A dark blue 2020 GMC Canyon Denali is parked in the mountains.

2020 GMC Canyon vs. 2020 Toyota Tacoma: Which Truck Will Elevate Your Ride?

Midsize pickup trucks are a growing part of the modern truck market. Known for their optimal size, easy maneuverability, and adaptability, these “lifestyle trucks” are becoming more prevalent on the road as each day passes. When it comes to two of the most popular midsize trucks, the GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma immediately come to mind, so which is better? Comparing the 2020 GMC Canyon vs 2020 Toyota Tacoma, which truck will elevate your ride? We’re going to take some time to compare the two so that when the time comes to pick the right truck for your lifestyle, you make the right decision.

An Overview of the 2020 GMC Canyon

The GMC Canyon is known for its adaptability, hands down. With impressive towing capabilities, enhanced engine power, and all you can expect to find when it comes to tech, this midsize truck is extremely popular. With multiple bed options, the Canyon is ready to take on the day, no matter what it entails, with precision and efficiency.

Packed with features to make it easy to operate, like the CornerStep rear bumper, the Canyon also includes technologies to make staying connected effortless, like a 4G LTE WiFi Hotspot and loads of tech. So, is the GMC Canyon a good truck, and will it provide you with an elevated driving experience? Time to find out.

Features & Benefits

Perhaps where the Canyon really impresses is with its power. Able to tow up to 7,700 lbs, the Canyon is available in a 2.5L 4-cylinder, a 3.6L V-6, and a 2.8L 4-cylinder diesel. You can also expect a maximum payload capacity of 1,620 lbs, which is pretty impressive for a midsize truck.

The polished Canyon boasts a thoughtfully-designed interior that is not only spacious but functional. The infotainment system included in the Canyon is simple, user-friendly, and features many options that you can expect to see in comparable vehicles. Another big plus about the 2020 Canyon is its trim, which includes:

  • SL
  • SLE
  • SLT
  • Canyon
  • All Terrain
  • Denali

The Denali is at the top of the list with upgraded interior features, like a heated, leather steering wheel and an intuitive touchscreen. It also includes advanced safety features, like a rearview camera and pre-collision safety technology.

A white 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is driving through the mud.

Where the 2020 GMC Canyon Could Improve

There may be no such thing as the perfect vehicle, but the Canyon does offer a lot by way of powerful engines, strong design elements, and capabilities. However, there are areas where this particular model could improve. One of the biggest areas for improvement is safety. It simply lacks many standard advanced safety features in its base models that are available in the higher trims.

Driver-assist features are lacking as well, causing it to fall behind other models in its class that offer these types of popular features standard. Another complaint about the Canyon is that the interior, although extremely functional, is a bit bland. And although the interior is roomy enough for those in the front seats, those seated in the back may feel constricted.

An Overview of the 2020 Toyota Tacoma

Not only is the 2020 Toyota Tacoma an IIHS Top Safety Pick, but it’s also Kelley Blue Book’s Best Truck Brand for 2020 and has been the top-selling midsize pickup truck for the past 15 years. So, when it comes to elevating your ride, we’d say that the folks at Toyota know exactly what buyers want. Although it impresses when it comes to safety and more, does it perform when it comes to towing and overall power? The Tacoma is a fierce competitor among other vehicles in its class, offering rugged performance paired with a sleek exterior design, not to mention a variety of options to customize it. Combined with all the safety and tech features you’d expect, the Tacoma is a dependable, versatile, and fun truck to drive.

Features & Benefits

The Tacoma is available with two engine options: a 2.7L 4-cylinder and a 3.5L V-6. Able to tow a maximum of 6,800 lbs and with a maximum payload capacity of up to 1,440 lbs, the Tacoma holds its own when it comes to power and functionality. The interior comes equipped with Apple CarPlay connectivity, as well as available smart features, like the Smart Key System and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. You’ll also have your pick of trims, as the Tacoma is available in six options, which are:

  • SR
  • SR5
  • TRD Sport
  • TRD Off-Road
  • Limited
  • TRD Pro

The top of the line, the TRD Pro features all the bells and whistles, like a TRD Pro-cat-back exhaust and a multi-terrain monitor with a camera, which helps you navigate off-road conditions with ease. It also features some stylish upgrades, like black sport bezels and LED daytime running lights, to add some flair to your ride. Equipped with Toyota Safety Sense, the Tacoma offers more driver-assist technology features standard than any other midsize pickup truck. This gives it an edge over the competition, helping it perform well in crash tests and earning its various accolades.

A red 2020 GMC Canyon All Terrain is parked near some evergreen trees after winning the 2020 GMC Canyon vs 2020 Toyota Tacoma comparison.

Where the 2020 Toyota Tacoma Could Improve

So, let’s talk about room for improvement. The Tacoma definitely needs an interior revamp. With its uncomfortable, crowded interior, it lacks when it comes to new-age design, opting for a much more simplistic look. This leaves drivers wanting more, like the upgraded design found in comparable models. Storage space is limited as well, and even though the Tacoma features an easy-to-use infotainment system, it does not include the much-requested WiFi hotspot that the Canyon offers. And although the base engine gets pretty fair gas mileage, the upgraded V-6 option is abysmal.

2020 GMC Canyon vs. 2020 Toyota Tacoma: Which is Better?

If you’re looking for a dependable midsize pickup truck that performs well and offers the versatility you need for any situation, both the Canyon and the Tacoma come highly recommended. Where the Canyon shines is with its selection of engine options, updated infotainment system, and timeless design. Where it falls short is its safety performance, which could use some improvement.

The Tacoma, on the other hand, is a top pick for safety and offers a newly upgraded infotainment system, stacked driver assist technology and let’s not forget, one of the highest resale values available today. Where it needs to improve is its interior configuration. More space is definitely needed, and an upgraded design is a must to enhance its overall appearance. Another area where it is lacking is power, as vehicles such as the GMC Canyon far surpass the Tacoma in towing and hauling capabilities.

An Elevated Driving Experience

In the end, both midsize pickup trucks have their benefits and their limitations, so deciding which is the best for you will depend on your needs. If you’re looking for more power, modern technology, and a little more room on the inside, the Canyon is a viable option. However, if safety is at the forefront of your mind and you want a pickup truck that holds its value among the best around, you’re looking at the Tacoma.

The GMC Canyon and the Toyota Tacoma do their jobs well. They not only provide peak performance and offer a multitude of trim and engine options, but they are also a perfect size, whether they’re being used as work trucks or as weekend warriors. So, you decide – when it comes to which truck will elevate your ride, will it be the GMC Canyon or the Toyota Tacoma?