2011 GMC Canyon
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2011 GMC Canyon Overview

2011 Canyon SL Regular Cab Pickup
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2011 GMC Canyon Review

2 Star Rating  (2 Stars) In need of a substantial update

Reviewed by Internet Auto Guide


Unlike much of the rest of the GMC stable, the 2011 GMC Canyon midsize truck continues on with minimal updates. One recent significant change to the Canyon was the addition of a 300 horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8 engine, available for Canyon Extended and Crew Cab trim levels. A base regular cab version of the GMC truck is also available.

The GMC Canyon can be had in Work Truck, SLT and SLE styles, with a choice of a 2.4-liter I-4 or a 3.7-liter I-5 in addition to the V-8, mated to either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual depending upon configuration. The truck is available in two-wheel or four-wheel drive across the range, a five or six-foot bed, and V-8-powered models can tow as much as 6,000 pounds. The Canyon is also available with either the ZQ8 sport or Z71 off-road suspension packages.

The 2011 Canyon pickup does pick up a few new features, including a new front seat headrest design, an available chrome package, and additional connectivity options such as the latest version of OnStar, and Bluetooth.

The Range

  • Bodystyles: Truck
  • Engines: 2.9L/185-hp/190-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4; 3.7L/242-hp/242-lb-ft DOHC 20-valve I-5; 5.3L/300-hp/320-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8
  • Transmissions: 4-speed automatic, 5-speed manual
  • Models: Regular Cab, Extended Cab, Crew Cab

What's New

For 2011 the GMC Canyon is now available with OnStar Gen 9.0, which features a six-month subscription to the service's Directions and Connections plan. A revised front headrest design has been developed for the Canyon's seats, there's a new color choice called Aqua Blue Metallic, and a new chrome package is also available featuring a chrome fuel door and exhaust tip.


The 2011 GMC Canyon's face features a bold, slatted grille with the GMC badge proudly displayed, flanked by a unique, two-tiered headlamp setup. The Canyon's look is also highlighted by exaggerated fender flares designed to lend it a masculine look.


The Canyon's interior could use an update and offers little in the way of standard features, but the truck does have several available options including power leather bucket seats on SLT and SLE trims, a power convenience package, sunroof, and a stereo with CD/MP3 player, and the revised headrests.

Performance & Handling

The 2011 Canyon offers three Vortec engines. The base 2.9-liter I-4 with 185 horsepower musters 20 mpg combined. The 3.7-liter I-5 is rated at 242 horsepower, and the big (and thirsty) V-8 outputs 300 horsepower. All engines are mated to either aging four speed auto or five-speed manual transmissions. The Canyon's heavy duty, sport and off-road suspensions offer prospective buyers flexibility depending on need.


The Canyon recently got safer thanks to the addition of standard head curtain side air bags across the range, augmenting the frontal air bags with sensing system. The Canyon also comes standard with StabilTrak stability control and OnStar.

EPA Fuel Economy

  • Canyon 2WD (18 city/25 highway 2.9L auto/manual; 17 city/25 highway 3.7L; 14 city/20 highway 5.3L) Canyon 4WD (18 city/24 highway 2.9L auto, 17 city/23 highway 2.9L auto manual; 17 city/23 highway 3.7L; 14 city/19 highway 5.3L)

You'll Like

  • Multiple engine options
  • Configurable
  • OnStar 9.0
  • Solid warranty

You Won't Like

  • Sub-par interior
  • Average MPG
  • Lacks top-tier technology
  • Aging transmissions

Sum Up

2 Star Rating In need of a substantial update
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