Is that a fair comparison? The 2023 GMC Canyon is all-new in the midsize truck segment, while the 2023 Ford Ranger comes with very minor updates. Does it matter if the comparison is fair or not? Both of these trucks play in the same sandbox, so we have to find out which one will be better to drive. Should you choose Ford or GMC in this mid-size truck battle?
The four areas we cover are:
- Productivity and capabilities
- Fuel economy
- Interior and features
Performance and Capability: Are the 2023 GMC Canyon Changes Enough?
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The new Canyon is equipped with only one power plant. That’s a huge change for a midsize truck, but this new transmission brings half-ton power to the midsize truck market. The new engine is a turbocharged 2.7-liter 4-cylinder model that produces 310 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. This power is sent to the wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The GMC Canyon tows up to 7,700 pounds with rear-wheel drive Elevation trim. With the addition of 4WD, towing capacity drops to 6,000 pounds. GMC Canyon payload numbers:
- Height – 1640 lbs
- AT4 – 1,550 lbs
- Denali – 1,360 lbs
- AT4X – 1250 lbs
Without any major upgrades to the Ford Ranger, except for the Raptor trim, the Ranger has an 1,860-pound payload and 7,500-pound towing capacity. This gives the Ford a payload advantage over the GMC truck.
Car and Driver reports that the new Raptor gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 391 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque. Will you reach for the Ranger Raptor model or choose one of the GMC Canyon off-road trims? By the way, all Canyon configurations are configured for off-road.
Fuel Economy: The 2023 Ford Ranger is fuel efficient
Official fuel mileage figures for the GMC Canyon have yet to be released. Still, hitting 26 mpg on the highway doesn’t seem out of the question for a truck that’s lighter than the full-size truck on the drivetrain it was originally built for.
The current Ford Ranger transmission delivers 21 mpg city/26 mpg on all-wheel drive models and 20 mpg city/24 mpg on all-wheel drive models. That could be strong enough to put the Ford above the GMC in the midsize truck class.
Keep in mind that three of the four GMC Canyon trims come with standard four-wheel drive, which lowers fuel economy figures.
Interior and Features: Does the GMC Canyon Continue the Luxury Curve?
The GMC name on a truck has always indicated premium quality and a penchant for luxury, especially in Denali trim. The 2023 Canyon midsize truck gets an 11.3-inch touchscreen and an 11-inch instrument cluster on the AT4X and Denali trims, while lower trims get an 8-inch unit. This new truck will be the first on the market with a head-up display.
Ford Ranger models sold abroad have an 8-inch instrument panel and a 10.1-inch infotainment screen. US models should offer an updated 12-inch infotainment screen. Unfortunately, this truck doesn’t have the head-up display that the Canyon favors.
Pricing: Which midsize truck offers the value you want?
The 2023 GMC Canyon price range starts at $40,000 and goes up to $63,350 for AT4X Edition 1 models. That’s a pretty good price range, but it’s a bit high for a mid-size truck starting point.
The starting price of the 2023 Ford Ranger is $26,400, and in the current configuration reaches more than $40,000. Adding the Raptor model should push the starting price up to $52,000.
Should You Drive the 2023 GMC Canyon or the 2023 Ford Ranger?
If you’re looking for a mid-size truck with off-road capabilities in all trims, the GMC Canyon is the truck you want to drive. If you’re looking for more equipment variety and a lower price, you’re looking at the Ford Ranger. In our comparison, the Canyon is more powerful and has better equipment, but the Ranger is proven to be efficient and more affordable.
Next, learn more about towing with a hybrid truck or check out this off-road truck comparison in the video below:
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