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$7,452 - $16,612
$17,490 - $31,790

Pros & Cons

  • Good fuel economy in four- and five-cylinder models
  • Underpowered five-cylinder engine
  • Low-rent cabin quality
  • Cramped rear seats




Critics' Rating: 6.3
Performance: 6.9
Interior: 6.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 5.7 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 GMC Canyon Overview

Reviewers wrote that the 2012 Canyon’s base four-cylinder engine has satisfactory power for everyday driving, but isn't powerful enough for heavy hauling. Several commented that models with the available five-cylinder engine feel less powerful than their V6-powered rivals. The Canyon is one of the few compact pickup trucks with an available V8, and critics agreed that it has ample power. The four-cylinder Canyon is available with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission, while five-and eight-cylinder models are automatic-only. According to the EPA, a four-cylinder GMC Canyon with an automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive gets 18/25 mpg city/highway, which is decent for the class. The five-cylinder model gets 17/23, which beats most V6 rivals' EPA estimates. Reviewers said the 2012 Canyon has composed handling and that models with the standard suspension have a decent ride on smooth roads. However, some said the Canyon doesn't feel as composed on rough pavement, its steering isn't very responsive and the available off-road suspension makes the ride too firm. Equipped with the V8 engine, the Canyon can tow up to 6,000 pounds.

Critics wrote that the 2012 GMC Canyon's cabin is constructed with cheap plastic trim. However, they did like that its dashboard has straightforward audio and climate controls with large knobs that are easy to use if you’re wearing gloves. Regular cab Canyons seat up to three, extended cab models have rear jump seats and seat up to five and crew cab models seat up to six on a rear bench. Reviewers complained that the standard front bench seat has a flat, hard back, which makes it uncomfortable. Front bucket seats are available. Though critics noted that rear-seat space is better in the crew cab than the extended cab, they say its legroom still isn’t that generous. Standard features in the 2012 GMC Canyon include an auxiliary input and Bluetooth. Available features include keyless entry, satellite radio, leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats and a sliding rear window.

Other Trucks to Consider

Test drivers agreed that the 2012 Nissan Frontier has poised handling for a truck and that it feels robust when equipped with the available V6 engine. A V6-powered Frontier can also tow 500 pounds more than a V8-powered Canyon.

Reviewers liked the 2012 Honda Ridgeline’s car-like ride and agile handling. They were also impressed with its comfortable front seats, its tailgate that can open down or to the side and its large lockable in-bed storage trunk.

Compare the Canyon, Frontier and Ridgeline »

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