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2012 GMC Canyon Review


With a maximum payload of 1,422 pounds (645 kg) and an available Vortec 5.3L V-8 that enables a towing capacity of 6,000 pounds (2,721 kg), the midsize GMC Canyon delivers big-truck capability in a more fuel-efficient midsize package.
2012 GMC Canyon photo -2012 GMC Canyon photo -
A powerful Vortec 5.3L V-8 is available on extended cab and crew cab models, delivering 300 horsepower (224 kW) and 320 lb.-ft. of torque (434 Nm). Canyon’s stiff frame enables more precise suspension tuning to deliver a smooth, isolated ride without sacrificing responsive handling.
The 2012 Canyon lineup includes regular cab, extended cab and crew cab body styles in 2WD and 4WD; two pickup bed lengths; three available suspensions and three engines.
2012 GMC Canyon photo2012 GMC Canyon photo
Trims include Work Truck, SLE and SLT. The Z71 Off Road package offers distinctive visual cues to augment its suspension differentiation; it is available on 2WD and 4WD models. The ZQ8 sport suspension, paired with the 5.3L V-8 and 18-inch wheels, is available.
Canyon design
Regular and extended cab models have a 6-foot 1-inch (1.85 m) pickup bed with taller sides than many competitors.
Crew cab bed lengths are 5-foot 1-inch (1.55 m).
Both beds offer two-tier cargo loading, and tailgates that are both lockable and easily removable.
The tailgate opens to almost 90 degrees, but can be set at a 55-degree opening to create a sturdy, flat platform to conveniently transport longer items or 4-foot by 8-foot (1.2 m by 2.4 m) panels.
Available Chrome Accessory Package includes fuel door and exhaust tip.
Bodyguard Package includes bed rail protectors and molded splash guards.
Family of 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheels and tires, including available aluminum and chrome-clad.
Canyon interior – standard and available features
Canyon seats up to six depending on the configuration.
Canyon’s instrument panel has large, easy-to-read analog gauges, with switches and controls designed for easy operation with gloves.
Crew cab models offer a 60/40-split/folding rear seat capable of accommodating three adults.
Extended cab versions have four doors, and its two folding rear seats face forward.
Standard equipment includes air conditioning, AM/FM stereo and SiriusXM Satellite Radio with three free months of service (except Work Truck), OnStar, driver information center, front and rear floor mats, adjustable steering wheel, auxiliary power outlet, vehicle anti-theft system, intermittent wipers, air conditioning, cruise control and Bluetooth connectivity for certain phones.
Standard and available equipment on SLE and SLT includes audio system with CD player with MP3 playback, remote keyless entry, self-dimming inside rearview mirror power, tinted glass, power-adjustable heated leather-appointed seating (standard on SLT), rear sliding window (standard on SLE2) and power-operated outside rearview mirrors.
Chassis and suspension
Hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion steering.
StabiliTrak electronic stability control system helps keep the vehicle on its intended path in the event of an emergency maneuver.
Large front disc brakes with twin-piston calipers.
Independent suspension with coil-over front shocks on 2WD models (except Z71 and V-8); front torsion bars on all 4WD models, as well as 2WD Z71 models and 2WD with the V-8 and Z85 suspension.
Specifically tuned powertrain and body mounts that help reduce interior noise and vibration.
Three suspension choices: the Z85 suspension standard on 2WD or 4WD models, the Z71 off-road suspension, also available in 2WD and 4WD – with 17-inch wheels – and the ZQ8 sport suspension.
Efficient, proven powertrains
The base engine in all but Z71-equipped crew cabs is a Vortec 2.9L DOHC four-cylinder with continuously variable valve timing (VVT) that delivers 185 horsepower (138 kW), 190 lb.-ft. of torque (258 Nm) and up to 25 mpg on the highway.
Available in all models except Work Truck – and standard in the crew cab with 4WD – is a Vortec 3.7L DOHC five-cylinder with VVT that is rated at 242 horsepower (180 kW) and 242 lb.-ft. of torque (328 Nm).
The available 5.3L V-8 engine delivers 300 horsepower (224 kW) and 320 lb.-ft. of torque (434 Nm).
An Aisin five-speed manual transmission is standard with the four-cylinder engine – except for crew cab models, where it is not available.
A Hydra-Matic 4L60 electronically controlled four-speed automatic is standard with the available five-cylinder engine and V-8; and available with the four-cylinder (standard on crew cab models).
2012 GMC Canyon photo2012 GMC Canyon photo
Safety and crash-avoidance features
The Canyon is designed to help drivers avoid crashes, and protect vehicle occupants during and after a crash.
Standard driver and passenger frontal and head curtain side-impact air bags with a passenger on-off switch.
StabiliTrak electronic stability control system helps reduce the risk of rollover crashes by keeping the vehicle in the driver’s intended path by applying throttle, braking or a combination of both.
Four-wheel anti-lock brake system provides directional stability in the event of an emergency braking maneuver. Standard traction control helps limit wheel sleep when accelerating on slippery surfaces such as water, ice or a gravel road
Vehicle anti-theft system helps thwart would-be car thieves by sounding an alarm if the vehicle is tampered with.
Daytime Running Lamps enhance make the vehicle more visible to other motorists and pedestrians.
LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat attachment system, which is included in all second-row seating positions.
Tire pressure monitoring system, standard on all models.

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