A Transformative Engine

You might be thinking, "How can GMC's compact pickup feel like a muscle car?" Well, there's more to it than stuffing a 5.3-liter V-8 under the hood, but that engine goes a long way toward giving the Canyon its burly performance. It can rocket from a stop if you've got a lead foot, and the engine doesn't feel burdened by the truck's two-ton curb weight. Granted, I didn't put anything in the cargo bed of my rear-wheel-drive test model, but I really had to be prudent when pressing the gas pedal to avoid wheelspin. The truck has standard traction and stability systems and an optional limited-slip differential to combat this.

The V-8 teams with a four-speed automatic transmission that's both smooth and quick to downshift when you need a quick burst of power for passing or merging. On the whole, it's a good drivetrain with a pleasing V-8 sound — it makes a nice rumble without being raucous — but it would have been nice to see GM give the Canyon V-8 the six-speed automatic transmission that's available with the 5.3-liter V-8 in its full-size trucks; the extra gears have the potential to boost performance and efficiency. As it is, this version of the Canyon gets an EPA-estimated 15/21 mpg city/highway.

    See also:

    Rocking Your Vehicle to Get It Out
    Turn the steering wheel left and right to clear the area around the front wheels. For four-wheel-drive vehicles, shift into Four-Wheel High. For vehicles with StabiliTrak®, turn the traction control ...

    Scheduling Service Appointments (U.S. and Canada)
    When the vehicle requires warranty service, contact your dealer and request an appointment. By scheduling a service appointment and advising the service consultant of your transportation needs, your d ...

    Parental Control
    The RSE system may have a Parental Control feature, depending on which radio the vehicle has. To start Parental Control, press and hold the radio power button for more than two seconds to stop all sys ...