|181-308 HP||Horsepower||152-261 HP|
|7,600-7,700 LBS||Towing Capacity||3,800-6,720 LBS|
Looking for the right compact pickup truck for you? Two vehicles that are commonly compared in this class are the 2019 GMC Canyon vs 2019 Nissan Frontier. Both vehicles offer a higher level of performance than many of the contenders in their class, but the Canyon leads the class in nearly every category. However, the Frontier is still a popular model and should be carefully researched prior to making your decision.
If you’re interested in the 2019 GMC Canyon, there’s no automotive category you have to worry about. The Canyon is powerful, capable, advanced, and safe. Drivers of the Canyon will have three engine options to choose from, including a 4-cylinder engine, V6 engine, and a turbo-diesel engine. When properly equipped, the Canyon can tow up to 7,700 LBS and produce up to 308 hp. However, the Canyon still offers high fuel economy ratings with its turbo-diesel engine at up to 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. On the inside, the 2019 GMC Canyon is spacious, comfortable, and incredibly advanced, thanks to numerous standard entertainment features.
Meanwhile, the 2019 Nissan Frontier offers lower performance specs than the Canyon but is still able to edge out many competitors in its class. The interior features are where the Frontier struggles the most, with its base model offering only the most basic features possible. Despite being a 2019 model, the Frontier does not offer standard power windows but instead includes them among higher trim levels. The Frontier also received low safety scores from the NHTSA in the front crash and rollover test categories and offers very few safety features across its available models.
While the 2019 GMC Canyon clearly has the edge, it’s still important to take a closer look at both vehicles before reaching a purchasing decision. So, be sure to check out how these vehicles compare in terms of performance, interior features, and safety.
The 2019 Nissan Frontier is a strong contender in the compact pickup truck class, but not when compared to class-leaders like the 2019 GMC Canyon. The Canyon takes the win in nearly every aspect of the performance category, surpassing the Frontier in horsepower, torque, and maximum towing capacity. The Canyon is also the more fuel-efficient vehicle, making it the more well-rounded choice.
If you’re looking to customize your next truck to your exact needs, you’ll have plenty of opportunities with the 2019 GMC Canyon. Three available engine options and multiple cab and drivetrain options make for over 20 possible configurations of the Canyon. When it comes to engine options, the new Canyon comes standard with a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine, but also offers an available V6 or turbo-diesel engine. The standard engine produces up to 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, while providing fuel economy ratings of up to 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.
The 3.6L V6 engine offers the highest horsepower ratings at up to 308 hp with 275 lb-ft torque. This engine offers a maximum towing capacity of 7,000 LBS, which is one of the highest in the class. However, for an even higher towing capacity, drivers can opt for the 2.8L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine which adds 700 more LBS to that spec. This engine is also the most fuel-efficient selection, offering up to 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. With the 2019 GMC Canyon, drivers can also choose between RWD and 4WD; however, 4WD models experience slightly lower gas mileage ratings.
The 2019 Nissan Frontier comes with two available engine options, including a standard 2.5L 4-cylinder engine and an available 4.0L V6 engine. The base engine produces low horsepower and torque ratings at up to 152 hp and 171 lb-ft. Despite its lower level of power, this engine does not offer great fuel economy ratings. When equipped in 2WD with a manual transmission, the Frontier earns up to 19 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Upgrading to an automatic transmission will further decrease the ratings of this engine to 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.
The available 4.0L V6 engine is more powerful but still can’t compete with what the Canyon has to offer. This engine produces up to 261 hp and 281 lb-ft torque and is available in 2WD and 4WD, and can be paired with a manual or automatic transmission. When properly equipped, the Frontier can tow up to 6,720 LBS, which is a good rating for the compact pickup truck class but falls short of the Canyon by a little under 1,000 LBS. In terms of performance, the 2019 Nissan Frontier sits in the middle of its class. Drivers looking for a level of performance that leads the class will want to opt for the 2019 GMC Canyon.
Both the 2019 GMC Canyon and 2019 Nissan Frontier offer a nice selection of available entertainment features; however, the Canyon offers a far more upscale interior starting with its base model. The Frontier has also received criticism for its cramped cabin, which offers rear seating options that are only suitable for children and shorter rides.
The 2019 GMC Canyon comes standard with impressive entertainment features like a 7-inch touchscreen display and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additional standard features include a 6-speaker sound system and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. Meanwhile, available features include an 8-inch touchscreen display, a 7-speaker Bose premium sound system, heated seats, keyless entry, remote start, and automatic climate control.
Throughout the cabin, drivers can enjoy soft-touch surfaces, which are made possible through the Canyon’s premium interior materials. The seating is also exceptionally comfortable with more than enough room for adult passengers in the front and rear seats. The upholstery is also high-quality and features a modern design with sleek accents and available leather.
Storage compartments are abundant on the Canyon, yet are carefully concealed to maintain an uncluttered cabin and modern design. Overall, the 2019 GMC Canyon offers one of the most upscale cabins in its class, packed with standard features and premium materials. Drivers looking to ride in luxury or enjoy the latest entertainment features will love what the new Canyon has to offer.
The 2019 Nissan Frontier offers a less expensive cabin, which utilizes cheaper plastics and upholsteries to lower its starting MSRP. Entertainment features on the Frontier are quite limited on the base model, including little more than Bluetooth and an AM/FM/CD stereo. If you want to enjoy more advanced features or even power windows, you’ll have to upgrade to a higher trim level.
Thankfully, air conditioning is included as a standard feature, as well as cruise control. Available features for the Frontier are more civilized and include the NissanConnect infotainment system, which features a wide selection of mobile apps. Top-level trims offer leather upholstery, power-adjustable seating, and a Rockford Fosgate audio system, but overall even the Frontier’s available features are outdated and limited.
In terms of space, the interior of the 2019 Nissan Frontier is cramped and lacks enough storage compartments to comfortable store cargo and personal belongings. Drivers using the Frontier as a daily commuter without rear passengers may find it suitable in terms of space. However, long road trips with family and friends or carpooling will not be an easy or enjoyable feat for this vehicle. If you’re looking for enough space and technology to keep yourself and everyone onboard happy, you’ll want to check out the 2019 GMC Canyon instead.
The 2019 Nissan Frontier also falls short in the category of safety, earning a few concerning scores from the NHTSA during crash testing. Thankfully, the 2019 GMC Canyon is both safe and reliable with plenty of standard and available features to choose from.
The 2019 GMC Canyon offers driver assist features like lane departure warning, forward collision alert, and Teen Driver technology, which essentially acts as a parental control system for teenage drivers. With the help of Teen Driver technology, parents with young drivers can set volume and speed restrictions, as well as view detailed driving reports of each trip that is driven.
On the base model of the Canyon, drivers can enjoy all of the safety essentials including a rearview camera, plus stability control and traction control. Drivers investing in the new Canyon will also gain a comprehensive warranty program with a basic warranty, powertrain warranty, and roadside assistance plan. GMC vehicles also have a history of performing well in terms of reliability, so you can feel confident that the Canyon will last for years to come.
The 2019 Nissan Frontier earned a 3 out of 5-star rating in both the frontal crash and rollover test categories from the NHTSA. With lacking front crash prevention technology, the Frontier is a concerning purchase for all drivers, whether or not they plan on having passengers on board. Standard features are fairly bare and include a rearview camera. Meanwhile, available safety features are also limited across all trim levels and packages. The Frontier’s warranty program is similar to the Canyon’s, but you’ll likely want to avoid this vehicle if you’re prioritizing safety in your next purchase.