Since the Canyon and its twin, the Chevrolet Colorado, arrived, competitors have surpassed these two trucks in just about all categories. The unrefined five-cylinder engine lacks punch and doesn't offer a fuel-economy advantage over competing V6s. The older 3.5-liter version had to work hard to power our tested crew cab. Handling is sound but unexceptional. The ride is unsettled and the body constantly quivers.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
NA
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
NA
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
NA
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
NA
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
NA
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
NA
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
NA
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
NA
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
NA
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
NA
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
NA

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
NA
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Head protection air bags available from 2004, standard from 2010. ESC standard from 2009.
Model Summary
Since the Canyon and its twin, the Chevrolet Colorado, arrived, competitors have surpassed these two trucks in just about all categories. The unrefined five-cylinder engine lacks punch and doesn't offer a fuel-economy advantage over competing V6s. The older 3.5-liter version had to work hard to power our tested crew cab. Handling is sound but unexceptional. The ride is unsettled and the body constantly quivers. The huge 48-foot turning circle makes parking a chore. A 5.3-liter V8 is new for 2009.
Seating
3 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
4WD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
extended cab
regular cab
crew cab
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.9-liter 4 (185 hp)
  • 3.7-liter 5 (242 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2008 GMC Canyon owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Body control module

"key fob would not work I had purchased extended war. took it in and they replaced the module"

Anonymous, GA (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 3.7-L 5 Cyl)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Braking lights over cab of truck gasket not installed correct at factory and when raining water entered lighting area blowing the bulbs. Solution installed new gasket"

Kim D., AL (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 3.7-L 5 Cyl)

"Brake light failed and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, OR (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 2.9-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

"Bullb, failed and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, OR (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 2.9-L 4 Cyl)
Tire pressure monitor

"The entire electrical system is a mess. :Periodic episodes of not starting, wipers coming on for no reason, TPM warnings when there are no problems with tires"

Lee Y., TX (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 3.7-L 5 Cyl)
Warning lights

"info center says "no ac" then gauges will not work, nor will ac, nor will temp gauge. also info center says locked 1 requiring system reset"

Kathleen C., AZ (2008 GMC Canyon SL 2.9-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"Leaking from water pump"

David W., AK (2008 GMC Canyon SL 3.7-L 5 Cyl)
Water pump

"Antifreeze leaked. Had to get the water pump and belts replaced"

Charles O., NC (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 3.7-L 5 Cyl)

"Replaced water pump"

David W., AK (2008 GMC Canyon SL 3.7-L 5 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Blower (fan) motor

"#3speed control on heater /a.c. Switch stoped working"

Don S., WV (2008 GMC Canyon SL 3.7-L 5 Cyl)

"the system makes a thumping sound when on. there is apparently gears that are striped and not working properly and would be over 1000.00 to fix, because they have to remove the dash etc"

James E., NV (2008 GMC Canyon 3.7-L 5 Cyl)

"mechanic state this is common problem. replaced condenser but problem returned (highest speed only functioning. All 4 speeds operate on occasion, but rarely for more than a few minutes"

Richard S., CT (2008 GMC Canyon SL 3.7-L 5 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"Lost compression due to burnt valve"

Steve G., FL (2008 GMC Canyon SL 3.7-L 5 Cyl)

"broken valve spring"

Anonymous, MA (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 3.7-L 5 Cyl)
Engine rebuild or replacement

"Found cylinder #5 miss fires and low compression. Found Thermostat stuck open, removed cylinder head and sent out for repairs. Found transmission fluid in radiator, replaced radiator. water pump had been leaking, replaced water pump."

Anonymous, AL (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 3.7-L 5 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"had a clunking noise in front right brake"

Anonymous, IL (2008 GMC Canyon WT 2.9-L 4 Cyl)
Normal routine brake wear

"It cost over $1000 to have a brake job on all four wheels after normal brake wear. This is a suspension design problem resulting in a lot of extra labor"

Charles O., NC (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 3.7-L 5 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"Would not shift into 4wd"

Russ C., ON (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 3.7-L 5 Cyl)
Transfer case

"Would not shift into 4wd"

Russ C., ON (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 3.7-L 5 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Rust

"Frame base while rusted through"

Don S., WV (2008 GMC Canyon SL 3.7-L 5 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"Second problem I've had with the O2 sensor. throttling after startup. Had to replace the computer twice. Once in 2010 and the second in 2014"

Anonymous, AZ (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 2.9-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Ignition switch

"Once in awhile the truck won't start. I have to put the key into the ignition switch 2 or 3 times to get it to work"

Charles O., NC (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 3.7-L 5 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"I replace O2 sensor after engine could not idle if it was hot outside (excess of 100). The entire truck would shudder as if it was stalling"

Anonymous, AZ (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 2.9-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"If a CD is left in the player over time (a few months), it draws down the battery even if the radio/CD and truck is turned of"

Charles O., NC (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 3.7-L 5 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Tailgate heavy, sticks, hard to open"

Anonymous, IN (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 2.9-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Power steering leaks

"Power steering leaks"

Anonymous, IN (2008 GMC Canyon SLE 2.9-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

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