choose the Ford Ranger or the Colorado. Larger mid-size trucks like the Nissan Frontier are much more advanced in comparison, with near-full-size capabilities.”Car Connection

“Canyons corner with reasonable poise, though some testers find these trucks slow to react to steering inputs. Good straightline stability.”Consumer Guide

“The unrefined five-cylinder engine lacks punch and doesn’t offer a fuel-economy advantage over competing V6s.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“The 2011 GMC Canyon is a handsome light-duty pickup that looks good on paper. But on the road or trail, where passenger comfort and refinement really count, it doesn’t quite measure up.”Edmunds

“The Canyon’s tailgate can be set at a 55-degree angle that aligns the top of the tailgate with the tops of the wheel housings, thus allowing easy loading and hauling of large, flat panels.”KBB


General Info
Vehicle Type: Pickup Truck Base Price: $17,155.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 19 gallons (71 liters) MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
Length: 192.4 in. (488 cm) Width: 67.6 in. (171 cm)
Height: 64.9 in. (164 cm) Wheel Base: 111.3 in. (282 cm)
Curb Weight: 3399 lbs (1541 kg) Ground Clearance: 10.2 in. (25.9 cm)
Payload Capacity: 1429 lbs Maximum Seating: 3 people
Engine: Inline-4 DOHC 2WD Displacement: 2.9 Liter
Horsepower: 185 HP Max RPM: 5600 RPM
Torque: 190 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
Max Towing Capacity: 3400 lbs (1542 kgs) Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:Canyon WT Extended Cab MSRP: $19,400; MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
Option:Canyon SLE1 Extended Cab MSRP: $20,925; MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
Option:Canyon Crew Cab I-5 MSRP: $27,350; MPG: 17 city / 23 hwy