Performance was based on the fact that it is a truck and a 4cyl. It is not fast or a sports car but for what it is performed great. quicker and holds the rode better then my Tacoma that is newer and has a 6 cyl in it and hasn't ever left me stranded or not start like my Tacoma continues to do.
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 didnt seem to have the pull of the 4.3L that was in my 98 S10.
If GMC hadnt offered the 5.3L engine, I might have considered the Toyota a bit more, but after driving one then the choice was simple.
Since buying this truck I no longer have to think about getting stuck at any point of my ski trips.
Truck has been quite impressive; last winter, it took the V-8 4x4 Canyon all about 1 minute to pull a full size flat bed tow truck and then the car it went there for, free from knee deep mud.
After watching the tow truck struggle for about 1 Hour!
At that point, I knew that I had made the right decision on the truck I bought.
Would like to see a standard transmission available with 5.3L V-8 Quad Cab.
Also would like to see the city gas mileage improved for the 5.3L V-8 engine model.
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.
Handles great. Drives great. I like the looks of this truck most of all. Love the standard leather wrapped steering wheel. Gets better gas mileage than my old civic did.
Paint is quite cheap and chips easily, rear springs need to be a little stronger back end dips a bit too much with a heavy load, maybe just a better overload spring. Take out the center seatbelt in the front no human alive could fit there anyways.
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.
The 4wd system, easy 4wd shifting, automatic hubs, locking rear differential, fully reclining seats, fully illuminating hi-low beams and fog lamps. Fantastic voice-command OnStar no-hands phone works in the mountains and desert where no cell coverage exists. Ditto for the XM/Sirius satellite radio.
Move shifter from steering column to floor, add bucket seats and console and add compression braking for steep descents.
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
Stabilitrac, gas mileage, stereo, price, full sized spare
Plastic around stereo and vents is crap, looks like it was painted by a teenager, bench seat with center seatbelt is useless unless you have midget friends buckets would be better, also why does the passenger get a good cupholder and the driver gets a tiny one that wont fit a coffee cup?