2009 GMC Canyon Review | Edmunds.com

2009 GMC Canyon

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GMC Canyon Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.9 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 185 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 GMC Canyon

  • 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.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Affordable price, composed handling on- and off-road, varied engine choices.

  • Cons

    Non-V8 engines lack power, mediocre seat comfort, subpar build quality.

  • What's New for 2009

    The GMC Canyon receives numerous changes for 2009, the most welcome of which is the addition of a much-needed V8 engine option. Also, StabiliTrak, a bedliner and XM Satellite Radio are now standard fare, and the braking system has been upgraded. Finally, the base SL trim is no longer available, the sport suspension option returns after a brief absence, and there are a handful of exterior styling tweaks.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (10 total reviews)


Great looking and performing truck

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Vehicle: 2009 GMC Canyon SLE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD SB (3.7L 5cyl 4A)

Bought a ’09 4x4 Quad Cab SLT fully loaded with Z71 suspension and the 5.3L V-8 engine new for vacation travel and to use when going skiing by our cabin in northern Arizona. This truck has been everything I thought it would be and more! I had looked and test drove other trucks in the mid-size class; the Toyota was the only one that came close to it, but Iwould have had to settle for a basic 4x4 quad cab model for what I paid for this truck. Toyota offers a 4.0L engine which didn’t seem to have the pull of the 4.3L that was in my ’98 S10. If GMC hadn’t offered the 5.3L engine, I “might” have considered the Toyota a bit more, but after driving one then the choice was simple.




This truck saved my life

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Vehicle: 2009 GMC Canyon SLE 4dr Extended Cab SB (2.9L 4cyl 5M)

Stabilitrac on this truck is the best thing I have ever had in a vehicle, driving through a blizzard in the mountains for 7hrs with 1/2 a foot of snow on the highway and this truck(2wd) with firestone winterforce tires handled it like a champ, no slipping no sliding it drove perfectly. gets great mileage 20city 28 hwy. By far the most powerful 4cyl pickup I test drove. Looks great and now have 40,000kms on it with no problems. Interior front seats are comfortable rear seat in ext cab are a joke, for children only. Truck tows my 3000 boat no problems and this little 2wd can get through suprisingly deep snow confidently. Would defn' buy another.




Canyon conquers mountain commute

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Vehicle: 2009 GMC Canyon SLE 4dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (2.9L 4cyl 5M)

I drive 120 miles round trip uphill both ways. The 3.7L I5 4sp auto has lots of power even with a full load. Got 24.9 mpg on the first fill up. 17" tires, high clearance good for off road, truck tracks steady in 4wd on snow and ice. CPU broke down in mountains; OnStar emergency towing and GMC warranty worked fine. Plenty of storage behind front seats but no room to sit there 'cept for babies. Middle seat belt a joke so I disconnected it. Friends commented on rugged good looks and awesome metalic blue paint job. Overall, a smart, affordable "small" 4wd truck.




Great truck few problems

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Vehicle: 2009 GMC Canyon SLE 4dr Extended Cab SB (2.9L 4cyl 5M)

I have a 2009 ex cab long box 2wd. Pros. -gas mileage, just over 20mpg in the city -no problems really so far, -stabilitrac is a must for winter driving -stereo sounds great -comfortable -power is adequate -Love all the chrome and the little tool boxes under the rear seats Cons. -Tires (amerigeneral) love to grab little stones and fling them up causing paint chips. Driving down a road that is dirty sounds like you are being shot at. -Plastic around stereo and vents looks very cheap -trac control comes on automatically and limits acceleration if you forget to turn it off and try to jump across traffic you might die -drivers door wouldn't shut right but dealer adjusted it and its fine now



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Comfortable, fun to drive v8

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Vehicle: 2009 GMC Canyon Work Truck 4dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (2.9L 4cyl 5M)

FYI, I have the extended cab V8 SLT. This website did not have that choice. In any case I have had this truck about 9 months now, and just love it. It is really comfortable to drive. Being in CO it is wonderful to have the heated seats in winter. It handles well in snow, on rough dirt roads, etc. The gas mileage isn't great, but didn't expect it to be given that it is a V8. Has great "get up and go" to get up those mountains!




Great truck

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Vehicle: 2009 GMC Canyon SLE 4dr Crew Cab SB (2.9L 4cyl 4A)

Got this truck during cash C4C and love it. The cons: Lucky to get 15 miles per gallon in the city. The engine doesn't have a lot of punch starting from zero. Low clearance and not meant for off road if not 4X4. The pros: Great power on the highway. Has real punch once you get over 50. Quiet at high speeds, compared to other trucks. Smooth suspension, great on washboard, bumpy roads. Very comfortable with a lot of room, at least in the front. Great interior; I don't agree that it has too much plastic or seems cheap on the inside. Replaced tiny factory tires and it has a great, classic look now. Note:Toyota and Nissan are now copying big, boxy look of GMC trucks.



Full 2009 GMC Canyon Review

What's New for 2009

The GMC Canyon receives numerous changes for 2009, the most welcome of which is the addition of a much-needed V8 engine option. Also, StabiliTrak, a bedliner and XM Satellite Radio are now standard fare, and the braking system has been upgraded. Finally, the base SL trim is no longer available, the sport suspension option returns after a brief absence, and there are a handful of exterior styling tweaks.

Introduction

Now entering its sixth model year, the GMC Canyon pickup still features many of the attributes a compact-truck shopper is looking for: rugged styling, multiple engine choices, several body styles, two- and four-wheel-drive configurations and the availability of a popular off-road package. Not only that, a major drawback of past models -- the absence of abundant power for heavy-duty hauling and towing -- has been rectified with a new 300-horsepower 5.3-liter V8 engine option on extended- and crew-cab models.

