Cars Similar to the GMC Canyon
Although its manufacturer seems a little confused about it, the GMC Canyon provides one of automotive’s best mid-sized trucks. GMC’s site lists it officially as a small truck though. Just know that when you shop for a new truck, despite the wording on GMC’s site, you need to search for mid-sized trucks to find the Canyon’s equivalents.
GMC crafted a workhorse with Canyon, and it typically ranks in the top three or top five of mid-sized trucks, depending on which review site you visit – Motor Trend, Kelley Blue Book, True Car, Auto Trader, etc. Its standard model comes with a 2.5-liter I4 engine that produces 200 horsepower and – pound feet of torque. GMC offers an upgrade that provides a 3.6-liter V6 engine capable of producing 308 horsepower. Between those two you’ll find a 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine option.
Nab the standard Canyon for its sticker price of $26,800. Choosing the Crew Cab Long Box optional package costs $39,395. The truck comes in two body styles – extended cab or crew cab. You can seat four or five in it, so it provides a great option for work or families.
With a handful of trims available, you can nab a Canyon that suits your personality perfectly and caters to your driving needs. GMC offers both four-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive options. Pick from a six- or eight-speed transmission.
It manages to go from 0 to 60 in 5.8 to 10.7 seconds depending on the engine and transmission configuration. The Canyon offers average fuel efficiency. It earns 20 miles to the gallon in the city and 30 miles to the gallon on the highway. If you do mostly highway driving, such as for a commute, you can expect rather average gas costs from this vehicle.
With a roomy bed that easily hauls two by fours and a decent towing capacity of 3,500 to 7,000 pounds, this truck offers one of the best options in its class. Still, competitors do exist. You might want to turn to one of them and you will need to if this option sold out in your area, but you need a truck now.
You can find alternatives to GMC’s roomy mid-sized truck. Let us help you get started with a quick list of our favorites, starting with our top three, then providing the runners-ups.
Alternative 1: Chevy Colorado
The Colorado slightly beats the Canyon in price, starting at $25,435. The Colorado provides the same exact gas mileage, too, earning ratings of 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
Why It’s Similar to the Canyon
Both mid-sized trucks start at roughly the same price, earn similar gas mileage and offer a four-wheel drive option. The two vehicles accelerate from 0 to 60 at nearly the same sped, down to the milliseconds. You can choose either truck in six or eight speed transmission. The Canyon and Colorado also seat the same number of individuals and tow the same.
Vehicle Design Observations
The Colorado provides a 2.5-liter, four cylinder engine that produces 181-horsepower and 191 pound feet of torque on its standard model. Auto experts say the truck won’t meet the average reliability expectations of car buyers. It offers less safety technology and a simpler interior than other trucks. It beats out the competition on its configurability though.
Chevy offers a cornucopia of trims but that means many versions of the truck abound and the differences leave lots of room for problems.
Speed/Time for 0 to 60 miles per hour: 5.8 to 11 seconds
Horsepower: 181 hp
Torque: 191 lb. ft.
Base Model Cost: $25,435
Seating Capacity: four or five
Fuel Efficiency: 20 mpg in the city/30 mpg on the highway
Towing Capacity: 3,500 to 7,000 pounds
Alternative 2: Hyundai Santa Cruz
Nab a Hyundai Santa Cruz for just $245,400 for a comparable truck that its manufacturer calls a sports adventure vehicle. Hyundai merged the best features of a truck with those of an SUV to make the Santa Cruz. Paying less gets you a cool exterior and slightly better gas mileage in the city, but that’s it. The Korean automaker otherwise offers your typical mid-sized truck.
Why It’s Similar to the Canyon
Despite Hyundai’s and GMC’s misnomers for their vehicles, they’re both mid-sized trucks. The Santa Cruz simply uses a different body style. Otherwise, you’re looking at twins. This truck seats five, offers an eight-speed transmission, tows the same standard amount in pounds, and offers a standard 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine.
Vehicle Design Observations
Pick from four trims with the top trim costing $40K. You’ve only got the one engine available on the Hyundai, but it performs well. This vehicle earns 21 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway. Choose from two driveline options – all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive.
