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Colorado & Canyon - 2005 Pickup Truck Buyers Guide

2005 Colorado and Canyon Review

by Martha Hindes

Colorado and Canyon
GMC's Canyon

Finally, midsize has been getting some attention. At a time design and technology changes have gone mostly to the big guys in the pickup truck stables, General Motors opted for a redesigned midsize version. Applause, please.

A highlight for all smaller pickup enthusiasts had to be the recent launch of the redesigned Chevrolet Colorado and its cousin, Canyon, over at "professional grade" GMC. While well within that flexible compact-to-midsize range where it's still a workhorse for smaller jobs and loads but a heck of a lot closer to possessing some performance characteristics, the new Colorado/Canyon that replaced the old S10/Sonoma didn't disappoint on either front.

GM wisely recognized there's no such thing as a single-purpose pickup buyer, and made sure there would be plenty of ways to trim out the vehicle just the way someone wants it. As it moves into its second year, as an '05 model, refinements top the list, with optional sunroof and MP3 player capability and Extend Cab leather now available on GMC's Canyon, which also gets Gen 6 OnStar communications hardware for hands-free use. Colorado gains a power convenience package on some Crew Cab models. Both marques add a new color, Superior Metallic Blue.

Base engine is the 2.8-liter, Vortec 2800 inline four, with a larger Vortec 3500 3.5-liter inline five pumping out 220-HP and 225-lb.ft. of torque. Wheels are 15- or 17-inch for off-road or on-road duties. Despite a wheelbase some eight inches shorter than big brother Silverado/Sierra, it still bears a strong family resemblance with solid crossbar face, high arched wheel openings and strong, straight vertical lines.

During some short-track testing, we found it easy to handle and capable for an empty-bed pickup truck. Priced from the mid-teens to high 20s, expect model year-end incentives to sweeten the pot. We can envision a wide variety of buyers for this redesigned small pickup, who want a dual purpose vehicle with more agility and driving fun than a large pickup can offer and a capability of transporting families without breaking the bank.