I am very satisfied with the overall performance. it was not designed to be a rocket. I have no complaints with the power, and I can pull a loaded utility trailer with firewood weighing about 300 lbs. with no problems. The interior could use a bit of dazzle, as it is quite plain. Rear disc brakes would be better. The exteior is as classy as any small truck on the market. I have had many compliments on the design.
At first, the GMC Canyon's interior was hard to adapt to; the plastic materials left much to be desired. After a while, however, I adapted and began to appreciate the plastics. They are actually quite rugged. My truck has the I5, XM, 6CD, Auto-dimming/compass mirror, and power heated leather seats. All are very enjoyable. The seats are comfortable for the longest of trips, and the vehicle handles very well and has a TON of power for only having five cylinders. It is very much more powerful than its S-series predecessors, and I can confirm first hand that the truck can pull WAY more than it is rated -- the truck can pull over 7,500 pounds practically effortlessly. Trust me.
Initially, I loved this thing! Over some time, I realized that many small things would add up to make me hate it! The plastic molding is of poor quality, the rear seat cup holder has broken 3 times. Brake light recall sent me to the shop twice. Front turn signal wiring harness only works when bumped in just the right way. Gauges poorly located behind steering wheel. Musty air conditioner. Rear cloth seats that no one sits in have torn in the seams. Rear seats squeak constantly. Rear seats very uncomfortable when used. Computer acts up intermitently - alarm sounds when truck unlocks! Worst is that it is the same exact truck as the Isuzu I-370! Is it a GM or Isuzu?
Handling is tight and responsive. I was hesitant with the 15" wheels. I have towed cargo trailers with no problem or lack of power. The 5 cyl is great on gas without losing much power. Only problem was the valve springs. These were replaced around 10k miles. Evidently there was a service bulletin but no official recall. If you lose power at highway speeds--have them check valve springs (I think they fixed that on the newer models). Overall, I would buy it again. Great looking (I have black on black offroad package) and plenty of interior room with crew-cab.
I've found the Canyon 3.5 liter excellent for fast interstate and slower, steep mountain driving. The two stage 4wd has also been very good on snow. The OEM tires, however, have limited "stickiness" in spite of their "all season" rating.