GMC Canyon vs. Toyota Tacoma

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - September 22, 2016

The original GMC Canyon, last offered in 2012, didn't quite measure up to benchmark midsize pickups like the Toyota Tacoma. But the GMC returned in all-new form in 2015 and continues to improve as it moves through the years.

The Tacoma received a redesign of its own in 2016, earning a new V6 powertrain, a more rugged look, and a more off-road-capable model

See a side-by-side comparison of the Canyon & Tacoma »

In this matchup of redesigned midsize pickups, which one delivers the goods truck buyers need?

What the Canyon Gets Right

The new Canyon takes plenty of styling cues from the full-size Sierra, which in this case is a good thing. The Canyon manages to look substantial despite its tidy dimensions. The engineers paid extra attention to ride and handling this time around; both are far more civilized than you might expect in a truck of this size. The same can be said of the interior, which provides car-like convenience and refinement.

The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 200 horsepower, enough for everyday driving and light hauling. The available 3.6-liter V6 provides a boost to 308 horsepower and allows the Canyon to tow up to 7,000 pounds. In 2016, a 2.8-liter Duramax diesel engine arrived and pushed the Canyon's output to 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to tow up to 7,700 pounds and get up to 31 mpg highway.

Recently, GMC added a new Denali version to the Canyon lineup that gives it a level of luxury that is unmatched. Joining the lineup at the same time is a new All Terrain X model that ups the off-road capabilities of the small GMC pickup.

Why We Like the Tacoma

The Tacoma has won legions of fans over the years with its quality and reliability, virtues that remain in full force today. When it comes to off-road capability (and plain fun), the TRD Pro version of the Tacoma ranks among the best pickups of any size. For 2016, Toyota upped the ante by fully redesigning its long-running midsize pickup.

While the Tacoma starts out with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder that is unimpressive at 159 horsepower, it now has an optional 3.5-liter V6 available with 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque on tap.

Where Things Stand Now

The Tacoma is a proven performer that's just as good as always. You'll find no unpleasant surprises down the road if you decide to take one home. The Canyon might not enjoy that kind of reputation, but its advantages in refinement, design and drivability are significant.

Our Verdict: GMC Canyon

The Canyon is simply the product of newer thinking and engineering.

Take a closer look at the GMC canyon »

Take a closer look at the Toyota Tacoma »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Google+ | Website