In the mid-size pickup battle between the Ford Ranger and the GMC Canyon, which is the truck you should put your money behind?
Ford brought back their Ranger mid-size pickup for the 2019 model year thanks to exploding demand for small trucks. Why Ford took the Ranger out of North America to begin with is a bit of a mystery, but it’s back now and it’s quite the pickup.
Meanwhile, GMC has always had the Canyon available for those people who just can’t bear to be without a pickup, but also don’t have quite enough space for a full-size Sierra. The mid-size Canyon offers all the benefits of a pickup without the hassle of needing several parking spaces at the mall.
But which should you choose? The Fast Lane Truck recently held a comparison between the two mid-sizers, and the answer depends on how much off-roading you do.
In a comparison between the 2019 Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 and the 2019 GMC Canyon All-Terrain, the Ranger came out well ahead in off-road stats. The Ranger had 8.9-inches ground clearance (compared to the Canyon’s 8.2-inches), an approach angle of 28.7 degrees (Canyon 17.7 degrees), and a departure angle of 25 degrees (Canyon 22.6 degrees).
The Ford also felt like it had the more powerful engine thanks to a turbocharged 2.3-L 4-cylinder that offers its 310 lb-ft of torque far lower on the power band. The GMC Canyon’s 3.6-L V6 does have more horsepower at 308 hp, but its 275 lb-ft of torque only comes into play at far higher revs.
The Ranger also wins in the payload and towing department, able to tow 7,500 lbs and carry a 1,560 lb payload over the Canyon’s 7,000 lbs towing and 1,528 lb payload in their tested configurations.
In road testing, the Ranger didn’t quite hold up to the Canyon in terms of handling. The Canyon is the lighter truck and felt more nimble on the road, while the Ranger might have more immediate power but still felt like a big truck thanks to its heavier steering.
But off-road, the Ranger really excels thanks to its off-road suspension and better ground clearance.
So do you prefer power or handling? Off-road or on-road? More towing or a more comfortable interior? How you answer these questions will determine whether you should get behind the wheel of a Ford Ranger or a GMC Canyon.