For 2007, the GMC Canyon receives two new engines: the 2.8-litre four-cylinder of 2006 becomes a 2.9-litre with variable valve timing (VVT) and an increase of 10 hp, while the 3.5-litre inline five-cylinder is upgraded to a 3.7-litre with VVT, for an increase of 22 hp. A 125-amp alternator replaces the previous 110-amp unit; the transmission shift quality is improved; a tire pressure monitoring system becomes standard; there are new 15-inch chrome finish wheels and, on the ZQ8, there are new 18-inch bright-finish aluminum wheels. Interior trim is revised, with chrome accents and available Ebony colour; on the outside, there’s new Sport Blue, Midnight Blue Metallic and Sonoma Red Metallic, edging out retiring Superior Blue Metallic and Dark Cherry Metallic.

Like its twin Chevrolet Colorado, the Canyon is available in Regular Cab, Extended Cab with two rear-hinged rear doors, and Crew Cab with four independently-opening doors; two bed lengths; and two- and four-wheel drive. Regular and Extended Cab models come in SL or SLE trim, while the Crew Cab is SLE only. There’s also a ZQ8 sport model and Z71 Off-Road Package.

All models base with the four-cylinder and can be optioned to the five-cylinder, except for the 4WD Crew Cab, which uses the 3.7-litre exclusively. The base transmission in Regular and Extended Cab models is a five-speed standard, which can be optioned to the four-speed automatic that’s used on all Crew Cab models. All come with rack-and-pinion steering, anti-lock brakes, intermittent wipers, air conditioning, tilt wheel, cruise control and folding outside mirrors; other standard or available features include traction control, keyless remote entry, XM Satellite Radio, OnStar, fog lights, auto-dimming inside mirror, running boards, heated seats, curtain airbags, leather interior, power mirrors and rear sliding window.

Crew Cab models use a three-passenger 60/40 folding rear seat, while Extended Cab models have two folding rear seats. Regular and Extended Cab models have a 6-foot-1 (1.85 metre) pickup bed, while the Crew Cab bed is 5-foot-1 (1.55 metre). Both offer two-tier cargo loading and lockable, removable tailgates that can be opened up to almost 90 degrees, but can also be set at a 55-degree opening. This puts it at the height of the top of the rear wheel wells, to carry cargo up to the traditional 4-by-8 sheet of plywood.

The Canyon covers a wide range, starting as a work truck and finishing as a heavily optioned-out boulevard cruiser. It’s still one of the smallest pickup trucks on the market, making it popular with buyers who don’t necessarily want or need a bigger rig. The new engines and improved performance make this a good, solid value in the small truck field.

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