Yes, you get what you pay for - many features for lower than competition prices. Materials, fit & finish are poor. 4-cyl + 5 spd manual gives me a 25 mpg avg. Not much power w/ a/c & 500 lb load in back. 5 spd manual has been hard shifting into 2nd gear (dealer says "normal"?). Main (major) problem so far is driver side doors (ext cab) have constant water leak. At the dealer right now for the 3rd time having entire interior removed and carpet replaced + new weatherstripping replaced on both doors. If they can finally get this fixed I would consider the truck acceptable at an average rating. There are better small trucks out there but you would pay more money.
I remain very satisfied with my GMC. I especially like the distinctive styling that sets it apart from all other trucks currently offered. I receive compliments on a regular basis. Most people assume it is 4-wheel drive with the off road stance. It's been 100% reliable throughout, with more than ample power for everyday driving. Driving with a full load in the bed is effortless. Driving on a rough country road is very smooth and controlled. I like this truck, and would buy another.
I have had my Canyon for several months now. Overall I'd give it a 9. Size is just right. Comfort is excellent (Front buckets). It is great for tooling around the city, and country roads alike. Suspension is very good. 4wd also very good. Bottom end grunt is lacking, but it's nowhere near underpowered (5cyl). Interior simple and clean, even if the plastic isn't as good as materials used in other vehicles. No mechanical problems at all. Payload rating is adequate. I agree it could be higher, but anything heavier would be pushing you around pretty good given the Canyon's relatively lower weight. It's a very good truck when you think reasonably.
I have had my vehicle since 2004, it is black, 4WD, and extended cab feature. Previously owned the Sonoma, and this truck is a big improvement. I added these features to the truck: 1.) sprayed in bedliner. 2.) alarm system, remote engine start. It has given me no trouble whatsoever, and has stood by my through thick and thin. Gas mileage is very good, has the slant 5 engine, gets 18 miles to gallon in city.
I have owned my GMC Canyon for two and a half years now. I've found it to be a very reliable vehicle, with great distinctive styling that sets it apart from other offerings. When we take this vehicle on a trip, we average about 24mpg. I opted for the five cylinder, and I haven't regretted it a bit. It has a lot of torque. Hauling with a bed full over heavy items is effortless. I get many, many compliments on the exterior styling and what a sharp looking truck it is.