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2009 GMC Canyon Overview
The 2009 GMC Canyon is, except for one year of free Onstar service and the re-labeling and minor realignment of trim choices, a carryover from ’08. This mid-sized pickup is available in RWD or 4WD as well as a variety of cab configurations, wheelbase widths, bed lengths and a choice of three engines - one of which is the long-awaited 300-hp 5.3-liter V8 SFI - which adds up to some 20 trim levels. This doesn’t even count Canyon work trucks which also come in the same drive, configuration and engine choices as the non-commercial trim levels.
The base Canyon SL for ‘09 packs the standard 2.9-liter 185 hp I4 and the standard five-speed manual transmission for an EPA estimated 20/26 mpg in the RWD and 18/24 in the 4WD. Opting for the four-speed automatic drops mileage to 16/23 4WD and 17/24 RWD. Canyon SL also offers RWD and 4WD trims, 111.2-inch, 125.9-inch and 126-inch wheelbase widths, three-passenger Regular Cab, five passenger Extended Cab and five passenger Crew Cab configurations and either the 72.8-inch bed with Regular or Extended Cab or the 61.1” bed with the Crew Cab. Standard features for the SL include A/C, cruise AM/FM in-dash radio with four speakers in the Regular Cab and six in the Extended and Crew Cabs, a tire-pressure monitoring system and 15-inch aluminum wheels.
For ’09, the SLE-1 features the same 2.9-liter, the same drive train choices and the same wheelbase widths, cabs and bed-lengths as the base SL. Additional features for the SLE-1 include a CD player with MP3 capability and speed-compensated volume control, chrome interior accents, integral armrest with storage inside, SLE Deluxe Cloth seats, integral outboard head restraints and dual cup holders.
The 2009 Canyon SLE-2 features the unique 246-hp 3.7-liter inline-5 which GM claims will put out the power of a V6 yet deliver the economy of an I4. The 3.7-liter I5 is coupled with a four-speed automatic, the only tranny available with this engine, and gets an estimated 17/23 in the RWD configuration and 16/24 in 4WD. SLE-2 includes standard features such as the drive train, cab and wheelbase choices of SL and SLE-1 as well as power windows, locks and mirrors, deep-tinted glass and a rear sliding window.
The Canyon SLT for 2009 features the standard 3.7-liter I5 with four-speed auto, all the wheelbase widths and drive-train offerings of the lower priced trim levels. SLT does not, however, offer the Regular Cab configuration. SLT's extra features include an auto-dimming rear view mirror with an integrated outside temperature gauge and clock, deep tinted glass, front leather bucket seats, heated eight-way power driver’s seat and heated six-way power passenger seat, power lumbar control and wider, chrome finished 15-inch wheels
Options for the ’09 Canyon trims include the finally-available 300 hp 5.3-liter V8, four-speed automatic transmission, power doors, windows and mirrors (for SL and SLE-1), heated outside mirrors, tow packages, side inflatable airbags, an auto-locking rear differential, high stance off-road suspension package, head, curtain side airbags XM satellite radio, premium paint and the SLE-2 Preferred Equipment Group for SL and SLE-1 trims.
Regular Cab Canyon trims will tow 4,000 lbs. and have 1,535 lbs, of payload capacity. Extended and Crew Cab Canyons are rated at 5,500 lbs. of towing capacity and 1532 lb. payload capacity.
The 2009 Canyon’s safety features include four-wheel front-disc ABS, electronic brake force distribution, dusk-sensing headlamps, fog/driving lights, passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation and StibiliTrac traction control as standard safety features. The 2008 Canyon Crew Cab received five-star front and side crash ratings from the NHTSA while the Regular and Extended Cab Canyons received four stars.
Owners of the ’08 GMC Canyon were somewhat disappointed with fuel economy and some found Canyon noisy and had some issues with the four-speed automatic downshifting up hills. Most owners, however, praised Canyon’s looks, roominess, comfortable seats, acceleration and convenience features.
by Eric Tallberg
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