GMC Canyon Vs. Tacoma: A Comprehensive Look Into Two Mighty Pickups

Welcome, truck enthusiasts! We’re about to explore the realms of two giants in the midsize truck market – the GMC Canyon and the Toyota Tacoma. These titans are well-liked for their mix of comfort, capability, and overall functionality. But when faced with the question of which to choose, it often leaves consumers in a pickle. 

Worry no more, as we’re about to break down each vehicle, dissecting the pros, cons, and how they stack against each other. Let’s dive in!

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureGMC CanyonToyota Tacoma
Engine Options2.5L I4, 3.6L V6, 2.8L Turbodiesel2.7L I4, 3.5L V6
Maximum Horsepower308 hp278 hp
Off-Road PackagesAll Terrain XTRD Off-Road, TRD Pro
Interior QualityGood, slightly less refinedExcellent, more upscale
Technology & Infotainment7 or 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlaySame, slightly less intuitive
Fuel Efficiency (mpg)Up to 30 mpg (diesel)Up to 24 mpg (V6)
Towing Capacity (lbs)Up to 7,700Up to 6,800

GMC Canyon: American Muscle Meets Comfort

GMC Canyon
GMC Canyon

The GMC Canyon, a product of General Motors, oozes confidence. It perfectly encapsulates the blend of luxury and raw power that GM is known for.

Pros of the GMC Canyon

The Canyon impresses with its strong engine options – offering a 2.5L four-cylinder base engine, a punchier 3.6L V6, and a 2.8L turbodiesel. All deliver robust performance, making Canyon one of the most potent trucks in its class. For a midsize pickup, it boasts excellent towing capacity (up to 7,700 pounds with the diesel engine).

Inside, you’ll be greeted with a well-structured cabin layout, featuring an easy-to-use infotainment system, complete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The ride is impressively smooth, and handling is composed, making long drives less tiring.

Cons of the GMC Canyon

On the downside, the Canyon’s base model feels rather stripped-down, and upgrading to a more feature-rich version quickly pushes up the price. The interior quality, though decent, isn’t quite as refined as some competitors.

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Toyota Tacoma: Unrivaled Reliability in a Tough Package

Toyota Tacoma
Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma, born from Japanese ingenuity, is an embodiment of reliability, durability, and off-road prowess.

Pros of the Toyota Tacoma

The Tacoma’s strength lies in its legendary reliability and excellent off-road abilities. With the available TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro trims, you’re looking at serious off-road hardware, including beefy shock absorbers, skid plates, and a lockable rear differential.

Tacoma also boasts a high-quality interior. The infotainment system is straightforward, and smartphone integration comes standard. Plus, it’s one of the few trucks in its class offering a manual transmission – a thrill for traditionalists.

Cons of the Toyota Tacoma

The Tacoma falls short in terms of ride comfort and its base engine performance. The seating position may feel awkward for some, and the base 2.7L four-cylinder engine is underwhelming. While Tacoma’s resale value is high, so is its initial price point.

GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma: Head to Head

When you pit the GMC Canyon against the Toyota Tacoma, the differences start to show.

While the Canyon’s ride is smoother, the Tacoma leads in off-road abilities. Inside, both offer good infotainment systems, but the Tacoma edges out with its overall interior quality. In terms of power, Canyon’s engine options outshine Tacoma’s base offering.

However, it all depends on what you value in a truck. If off-road adventure and reliability are your top priorities, Tacoma is your champion. For those who value powerful performance and a more comfortable ride, the Canyon makes an excellent choice.

Key Differences Between the GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma

  1. Engine Options and Performance

GMC Canyon The Canyon offers a variety of engines, including a 2.5L four-cylinder with 200 hp, a 3.6L V6 with 308 hp, and a fuel-efficient 2.8L turbodiesel that churns out 186 hp. The V6 and diesel options provide robust towing and hauling capabilities, making it a powerhouse in its segment.

Toyota Tacoma The Tacoma offers two engines – a 2.7L four-cylinder with 159 hp and a 3.5L V6 with 278 hp. Though the V6 offers competitive performance, the base engine is less powerful compared to the Canyon’s offerings.

  1. Off-Road Abilities

GMC Canyon The Canyon offers an All Terrain X package, designed for off-road use. However, it doesn’t quite match the Tacoma’s robust off-road packages.

Toyota Tacoma Tacoma’s TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro trims are legendary in off-roading circles. The inclusion of advanced features like Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select allows it to excel on rugged trails.

  1. Interior Comfort and Quality

GMC Canyon The Canyon’s interior, especially in the higher trims, offers a refined experience. It’s well-designed with user-friendly technology but falls slightly short on luxurious finishes.

Toyota Tacoma Tacoma’s interior is known for high-quality materials and solid construction. Although the seating position might not suit everyone, the overall interior ambiance is more upscale.

  1. Technology and Infotainment

GMC Canyon The Canyon’s infotainment system is highly intuitive, complete with a 7 or 8-inch touchscreen, depending on the trim. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, allowing seamless smartphone integration.

Toyota Tacoma Tacoma’s infotainment system offers similar features, with a responsive touchscreen and standard smartphone integration. However, some users might find the Canyon’s system slightly more user-friendly.

  1. Reliability

GMC Canyon The Canyon is considered reliable, and it should meet the expectations of most owners. However, it does not have the same historical track record as the Tacoma.

Toyota Tacoma The Tacoma shines with its unrivaled reliability. It’s not uncommon for Tacomas to last for several hundred thousand miles with regular maintenance, which has helped build its legendary status.

  1. Fuel Efficiency

GMC Canyon The Canyon’s diesel engine option offers remarkable fuel efficiency, making it one of the best in the segment for those conscious of fuel consumption.

Toyota Tacoma The Tacoma’s fuel efficiency is commendable, particularly with the V6 engine. Still, without a diesel option, it can’t quite match the Canyon’s fuel economy with the diesel variant.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does the GMC Canyon compare to the Toyota Tacoma? 

In essence, the GMC Canyon provides more powerful engine options, better towing capacity, and a smoother ride. The Toyota Tacoma, on the other hand, excels in off-road abilities and is known for its superior reliability.

What is bigger, the Tacoma or Canyon? 

Both are similar in size, but the GMC Canyon is slightly longer and wider than the Toyota Tacoma, offering a bit more interior space.

Is the GMC Canyon reliable? 

Yes, the GMC Canyon generally has good reliability ratings. However, the Tacoma is renowned for its exceptional reliability, a traditional strength of Toyota vehicles.

Why did GMC stop making the Canyon? 

As of my knowledge cut-off in September 2021, GMC has not stopped making the Canyon. However, model availability can vary by region and year.

What is the GMC Canyon equivalent to? 

The GMC Canyon is often compared to its corporate cousin, the Chevrolet Colorado, as they share many mechanical components and features.

What is the GMC Canyon comparable to? 

Apart from the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado, the GMC Canyon also competes with trucks like the Ford Ranger, Honda Ridgeline, and Nissan Frontier.


Both the GMC Canyon and the Toyota Tacoma are strong contenders in the midsize truck category, each with their unique strengths. What matters is which truck suits your personal and lifestyle needs best. May your truck adventures be grand!

In conclusion, both the GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma offer unique attributes that cater to different needs and preferences. The choice between these two might be challenging but understanding these differences can help pinpoint the right truck for your lifestyle. Whether you prioritize off-road mastery, engine performance, interior quality, or reliability, both trucks present compelling options, making them leaders in the midsize pickup segment.

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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