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2006 GMC Canyon

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2006 GMC Canyon Review

Gets the attention of compact truck buyers.

Reviewed by Automotive on


Slightly larger than the Sonoma truck that it replaced, the 2006 GMC Canyon is bigger than any compact GMC truck built in years. It offers three body styles, two- and four-wheel drive, and a choice of two Vortec inline engines. Bearing in mind that most compact truck owners are using their trucks for personal transportation, GMC stepped up the interior with a more refined and feature-filled cabin.

The Range

Body Styles: Compact truck
Engines: 2.8-liter four-cylinder, 3.5-liter inline five-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Canyon, Canyon SL, Canyon SLE, Canyon SLE crewcab

What's New

The 2006 GMC Canyon gets some notable updates, like the addition of an MP3-capable audio system. The Canyon’s SLT trim is now available on extended and crew cab models. The new ZQ8 package lowers the Canyon's height by two inches, improves steering, and adds a thicker rear stabilizer bar with 17-inch aluminum wheels to boot.


Described by GMC as having a ""chiseled"" look, the 2006 GMC Canyon features a distinctive front end with the prominent red GMC logo on the grille, which gives it a natural kinship to other GMC products. The grille has a chrome surround and crossbars are dark gray with short overhangs. Standard is a six-foot cargo box, while Crew Cab models get a five-foot box. All Canyons have front stabilizer bars and 15-inch aluminum wheels.


Unfortunately, the 2006 GMC Canyon's interior comes across feeling slightly sub-par. The regular cab pickups contain a standard 60/40-split bench seat that comes available with cloth or vinyl upholstery. Reclining bucket seats are optional. The extended cab four-door models have two forward-facing rear seats. Crew cab models are equipped with front bucket seats and a 60/40-split flat-folding backseat that can seat up to three adults.

The dash is unimpressive but sufficient. Standard amenities include air-conditioning, intermittent wipers, tilt steering, and cruise control. Optional features include remote keyless entry, XM Satellite radio, power outside mirrors, and high back bucket seats. LT models offer a Sun and Sound package, which includes an AM/FM stereo with a six in-dash stereo and power sunroof.

Performance & Handling

The 2006 GMC Canyon pickup comes standard with a 2.8-liter engine rated at 175 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with a five-speed manual transmission. A 3.5-liter engine with 220 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque and a four-speed automatic is optional. Maximum towing capacity is low for its class at only 4000 pounds. However, because the GMC Canyon is geared toward the light-duty non-commercial user, the towing capacity quite sufficient.


GMC was the first to offer roof-mounted side curtain airbags; they’re optional on all 2006 GMC Canyon body styles. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes come standard on all trims. Traction control is optional on two-wheel drive trucks. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the GMC Canyon a ""good"" rating for front-offset crash testing performance. In government crash tests, the four-door Canyon earned four stars out of five for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts. In side-impact tests, it received four out of five stars for front-occupant protection and a full five stars for rear passengers.

EPA Fuel Economy

Canyon: 18/25 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Versatile size
  • Good handling
  • Simple controls

You Won't Like

  • Unimpressive interior
  • No six- or eight-cylinder engine option
  • Low tow ratings

Sum Up

Gets the attention of compact truck buyers.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Dodge Dakota
  • Ford Ranger
  • Mazda B-3000
  • Nissan Frontier

See the New 2015 Canyon.

Front & Driver Side View

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