GMC fans, you’re going to enjoy this – Toyota lovers, not so much. When pitting trucks against each other, like the 2019 GMC Canyon vs 2019 Toyota Tacoma, it’s always possible to try to cherry-pick features or specs to make one look better than the other. But when you look at simple, basic specs like horsepower and towing capacity, there’s not much wiggle room to try to make an inferior model come out on top.
That’s how you know the 2019 GMC Canyon has a lot going for it – you don’t have to look at things like optional packages or extra features to see how it’s superior to the 2019 Toyota Tacoma. Don’t get me wrong, the Tacoma is a fine truck – but when you square them off against each other, the Canyon simply beats it in many ways. Whether you are looking at how many engines are available, or the power of the best engines in each truck, the GMC Canyon is the clear winner.
Even when you look at interior features, fuel economy, and other specs, the Canyon comes out on top. So Toyota fans, you might want to look away, but for all you GMC aficionados out there, enjoy…
Way #1: Number of Available Engines
This may seem like kind of a weird thing to focus on, but hear me out. There are plenty of great trucks on the road from different manufacturers, so one of the best ways to differentiate them and see who really offers the most for their customers is to look at options. Options like the number of engines they make available in their vehicles (don’t worry we’ll talk about power in a moment).
In this respect, the 2019 GMC Canyon makes its first move to prove its superiority. There are three different engines available on the Canyon, depending on the configuration and trim level you look at. On the other hand, only two engines are available on the 2019 Toyota Tacoma, with similar restrictions based on trim. In other words: the Canyon gives you more freedom to get exactly what you need in terms of power; no more, no less.
Way #2: More Powerful Engines
Of course, one more engine would be meaningless if they were all grossly inferior to what the 2019 Toyota Tacoma has to offer. Fortunately for you GMC fans out there, they are not. The starting engine in the Tacoma is a 2.7L DOHC 4-cylinder engine that offers up to 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. The only other available engine is a 3.5L V6 that provides up to 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. Those are decent numbers, but the GMC Canyon does better.
The starting engine in the 2019 GMC Canyon is a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine that offers up to 200 hp and 191 lb.-ft. of torque. You can see this starting engine is already more powerful than the Toyota’s initial offering. From there, you can choose a more powerful 3.6L V6 engine that provides up to 308 hp and 275 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s a not-insignificant improvement over the best engine that Toyota has to offer.
However, if you really need torque to get the job done, then GMC has you covered in a way that Toyota does not. There is an available 2.8L Duramax 4-cylinder Turbo-Diesel engine offered on certain trims of the 2019 GMC Canyon, which provides up to 181 hp and a beastly 369 lb.-ft. of torque. No diesel engine is available on the Toyota Tacoma, no matter how nicely you ask.
Way #3: More Gears Available
No matter which engine you choose with the 2019 Toyota Tacoma, you are stuck with a 6-speed transmission. Whether you go with the standard engine at the lowest trim levels or choose the more powerful engine on something like the Limited trim, you get a 6-speed transmission. The starting engine and the Turbo-Diesel offering from GMC come with a 6-speed transmission, while the powerful 3.6L V6 engine on the 2019 GMC Canyon has an 8-speed transmission.
But, do more gears really matter? In general, yes they do. More gears in an automatic transmission let your engine adjust and adapt to the situation you are driving in more freely. With more gears, you are better able to be in the proper gear for whatever you are doing. This can help improve fuel economy since your engine can work as hard as it needs to, but not excessively so due to a lack of extra options, and make for a better ride overall.
Way #4: Superior Towing Capacity
We’re talking about pickups here, so of course, we need to look at the towing capacity for these two trucks. This is directly impacted by the power of the engines they have, so it should come as no surprise that the more powerful engines in the 2019 GMC Canyon mean it has superior towing capacity compared to the 2019 Toyota Tacoma. But how much better?
Well, the 2019 Tacoma can have a maximum towing capacity of up to 6,800 lbs. if you choose a model with the more powerful V6 engine. As you would expect, other models can have lower towing limits, especially when paired with the less powerful standard engine. By comparison, the 2019 GMC Canyon, when properly configured, has a maximum towing capacity of up to 7,700 lbs. That’s almost a full 1,000 lbs greater towing, which can make a big difference when you’re loading up a trailer or camper.
Way #5: Better Interior Features
Both of these trucks have a lot of different trim levels and optional packages to choose from. To keep things simple, let’s have a look at what you get standard in the best trims for both of these trucks. With the 2019 GMC Canyon that’s the Denali trim, while the 2019 Toyota Tacoma Limited is the best trim there.
The GMC Canyon Denali features an 8-inch infotainment center with a 7-speaker Bose Premium audio system. It has a wireless charging area for compatible devices, numerous USB ports, and automatic climate control. There is a 6-way power driver seat and a 4-way power front passenger seat, both of which are heated and ventilated with leather trim.
By comparison, the 2019 Toyota Tacoma Limited features a 7-inch infotainment display with a 6-speaker JBL sound system. It has a wireless charging pad, multiple USB ports, and automatic climate control. There is a 4-way adjustable front passenger seat, and the driver’s seat is also 4-way adjustable. As you can see, the Tacoma has a smaller infotainment screen, an arguably inferior sound system, and a less adjustable driver seat.
Way #6: Better Fuel Economy
As you compare two different pickup trucks, fuel economy might not be the most important thing to you, but it’s still worth considering. After all, better fuel economy will help your wallet – and it’s a savings that keeps adding up over time. Plus, better mileage goes easier on the environment, which is never a bad thing.
The best fuel economy the 2019 GMC Canyon offers is 20 mpg/30 mpg in the city and on the highway. This is with the 2.8L Turbo-Diesel engine and a truck with 2WD, so keep that in mind. On the other hand, the 2019 Toyota Tacoma has an optimal fuel economy of either 20mpg/23mpg in the city and on the highway, or 19/24 mpg depending on which engine you choose, on a 2WD model. Either way, you can see that at best it can match the GMC Canyon in the city, but ultimately falls well short when on the highway.
If all of this sounds good, then you should see the 2019 GMC Canyon for yourself. It’s time to head to your local GMC dealership to check out the Canyon and other vehicles today.