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2005 GMC Canyon

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2005 GMC Canyon Review

A solid, mid-level, midsize truck.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The GMC Canyon is a midsize pickup truck first introduced in 2004 along with its counterpart, the Chevrolet Colorado. The Canyon replaced the GMC Sonoma, while the Colorado replaced the S-10. The first generation models were in production through 2012, and the 2013 models mark the beginning of the second generation GMC Canyon with an updated, more rounded body and thus far more limited powertrain options. The first generation vehicles ranged in power from the 2.8-liter four-cylinder up to a powerful 5.3-liter V-8. Available transmissions include a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic.

The GMC Canyon is noted for drivability, dependability, and convenient dimensions for a pickup truck while, for most model years, offering towing capacity and power suitable for a smaller work truck.

The Range

Body Styles: pickup truck
Engines: 2.8-liter four-cylinder, 3.5-liter five-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic with overdrive, five-speed manual with overdrive
Models: GMC Canyon regular cab Z85 SL Fleet, GMC Canyon regular cab Z85 SL, GMC Canyon regular cab Z85 SLE, GMC Canyon regular cab Z21 SL, GMC Canyon regular cab Z71 SLE, GMC Canyon crew cab Z85 SLE, GMC Canyon crew cab Z85 SLE, GMC Canyon crew cab Z71, GMC Canyon crew cab Z71 SLE, GMC Canyon extended cab Z85 Fleet, GMC Canyon extended cab Z85 SL, GMC Canyon extended cab Z85 SLE, GMC Canyon extended cab Z71 SL, GMC Canyon extended cab Z71 SLE

What's New

Because the Canyon was first introduced in 2004, GMC only made a couple of changes to the 2005 models. The CD player is now MP3 compatible, side steps are available on both the regular and the extended cab models, a leather package is offered on the extended cab model, and a sunroof is optional on some models.


The 2005 GMC Canyon has an atypical midsize truck profile, pronounced cockpit, and a hood and rear bed that are the same approximate height. A level-to-ground high stance is also present with a distinctive hood, which somewhat separates it. The GMC logo is in the center instead of the Chevrolet logo, which is the only thing that separates any of the models from the Chevrolet Canyon.


The regular cab models have a 60/40-split bench while the extended versions have rear seats with under-seat cargo space. The crew cab models have bucket seats in front and a 60/40-split rear bench that folds down. Some interior options include a six-CD changer, electrochromatic inside mirrors, OnStar, and satellite radio.

Performance & Handling

The smaller engine is a 2.8-liter, Vortec four-cylinder that gets 175-hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. The larger, 3.5-liter inline five-cylinder gets up to 220 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque. Both have electronic throttle control and variable valve timing. These are paired with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. Performance is only moderate on the smaller engine with limited towing capacity, while the larger engine performs better, its only average within its class.


Safety features include four-wheel anti-lock brakes, dual-stage front airbags, and optional side curtain airbags.

EPA Fuel Economy

GMC Canyon Regular and Extended Cab: 18/24 mpg city/highway
GMC Canyon Crew Cab Z85 SLE, Z85 SLE: 18/24 mpg city/highway
GMC Canyon Crew Cab Z71 SLE, Z71 SLE: 16/22 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Size
  • Fuel economy for a truck
  • Transmission operation

You Won't Like

  • Inconvenient driving in city traffic
  • Rear space in extended and crew cab versions
  • Poor resale value on 4x2 models

Sum Up

A solid, mid-level, midsize truck.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Ford Ranger
  • Mazda B2300

See the New 2015 Canyon.

Front & Driver Side View

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