NEW FOR 2008:

– OnStar standard on SLE models
– Front halogen fog lamps standard on all models
– Exterior colours: Red Orange Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic and Dark Steel Grey Metallic

For 2008, the GMC Canyon midsize pickup truck is virtually unchanged, save for fog lamps and the addition of OnStar to the upper-line SLE trim model.

A sister vehicle to the Chevrolet Colorado, the Canyon is available with a 2.9-litre four-cylinder or 3.7-litre inline five-cylinder, and with five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

Configurations are Regular Cab, Extended Cab with two rear-hinged back doors, and Crew Cab with four independently-opening doors; there are two bed lengths (6-foot-1 and 5-foot-1), and two- and four-wheel drive. All come with the 2.9-litre and can be optioned to the 3.7-litre, except for the 4WD Crew Cab, which comes only with the five-cylinder.

Features on the SL models include 15-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, 60/40 bench seat with cloth trim, chrome bumpers, fog lamps, manual mirrors, two-position locking tailgate, variable intermittent wipers, driver information centre, exterior cargo light, tilt wheel, cruise control, AM/FM stereo, block heater, and automatic headlamps. Regular Cab models have vinyl floor covering, while Extended and Crew Cab models have colour-keyed carpet with rubber floor mats.

The SLE adds 15-inch aluminum wheels, deep-tinted rear windows, assist handles, leather-wrapped wheel, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, CD/MP3 stereo, and OnStar. Regular and Extended Cab models have a 60/40 front reclining bench with deluxe cloth trim, while the Crew Cab has front reclining bucket seats.

Extended Cab models have folding rear jump seats with under-seat storage, while Crew Cab models have a rear 60/40 flat-folding split-bench seat.

Available options, depending on the model, include a sliding rear window, front-seat centre console, heated leather seats and six-CD stereo.

The Canyon covers a wide range, from work truck to tricked-out boulevard cruiser, and is popular with buyers who like its relatively small footprint in a world of increasingly larger "mini" trucks. Both bed lengths offer two-tier cargo loading and lockable, removable tailgates that can be opened to almost 90 degrees, but can also be set at a 55-degree opening to carry cargo as large as the traditional 4-by-8 sheet of plywood. Shop it against other smaller trucks such as the Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series.

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