2007 Canyon New Car Test Drive
GMC Canyon comes with more muscle for 2007. The base-level four-cylinder engine has been bored out from 2.8 to 2.9 liters for 2007, and produces 185 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 10 horsepower and 5 pound-feet. The optional five-cylinder motor has been enlarged from 3.5 to 3.7 liters, for 242 horsepower and 242 pound-feet, up from the 2006's 220 and 225, respectively.
Other improvements for 2007 include a smoother-shifting automatic transmission, a more powerful 125-amp alternator, a standard tire-pressure monitor, and brighter interior trim. The popular 15-inch wheels are now available in chrome; and bigger, 18-inch bright-finish wheels are now standard on the handling-oriented ZQ8.
The GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado midsize pickups offer roomy cabins. The Crew Cab versions have back seats suitable for adult human beings. Canyon and Colorado are tuned for a more car-like ride and comfort than other midsize pickups. Towing capacity was deliberately limited in favor of a smooth ride and good fuel economy.
In short, the Canyon was designed to do what small pickups do most: Carry people and occasionally haul heavy loads in the bed. On the highway, the Canyon feels solid and stable. Even the Z71, the off-road model, seems remarkably civilized, and the ZQ8 suspension package emphasizes sporty handling on paved roads.
Yet the GMC Canyon is a serious truck capable of serious duty. Properly equipped, the Canyon is rated to tow 4,000 pounds, enough for transporting ATVs, dirt bikes, personal watercraft, light boats or small camping trailers. If you tow more than that, then you do need a full-size truck. But most people don't.
Of course, all of the above is equally true of the nearly identical Chevy Colorado. So why buy the GMC? Because GMC trucks just plain dress better: Think Dockers and golf shirts instead of blue jeans and tees. The prices are often so close that opting for the GMC is easily justified.
The 2007 GMC Canyon is available in Regular Cab, Extended Cab, and Crew Cab configurations. Regular and Extended Cabs come with a six-foot bed. Crew Cabs come with a five-foot bed.
Three suspension packages are offered: The rugged Z85 is the standard setup and is available with two-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD). The Z71 off-road suspension is also available with 2WD and 4WD. Appropriately, the low-riding ZQ8 sport suspension is only available with 2WD.
The 2.9-liter four-cylinder engine, rated 185 horsepower, comes standard all Canyons except Crew Cabs with 4WD or ZQ8. The equally new 3.7-liter, 242-horsepower inline-5 is standard on Crew Cabs with ZQ8, Z71, and/or 4WD; and optional ($1,000) and/or included in an option package on all other Canyons.
A five-speed manual transmission is standard with the four-cylinder engine in Regular and Extended Cabs. A four-speed automatic ($1,095) is optional in those models, but standard with the five-cylinder engine and in all Crew Cabs.
The most basic Canyons are the W/T (work-truck) models, offered as a Regular Cab 2WD ($13,910), Extended Cab 2WD ($16,310), Regular Cab 4WD ($17,310), and Extended Cab 4WD ($19,510). Seats are vinyl, floors are hose-it-out rubber, and only the base suspension is available. Air conditioning is standard, however, along with tilt steering, cruise control, and a basic AM/FM radio. A tachometer and Driver Information Center are standard as well. Carpeting is available, as is a 60/40 split cloth seat and an upgraded stereo ($435) with CD/MP3 capability.
LS trim ($14,310) makes the cloth bench seat standard and adds basic niceties such as aluminum wheels and chrome bumpers. SLE ($14,990) adds carpeting, upgraded seat fabric, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and standard CD/MP3 player. SLE is also the lowest trim level at which you can choose the Crew Cab ($20,390).
The SLE-2 package makes the five-cylinder engine and automatic transmission standard, along with bucket seats, a center floor console, deep-tinted glass and a Convenience Package consisting of power windows and programmable door locks with remote keyless entry.
SLT trim for Extended and Crew Cabs comes with heated leather bucket seats, eight-way power adjustment for the driver's seat and six-way power for the passenger, a sliding rear window, recovery hooks, fog lamps, a six-CD changer, self-dimming rearview mirror with compass and temperature readout, and fog lights.
The Z71 High Stance off-road package increases the ground clearance by about an inch and a half, depending on cab style. Z71 adds larger color-keyed fender flares, P265/75R15 on/off-road tires, a locking rear differential, and, on 2WD models, traction control. Z71s with 4WD get skid plates and tow hooks, and Z71 Crew Cabs come with brushed aluminum side steps.
The ZQ8 suspension is designed for improved on-road performance, and lowers the Canyon about an inch relative to the standard suspension. ZQ8 versions ride on a more tightly tuned chassis that includes quick-ratio steering, high-pressure monotube shocks, and rubber/urethane jounce bumpers. For 2007, ZQ8 up-sizes wheels and tires to P235/50R18.
Safety features include the mandated front airbags with GM's Passenger Sensing System, which shuts off the right frontal airbag if the seat is unoccupied or occupied by a child or small adult who might be more injured than protected by an airbag. A light on the dashboard displays the status of the system. GM still recommends buckling children into proper safety seats in the rear compartment of the vehicle. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) come standard on all models. Side-curtain air bags are optional ($395).
Gen 6 OnStar ($695) is offered only on up-level models, as is XM Satellite Radio ($199). Power windows, locks and mirrors come standard on Crew Cabs but are optional on Regular Cab and Extended Cab SLE models ($500). A sunroof ($695) is available on Crew Cabs and a Sun & Sound pa.