2008 GMC Canyon

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$4,464 - $9,111
$15,085 - $25,070

2008 GMC Canyon Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 GMC Canyon was new.

The Canyon delivers good handling and a ruggedly attractive exterior, but can't match the power or interior accommodations of top competitors.

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable, responsive ride
  • Ruggedly appealing exterior
  • Underpowered for its class
  • Substandard interior materials quality
  • Pricey for its size

Research & Ratings

Currently, the GMC Canyon has a score of 5.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 38 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 5.2
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 6.7
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 GMC Canyon Overview

The 2008 GMC Canyon is an acceptable but not outstanding performer with rugged good looks, but is outclassed by other compact pickup trucks. On the whole, the automotive press likes the Canyon for work or play, but notes that there are better choices within this class. New Car Test Drive says, "The Crew Cab can haul home a load of horse manure for the garden, then take the family out for dinner and a movie (after hosing out the bed, that is)."

But despite the overall praise, the Canyon is also seen as an underpowered truck with poor-quality interior materials that are not in line with its price. In fact, at higher trim levels, the Canyon costs about as much as larger GMC trucks. The Detroit News notes the base  GMC Sierra and the Canyon are virtually the same price. "Against that backdrop, the two-wheel-drive Canyon Crew Cab SLE doesn't look like a great value." Adding to this sentiment, Car and Driver calls the sticker price "a shocker," saying, "I'd be more forgiving if there were some neat touches," but "I'd need something more than just increased agility to keep me out of a full-size truck." Adding to the disappointment is the fact that the Canyon's fuel economy is only average for the class.

The Canyon is available as a regular cab model, an extended cab, or as a crew cab. Regular and extended cab models are available with base, SL, and SLE trim packages, while crew cab models are available only with the SLE package. If you're shopping for a compact pickup, also check out the Nissan Frontier or Toyota Tacoma.

  • Speaking of the Chevy Colorado, Isuzu i-Series and GMC Canyon, Car and Driver writes, "These three compacts…are essentially identical and come in a broad variety of body styles, wheelbase and cargo-bed lengths, and load ratings." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Canyon was fun to drive and it felt zippier than a large pickup. … It also manages to look rugged -- though not quite ready for the lumberyard parking lot." -- Wall Street Journal
  • "The GMC Canyon is ideal for people who need a real pickup but don't need or want the size and cost of a full-size truck." -- New Car Test Drive

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