2009 GMC Canyon Review

Remember the Chevrolet El Camino — the car that doubled as a truck? It's been gone from the U.S. market for more than 20 years, and GM's plan to produce its virtual successor in the Pontiac G8 sport truck died before it was far off the ground.

El Camino aficionados can still rejoice, however, in the fact that GM has something that qualifies as a spiritual ancestor: a special version of the GMC Canyon that features a lowered ZQ8 sport suspension. Powered by a 300-horsepower V-8, you can choose whether you want this Canyon in extended or crew cab form, which is something the Camino never offered.

There's no question the lowered V-8 Canyon is a peculiar edition of this truck, with its low stance and snorting engine, but it will get the thumbs-up from the street-truck crowd because it drives like a muscle car — fun and fast — and can do a little work when needed.

I tested a two-wheel-drive crew cab version of the Canyon V-8 in SLE trim. The as-tested price was $31,230.

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