Speed/Time for 0 to 60 miles per hour: 6.9 seconds
Horsepower: 191 hp
Torque: 181 lb. ft.
Base Model Cost: $24,440
Seating Capacity: Five
Fuel Efficiency: 21 mpg in the city/22 mpg on the highway
Towing capacity: 3,500 to 5,000 pounds
Alternative 3: Toyota Tacoma
Toyota Tacoma compares well to the Canyon. It ranks at number three though because its base model costs about $1,500 more than the Canyon and its gas mileage on the highway falls far beneath competitors’ performance. Otherwise, this Korean import offers a strong alternative to the Canyon.
Why It’s Similar to the Canyon
Both vehicles fall into the same class, offer four-wheel drive, and tow about the same poundage. They start at nearly the same price, and both provide strong safety ratings. The earn the same in the city gas mileage of 20 mpg.
Vehicle Design Observations
Aside from the front end grill, this vehicle, the Canyon, and the Colorado are triplets. The three even all get similar ratings form Edmunds and US News & World Reports. Aside from its dismal gas mileage, this competes well with the Canyon.
Speed/Time for 0 to 60 miles per hour: 6.6 to 10.9 seconds
Horsepower: 159 to 278 hp
Torque: 180 to 265 lb. ft.
Base Model Cost: $27,150
Seating Capacity: Four or five
Fuel Efficiency: 20 mpg in the city/23 mpg on the highway
Towing capacity: 3,500 to 6,800 pounds
Runners Up to the top Three
If you didn’t find the next car of your dreams in the top three vehicle alternatives to the GMC Canyon, keep reading. We located other GMC Canyon alternatives, too. Warning: The huge mid-sized truck class offers a lot of options.
4. Nissan Frontier
Nissan inches up the mid-sized truck price to $28,690 for the starting point. It degrades the gas mileage though, offering just 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Its beast of an engine provides power. The standard 3.8-liter V6 engine produces 310 horsepower and 281-pound feet of torque.
The nine-speed automatic transmission offers the only choice in that feature, but you can choose from two drivelines – four-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. With power comes towing capacity and the standard Frontier can tow 6,260 pounds.
5. Ford Ranger
The Ford Ranger cost less at a starting price of $25,930. It degrades the gas mileage though, offering just 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. It offers a mid-range engine of 2.3-liters with four cylinders that produces 270 horsepower and 310-pound feet of torque.
The 10-speed automatic transmission offers the only choice in that feature, but you can choose from two drivelines – four-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. The standard Ranger can tow 3,500 pounds. Like its competition, this vehicle can seat four or five, depending on the configuration.
6. Ford Maverick
Ford offers a mid-sized truck that easily competes with its heavier-duty brothers. It starts the Maverick at a tiny entry point price of $20,995. If you need to haul anything big, forget this vehicle. If you need to drive a lot and do not want to break the bank, choose this truck. The Maverick earns an impressive, amazing 42 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.
Its two-liter, four-cylinder engine can only haul 2,000 pounds, but it can handle your groceries, small loads, and save you hugely at the pump. The standard engine produces 161 horsepower and 155-pound feet of torque.
If you upgrade to the 2.5-liter engine, you can up those numbers to 250 horsepower and 277-pound feet of torque. The 10-speed automatic transmission offers the only choice in that feature, but you can choose from two drivelines – four-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive.
Related: 12 Cars Similar to the Ford Maverick
7. Jeep Gladiator
Jeep throws its hat into the ring with the Gladiator, its only truck. The highly rated mid-sized truck costs about $11,000 more than the Canyon – $37,170 to start. It offers decent gas mileage, earning 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
Its mid-range engine and its alternative balance power and fuel efficiency. The standard 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine produces 260 horsepower and 260-pound feet of torque. The available 3.6-liter V6 engine produces 285 horsepower and 442-pound feet of torque.
Choose either an eight-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. You can have four-wheel drive in the Gladiator. With power comes towing capacity and the standard Gladiator can tow 4,000 pounds, while the upgraded engine manages 4,500 pounds.