Unfortunately, the Canyon's aging cabin remains an Achilles' heel, as seating comfort and interior materials quality don't measure up when compared with more modern rivals. Moreover, once underway, the performance of the Canyon's four- and five-cylinder engines is forgettable. On a brighter note, StabiliTrak stability control is now standard on all models, and a new braking system should deliver greater stopping power and improved pedal feel, according to GMC.

Like many also-rans in today's automotive marketplace, the 2009 GMC Canyon is essentially a competent vehicle. However, the traditional segment leaders, the Nissan Frontier and the Toyota Tacoma, are better trucks in almost every regard. If you need V8 vigor in your midsize pickup, this GMC is worth a look, as only the Canyon and the Dodge Dakota offer eight cylinders in this class. However, those seeking a thoroughly refined and up-to-date midsize pickup should check the competition first.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 GMC Canyon is a compact truck available with two- or four-wheel drive in three body styles: regular cab, extended cab and crew cab. Crew cabs are equipped with a 5-foot cargo box, while other Canyons feature a 6-foot bed. There are three primary trim levels to choose from -- Work Truck, SLE and SLT -- with slightly different equipment allocations based on body style.

The regular-cab Work Truck comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, a bedliner, a 60/40-split front bench seat, air-conditioning, cruise control and satellite radio. The regular-cab SLE model tacks on aluminum wheels, foglights, chrome interior accents and an upgraded radio with a CD player, but power accessories must be added at extra cost. The extended-cab SLE boasts full power accessories and remote keyless entry. The in-between Value crew-cab model basically shares the extended-cab SLE's equipment except for the chrome accents, which are included on the crew cab SLE model. The extended-cab SLT adds chrome wheels, a leather-trimmed interior and power heated front bucket seats, while the crew cab SLT comes with these features as well as a heavy-duty suspension.

Among the bundled options are the Z71 off-road suspension package (including larger wheels and tires, as well as skid plates and a locking rear differential on 4WD models) and the ZQ8 sport suspension package (including a lowered suspension, quicker steering and 18-inch wheels with performance tires), available only on 2WD extended- and crew-cab models with the new V8 engine. la carte options on various models include 17- and 18-inch wheels, remote keyless entry, foglamps, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, running boards, a power sunroof, heated power-adjustable front seats, leather trim, front bucket seats and a six-CD changer.

Powertrains and Performance

Two previous Canyon engines carry over from last year: the standard 2.9-liter four-cylinder with 185 hp and 190 pound-feet of torque, and an optional 3.7-liter inline five-cylinder producing 242 hp and 242 lb-ft of torque. There's also a new V8 that pumps out 300 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. The Work Truck and SLE models come standard with the 2.9-liter engine but can be equipped with the 3.7-liter engine. The 3.7 is standard in SLT models, and SLE and SLT trims can be outfitted with the V8.

The 2.9-liter four is paired with a standard five-speed manual transmission except in the crew cabs, which only come with a four-speed automatic. All manual-shift Canyons are eligible for an upgrade to the automatic, and the two larger engines are automatic only. Rear-wheel drive is standard. Four-wheel-drive models feature a shift-on-the-fly two-speed transfer case with push-button controls and an optional locking rear differential.

Fuel economy estimates start at an impressive 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined for 2WD models with the 2.9-liter engine; by the time you get to the top-of-the-line V8-powered crew cab, however, those numbers have dropped to 14/19/16.

Safety

The 2009 GMC Canyon comes standard with antilock brakes and OnStar emergency communications. Side curtain airbags are optional. In government front-impact crash tests, the GMC Canyon crew cab earned a perfect five stars for driver and front passenger protection. Other Canyons earned four stars in those tests. Side-impact testing of a crew cab with the optional side curtain airbags resulted in four stars out of five for front-occupant protection and five stars for rear passengers. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset crash testing, the extended-cab Canyon garnered the highest possible "Good" rating, but the crew cab model was downgraded to the second-best "Average" mark. In side-impact testing without the optional side curtain airbags, the Canyon received the lowest rating of "Poor."

Interior Design and Special Features

While its competitors have evolved over the years with higher levels of luxury and refinement, the GMC Canyon continues to use subpar materials and mediocre seat design. However, the Canyon does deserve high marks for the simple and straightforward layout of its controls and gauges. Rear legroom is a bit pinched on extended-cab and crew-cab models, while ingress and egress for rear passengers can be a bit of a challenge due to the smallish rear door openings. Out back, the Canyon's cargo boxes feature two-tier loading, and the dual-position removable tailgate can be secured partly open to support the placement of 4x8 sheets atop its wheelwells.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 GMC Canyon's cabin is relatively tranquil around town, though wind noise around the doors tends to increase at highway speeds. The four- and five-cylinder engines are smooth enough, but performance lags behind that of the larger V6s of the Canyon's competitors. The available four-speed automatic transmission doesn't offer as many gears as its rivals, though at least its shifts are smooth and well-timed. Those looking for abundant power and towing capability will, of course, want to specify the available 5.3-liter V8, which places the Canyon in the same league as its brawny V8-powered Dodge Dakota rival. The Canyon's standard suspension is calibrated for a soft and comfortable ride on pavement, while the available Z71 off-road suspension package improves off-road performance at the expense of on-road compliance. The ZQ8 sport suspension provides much crisper cornering response.

Talk About The 2009 Canyon

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs