Professional Grade is about delivering more than what the customer expects. In Canyon’s case, it’s more power, more comfort, more cargo room and a wide range of model configurations - all in a nimble, midsize truck package. For 2006, Canyon delivers a new ZQ8 sport suspension package, SLT trim on Extended and Crew Cab models, the GM Passenger Sensing (air bag) System for front seat passengers and a host of new interior and exterior colors.

  • 2006 GMC Canyon
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Vortec 3500 3.5L I-5
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    3460 L
  • body style:

The GMC Canyon was designed to do what small pickups do: carry people and sometimes haul heavy loads in the bed. But Canyon is still a serious truck capable of serious duty. That is due to a full-frame chassis that’s stronger than that of the Sonoma compact pickup that the Canyon replaced. Canyon also delivers enhanced ride and handling for 2006 via the new, available ZQ8 sport suspension. The ZQ8 sport suspension features a 22-mm rear stabilizer bar, high-pressure monotube shocks, quick-ratio power steering and rubber/urethane jounce bumpers. For an even sportier look, ZQ8-equipped Canyon models have a two-inch lower ride height than those equipped with the base Z85 suspension, ride on 17-inch aluminum wheels shod with P235/50R17 tires and feature body-colored wheel flares. Canyon is rated to tow 4,000 pounds. Heavy-duty towing should be left to full-size trucks.

2006 GMC Canyon
- image 88836

The GMC Canyon was launched as an all-new model for 2004, and there are no significant changes for 2006.

The angular wheel arches gives the GMC Canyon an aggressively style. Its front is bright and bold in the GMC tradition and looks mean and menacing, and at the same time it is in a classy GMC manner. The black center grille is surrounded by brightwork that extends to either side of the truck.

Regular and Extended Cabs have 6-foot, 1-inch beds. The Crew Cab has a 5-foot, 1-inch bed in exchange for its larger cabin. Regular and Extended Cabs models have steps in the rear fender ahead of the rear wheels, making it easier to reach and load things in the front of the bed. Extended Cabs use rear-hinged back doors with doors handles inside the door jam. Crew Cabs have front-hinged rear doors with doors handles that are easy to grip and pull open.

Design and Equipment

The interior it’s generously wide, especially in the rear seat of the Crew Cab, where three adults are accommodated comfortably than would be possible in the previous generation of compact pickups.

2006 GMC Canyon
- image 88841

The front seats are chair height, which gives the driver excellent visibility over the hood. The seat bottoms are flat and lack sufficient lateral support, so you would feel like you sinking to one side to the other.

The Canyon features triple seals around the doors, another example of its refinement. The seals not only reduce water and dust intrusion, they also reduce wind noise for a quieter cab.

Powertrain and Chassis

The 3.5-liter five-cylinder Vortec 3 3500 is a dual-overhead cam engine with variable valve timing. It’s rated at 220 horsepower and develops 225 pound-feet of torque at 2800 rpm. The latter is important because torque is the twisting force on the tires that propels the truck from a stop and helps it tow heavy loads up long grades. The five-cylinder engine is essentially the Vortec 4200 six-cylinder from the GMC Envoy with one cylinder lopped off. Recommended fuel is unleaded regular, another plus for economical operation. A 2WD, five-cylinder Canyon with manual transmission gets an EPS-rated a9/25 mpg City/Highway.

The 175-horsepower four-cylinder engine is essentially the five-cylinder minus one more cylinder. It’s rated 21/27 mpg with manual transmission and 2WD.

In off-road or inclement weather driving situations, Canyon’s four-wheel drive system provides added confidence and safety for the driver. The dash-mounted electronic “shift-on-the-fly” system allows the driver to move from rear- to four-wheel drive at any speed when road conditions demand a change. Enhanced power/torque-management traction control also is available on 2WD models. A locking differential is included with traction control on 2WD models and available on 4WD models. Additionally, three rear-end gear ratios are available: 3.42:1, 3.73:1 and 4.10:1.

Safety and Security

On the road, the Canyon feels solid, with no rattles or squeaks, and the bed doesn’t make any noise. The standard suspension is able to work precisely, without interference from chassis flex, resulting in a controlled ride. Canyon is stable and predictable around the curves, and a solid stopper when the binders were applied, aided by ABS on loose surfaces.

2006 GMC Canyon
- image 88851

The GMC Canyon is ideal for people who need a real pickup but don’t need or want the size and cost of a full-size truck. It is driver-friendly and easy to park. The Canyon is an all-around performer, putting GMC in the groove for mid-size pickup performance.

Andrew Coman
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (714) posted on 01.27.2012

GMC Canyon looks like Chevrolet’s Colorado pick-up car. It provides more power, space and functionality than any other pick-ups offered. The interior design is world-class and exceptional.

  (458) posted on 09.2.2011

They are right but I still found it quite impressive for a pick up car. It is still so reliable on a road and even in adventures.

  (488) posted on 08.25.2011

Same old pick up car, they are right that they only keep on replacing the names of this car but the design is still assist.

  (341) posted on 03.18.2010

They just keep replacing the names but the design is more likely the same.

  (797) posted on 01.17.2010

It does look odd, but I assure you, it’s not bad to be in front of one at night if you drive a sensible car. FWIW, I do know this firsthand, as my dad has an ’04 Colorado, and it’s positively refreshing to not have the headlights aimed at your rear view mirror.

  (6020) posted on 09.3.2006

This is my second CANYON, Excellent power, room, quality. Awesome truck for the money

  (6020) posted on 07.31.2006

The Canyon and its brother the Colorado beat their competition in yet another Category besides mileage... In looks!
Also, the other trucks in this category don’t offer as many options.

  (6020) posted on 07.31.2006

^^Outdated or not. Honestly I would take the 4.0L OHC ranger to this. HP sells cars to the uneducated, Torque gets the work done for the people who mean business. That i5 boasts 230hp, but it has sh|t for haulling anything . No low end to it like either the 4.3l in the s10, or the 4.0l in the ranger. Sure onces it winds up to 5k rpms it goes good but what the hell good is it in a truck.

  (6020) posted on 07.29.2006

tacoma,frontier,dakota.....they all have it beat in virtually every category except maybe fuel mileage.....the only truck worse is the shamefully outdated ranger.

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