In today’s world where it seems as if carmakers are determined to deliver only the largest vehicles possible, the 2012 GMC Canyon offers a compact pickup that holds its own. From a 4-cylinder that offers more horsepower than other options on the market to a V8 that hauls with ease, the Canyon delivers the features you need for most tasks.

Key Features

A rigid chassis provides a surprisingly squeak-free and comfortable ride on the road and excellent stability off road. The side-curtain air bags, which are standard, offer the safety you want, and the tailgate that can be configured to a 55-degree angle makes larger hauling tasks easier.

Changes for 2012

Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate the newly added option of Bluetooth connectivity, as well as the locking automatic rear differential that is now a standard feature on the Crew Cab and 4WD models. Even the SLE Extended Cab got an upgrade with a standard sliding rear window.

What We Like

We like the simplified design and low starting price that make the 2012 GMC Canyon perfect for those that need a truck designed for work rather than play. While sitting on a much smaller wheelbase, even the regular cab option provides plenty of hauling with higher bed sides.

What Concerns Us

The interior is somewhat drab and unappealing with a lot of hard plastics and dull color. While the extended and crew cabs offer second row seating, it clearly isn’t meant for comfort over an extended ride.

Available Models

SLE1

  • 2.9-liter 4-Cylinder
  • Horsepower: 185 @ 5,600 rpm
  • Torque: 190 @ 2,800 rpm
  • City/Highway Fuel Economy: 2WD - 18/25 mpg, 4WD Automatic – 17/23, 4WD Manual – 18/24 mpg

SLT

  • 3.7-liter Inline 5-Cylinder
  • Horsepower: 242 @ 5,600 rpm
  • Torque: 242 @ 2,800 rpm
  • City/Highway Fuel Economy: 2WD - 17/23 mpg, 4WD – 17/23, 4WD Crew Cab – 16/21 mpg

Work Truck

  • 5.3-liter V8
  • Horsepower: 300 @ 5,200 rpm
  • Torque: 320 @ 3,600 rpm
  • City/Highway Fuel Economy: 2WD - 14/20 mpg, 4WD – 14/19 mpg

Major Recalls

There are two major recalls available for the 2012 GMC Canyon. The first is for models that may be missing a secondary hood latch, which could lead to the hood opening unexpectedly. The second is due to electrical connector terminals on the driver safety belt that don’t fit snug, which could result in the driver failing to receive any warnings if the seat belt isn’t buckled.

Common Complaints

There are a few common complaints about the 2012 GMC Canyon, which include issues with no cranking due to a stability system traction fault, repeated failure of the master cylinder, an air bag that caught fire and exploded upon impact and repeated fuse box failure.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 GMC Canyon and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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