|308||Max Horsepower (HP)||270|
|369||Max Torque (lb-ft)||310|
|7,700||Max Towing Capacity (lbs)||7,500|
People love their trucks. Furthermore, people love to talk about which truck is best, and oftentimes the best truck has to be the one they are currently driving. In reality, there has recently been quite a bit of competition in the market, and the result is a tough situation when attempting to establish which truck is the best. This is especially true when comparing midsize trucks such as the 2020 GMC Canyon vs 2020 Ford Ranger.
While you may be tempted to just start discussing looks and brand recognition, the best way to come to a concrete conclusion is by taking a deep look at the features and specs and comparing which trucks offer the best value for your money. If you use this process when evaluating vehicles overall, you will find yourself coming to a logical conclusion more often than not. So let’s apply this to our GMC vs Ford comparison and find out which one is really the better truck.
The 2020 GMC Canyon has developed a reputation for its bold appearance and reliability. The manufacturer is at the center of the automotive industry and has been for decades now while developing a reputation of being dependable for a wide range of drivers consistently. GMC has made it clear with their trucks that, while they may have started catering to SUV fans as well, they have not forgotten about their historic truck lineup. The 2020 GMC Canyon lands in that midsize truck category, so it is often stacked up against the 2020 Ford Ranger, which is another contender in the space.
The Ford Ranger has the power and recognition behind it, so many trucks in the United States are often compared to the manufacturer’s vehicles to judge their character. Back in the day, the Ranger actually was a high-end trim level for the F-series trucks and the Bronco. When the fuel crisis hit in the 1970s, Ford decided to make a lightweight truck to keep sales afloat. Over the years, their light truck design became the Ford Ranger that we know today.
The 2020 GMC Canyon is available in both 2WD and 4WD versions and has three engines in total to choose between. The base engine is a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine that is good for 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. You can expect to pull up to 3,500 lbs with this engine, so it is a better choice for a light-duty truck than a trailer puller. The second option is a 3.6L V6 engine that produces 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque and has a max conventional trailering weight of 7,000 lbs. This makes for a great all-around option that can accomplish pretty much anything you would expect from a midsize pickup.
The final engine option is a 2.8L Duramax 4-cylinder turbo-diesel, and as expected from a diesel engine, it has lower horsepower but impressively high torque - namely, 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. You will be able to lug around quite the load with this engine, with the max conventional trailering weight of 7,700 lbs. If you find yourself moving large loads regularly, whether it’s around town or on the highway, then the turbo-diesel is the engine for you.
Compared to this wealth of engine options on the 2020 GMC Canyon, the 2020 Ford Ranger is only available with a single engine. This turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost produces 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, giving the Ranger a max conventional towing capacity of 7,500 lbs. But while these specs are certainly not bad, they pale in comparison to the options you get with the 2020 GMC Canyon.
While the 2020 Ford Ranger has a good engine, it is a jack of all trades and master of none compared to the three available engines for the 2020 GMC Canyon. The EcoBoost cannot compete with the GMC turbo-diesel for towing and fuel economy, it cannot compete with the GMC V6 for raw power, and it cannot compete with the GMC base engine for price. In the end, it is simply better to be able to customize your truck for your needs.
Truck drivers can often get caught up in how much you can tow, or how much mud can be kicked up, but they can sometimes overlook safety features. While it may not be a headline feature in advertising, safety is more and more important as trucks are increasingly used as family vehicles and daily drivers. Both the vehicles 2020 GMC Canyon and 2020 Ford Ranger have adequate safety features included in their base trims, but overall the Canyon rises above the Ranger in the safety category.
The standard version of the 2020 GMC Canyon includes an HD rear vision camera, OnStar, and GMC Connected Services capability. These ensure that you have additional information available to you at all times, whether you are backing up or in need of help. While the 2020 Ranger shares some of the aforementioned features, the Canyon pulls ahead with its Teen Driver mode and available rear park assist.
The Teen Driver mode is great for those who have younger drivers behind the wheel of the 2020 Canyon. It can limit vehicle features, turn on safety systems while activated, and produce a report card based on driving habits to help you coach your new driver without being around for every single drive. The rear park assist feature alerts you to objects behind your truck, which is an invaluable feature when maneuvering around the job site or simply squeezing into a tight parking space.
While the 2020 Ford Ranger supports numerous safety features as well, such as the rearview camera, the standard equipment on the base trim falls short when compared to the variety of features offered by the 2020 GMC Canyon. And while the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite is available, the Canyon also offers a collection of similar technologies as options. As a result, the 2020 GMC Canyon pulls ahead in the safety category.
Regardless of performance and safety, aesthetics play a role in any vehicle purchase. No one wants to drive around in a vehicle that looks clunky on the outside or ragged on the inside. Most people want to have a relative feeling of comfort in their trucks, and this can be important as well. When considering both interior and exterior attributes, the 2020 GMC Canyon simply can not be surpassed by the 2020 Ford Ranger.
The inside of the 2020 Canyon is as luxurious as the outside. The upscale features add even more elegance to the vehicle. It sports an available wood finish on the center console that will leave passengers envious, and its dashboard is minimalistic to keep the controls intuitive for use. There is also an 8-inch infotainment screen that allows you to pair phones and display navigation for additional entertainment and guidance.
The outside of the 2020 Canyon is nothing to scoff at, either. The front includes LED daytime running lamps and functional fog lamps to help you get through any and all visibility conditions, and the truck has durable polymer on the areas that commonly see rugged use to protect it from scratching and dents over time. There is also a spray-on bedliner available on all trims so that you don’t have to worry about scratching up the bed when you are moving equipment around.
When it comes to looks, the grille is proudly iconic and screams pickup, something that we see less and less of as time goes on. Accents also line the cab to give a certain flair to the vehicle, and it does wonders. Overall, the 2020 GMC Canyon looks and feels like a classic midsize truck, and it is not shy about it.
In comparison to the 2020 Canyon, the 2020 Ranger feels lacking in a sense. While the interior does include an 8” touchscreen, the size of the screen takes up the majority of the dashboard. Knobs and buttons seem cluttered below the screen, and the center console itself seems flat. On the bright side, there are a few interesting touches that elevate the experience, such as an outside temperature display and automatic high beams, so you don’t need to constantly flick back and forth on busy roads.
The 2020 Ranger seems lacking when it comes to its exterior and overall appearance compared to the 2020 Canyon. It has fewer indentations and stylistic markings. While the 2020 Ranger is not a bad looking truck, it will not turn heads in the same way as the 2020 Canyon.