8. Rivian R1T
The Rivian R1T vaults up the mid-sized truck price to $67,500 because it provides an all-electric engine. You can plug this truck in at your home and charge it for a few dollars, which saves you huge money since going to the pump can cost upwards of $50 at press time.
While it costs nearly $3,500 annually on average to fill up on gas, electric vehicles cost just hundreds since you can fully charge their battery for about $7. The Rivian costs more at its outset, therefore, but makes up for it in the cost of driving during the ownership years. It earns 74 mpg in the city and 66 mpg on the highway.
It also offers a beast of an electric engine that produces 600 to 835 horsepower and 600 to 908-pound feet of torque, depending on the engine choice. The one-speed automatic transmission offers the only choice in that feature, and you can only own an all-wheel drive. The engine lets you tow 11,000 pounds though.
9. Ford F-150 Electric Lightning Lariat
Ford did not pay me to list this many of its trucks. It simply offers many mid-sized vehicles at good price points that work well for general use. Like the Rivian entry, this truck costs more at the outset – $67,474 for the starting point.
It offers amazing gas mileage though, earning 76 mpg in the city and 61 mpg on the highway. It also uses a power engine – an electric engine that produces 426 horsepower and 570-pound feet of torque.
The one-speed automatic transmission offers the only choice in that feature. Your driveline will be an all-wheel drive. With power comes towing capacity and the standard F-150 Electric can tow 7,700 pounds.
10. Chevrolet Silverado RST EV
Chevy will roll out its electric entry in the summer of 2022 and this mid-sized truck brings the power. The price isn’t yet available, but the vehicle will offer a tantalizing 400-mile range on a single charge. It will accelerate from zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds. Its standard engine produces 660 horsepower and 780-pound feet of torque.
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying a Mid-Sized Truck
Everybody’s got questions when they shop for a new vehicle. That’s normal. This FAQ addresses the most common questions by people when trying to decide which truck to buy.
How much horsepower do you need?
Is this your first vehicle purchase? Horsepower only matters if you really need it. When you use a truck to haul groceries or plants home from the store, you can have a vehicle with any horsepower.
When you need to haul equipment, a boat, a camper, a trailer, or construction materials, you need horsepower. The higher the horses, the more powerful the engine. So, all things considered, an engine that produces 300 horsepower works better than an engine that produces 175 horsepower. If you need fuel efficiency, typically, you should choose a smaller, less powerful engine because they usually get better gas mileage.
The term comes from the time before automotives. In the old days, horses drew carriages and trailers. When the auto got invented, its purveyors compared its engine performance to the number of horses required to haul the same amount of people and stuff. So, if you owned 308 horses and you hitched them in a line to a trailer, theoretically, they could haul the same amount as the Canyon’s upgraded engine.
What do you typically tow?
If you typically tow a boat – fishing boat or bowrider boat- you’ll need a towing capacity of about 2,500 to 3,000 pounds. The same rings true for towing a trailer or pop-up camper.
If you don’t need to tow anything, you’re free to shop for every truck. Towing capacity only matters if you need to haul something regularly. It helps if you can also have a few hundred pounds available for luggage or an extra person.
Do you need a two- or four-wheel drive?
Off-roading requires four-wheel drive. Do you only need to drive in the city or on paved roads at the very least? You can choose either. If you need to go off-road though, you’ll need four-wheel drive for the added control it offers you in turning your wheels.
Do you need a short bed or a long bed?
This only matters if you need to transport specific types of cargo. For example, you’d choose a long bed if you work in construction and regularly haul two-by-fours, which typically come in eight-foot or 10-foot lengths. A long bed truck usually provides a bed of about 16 and a half feet in length.
That means you can load all the lumber into it with room left for tools and nothing will stick out the end of the truck bed. You can close the tailgate and ensure that nothing goes flying out of the back. A short box bed length measures about five feet, a standard box measures about six feet in length, and a long box measures from eight feet to 16 feet in length. They probably ought to call the 16-foot beds an extra-long box.