GMC Canyon Vs. Ford Ranger: An Old Rivalry Renewed

By Justin Cupler | October 22nd, 2018

Midsize pickups are nothing new, but they are making a comeback in recent years. One of the newest resurrections will be the 2019 Ford Ranger. Here at Garber Buick GMC serving Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach and Fort Pierce, we had our own recent revival with the return of the GMC Canyon in 2015. How does the 2019 GMC Canyon stack up to the upcoming 2019 Ford Ranger? Keep reading to find out.

Exterior

The GMC Canyon takes on the looks of its big brother, the Sierra 1500, with its flat front end, sharp shoulders and blocky overall styling. The Ford Ranger takes on a shapelier look with its swept-back headlights, smaller grille, additional body lines, and more. Both pickups look great, but traditionalists may prefer the more Canyon’s classic styling. Plus, the Canyon has the Denali trim that adds tons of chrome and bright 20-inch wheels.

Both pickups feature two cab options — Extended Cab and Crew Cab for the Canyon, and SuperCab and SuperCrew for the Ranger — but only the Canyon offers two bed-length options for the Crew Cab model, giving Canyon buyers a few more options to customize their midsize pickup.

The 2019 GMC Canyon is 212.4 to 224.6 inches long, 74.3 inches wide, and 70.4 to 70.7 inches tall. It rides atop a 128.3- to 140.5-inch wheelbase. The 2019 Ford Ranger is slightly shorter at 210.8 inches long, and it rides on a 126.8-inch wheelbase. But it is taller at 70.9 to 71.8 inches high and significantly wider at 85.8 inches.

Neither pickup will be simple to park, but the thinner Canyon will fit in tight spaces easier.

Advantage: 2019 GMC Canyon

  • Thinner body makes parking easier
  • Upright styling
  • Sharp Denali upgrades
  • More cabin-and-bed options

Advantage: 2019 Ford Ranger

  • More modern look
  • Wide body helps with traction

Interior

Inside, the 2019 GMC Canyon and 2019 Ford Ranger are very similar. Both models are a delicate mixture of blocky pickup and crossover with chunky steering wheels and controls, and flat seats mixed with large infotainment screens, quieter cabins, and plenty of roominess. Both models also include stripped-down models that include vinyl floors and seats, basic audio system, and limited amenities for those looking for pure work vehicles. The Denali sets itself apart with its exclusive Denali model that includes premium materials and tons of upgraded features.

In the front seats, the 2019 GMC Canyon offers 41.4 inches of headroom, 45 inches of legroom, 57.5 inches of shoulder room, and 55 inches of hip room. The 2019 Ranger comes up short with 39.8 inches of headroom, 43.1 inches of legroom, and 56.7 inches of shoulder room, but its 55.8 inches of hip room beats the Canyon by 0.8 inches.

The Canyon Extended Cab offers a small rear bench that has 36.7 inches of headroom, 28.6 inches of legroom, 57.3 inches of shoulder room, and 52.2 inches of hip room. While this cab’s shoulder room beats the Ranger SuperCab’s by 0.7 inches, the Ford’s other measurements easily beat the GMC at 35.9 inches of headroom, 30.4 inches of legroom, and 55.3 inches of hip room.

The Canyon Crew Cab’s rear seats give up to 38.3 inches of headroom, 35.8 inches of legroom, 56.2 inches of shoulder room, and 53.3 inches of hip room. This puts the GMC’s rear legroom up by 1.3 inches relative to the Ranger SuperCrew, but it falls short of the Ranger SuperCrew’s 56.7 inches of shoulder room and 53.5 inches of hip room. Both models’ rear seats have 38.3 inches of headroom.

Advantage: 2019 GMC Canyon

  • Upscale Denali model
  • Roomier front seats
  • Much more Crew Cab legroom

Advantage: 2019 Ford Ranger

  • SuperCab’s rear seats roomier
  • High tech color screens on instrument cluster

Performance

The midsize truck range rarely offers tons of engine and transmission options, but the GMC Canyon bucks that trend three engine options. Its base engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder unit that cranks out 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic.

Moving up one level is a 3.6-liter V-6 with 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. This engine mates with a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Finally, buyers looking for torque and fuel economy will love the 2.8-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder that produces 186 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This engine comes exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The 2019 Ford Ranger is stingy with its powertrain options as it comes with only a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that cranks out 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a standard 10-speed automatic transmission.

Towing is about even at the top end as the 2019 Canyon tops out at 7,600 pounds and the Ranger maxes out at 7,500 pounds. In payload capacity, though, the Ranger has a big advantage at 1,500 to 1,860 pounds versus the Canyon’s 1,459 to 1,605 pounds.

Both models offer off-road-oriented trims with the Canyon’s All Terrain package and the Ranger’s FX4 package. The FX4 Package runs $1,295 and adds an electronic-locking rear axle, exposed front tow hooks and bash plate, an off-road-ready suspension, three skid plates, the Terrain Management System, and Trail Control. The GMC’s All Terrain package is pricier at $6,300, but it also adds more features like the 3.6-liter V-6 engine, unique 17-inch wheels, and red accent stitching in addition to the off-road suspension, hill-descent control, transfer case skid plate, and more.

With its four-cylinder gasoline engine, the 2019 Canyon gets up to 20 mpg city, 26 highway, and 22 combined. Opting for the V-6 pulls the Canyon’s peak fuel economy to 18 mpg city, 25 highway, and 20 combined. Buyers who snag the diesel engine will be rewarded with up to 20 mpg city, 30 highway, and 23 combined. The 2019 Ford Ranger’s fuel economy numbers are not available yet.

Advantage: 2019 GMC Canyon

  • Three engine options
  • Torque-heavy diesel option
  • Up to 30 mpg highway

Advantage: 2019 Ford Ranger

  • Very potent base engine
  • Advanced transmission
  • Cheaper off-road package

Pricing and Features

The 2019 GMC Canyon has a range of five trims that range from the stripped and work-ready SL to the downright luxurious Denali. Starting prices range from $22,095 to $40,595.

The 2019 Ford Ranger will have a much simpler lineup — at least initially — that include just three trim levels: XL, XLT, and Lariat. Prices will range from $24,300 to $32,210.

2019 GMC Canyon Key Features and Pricing by Trim

SL: $22,095

  • 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Electric power steering
  • Extended Cab body
  • Chrome rear bumper
  • Black door handles
  • Black exterior mirrors
  • Black tailgate handle
  • Cab-mounted cargo-area lights
  • Daytime running lights
  • Halogen projector headlights with LED signatures
  • CornerStep rear bumper
  • Locking tailgate
  • 16-inch Ultra Silver aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Vinyl seating
  • Rubberized vinyl flooring
  • Air conditioning
  • Power door locks
  • Power windows
  • Rearview camera
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Black interior door handles
  • 3.5-inch monochromatic driver-information center
  • GMC Infotainment System with 7-inch touchscreen
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • USB port
  • Four-way power driver’s seat

Canyon: $25,595

  • All SL features, plus
  • Carpeted floor mats
  • Carpeted flooring

SLE: $29,495

  • All Canyon features, plus
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Fog lights
  • Driver-side blind-spot mirror
  • Body-color mirrors with power adjustment
  • 8-inch GMC Infotainment System
  • EZ-Lift and Lower tailgate
  • 17-inch Blade Silver Metallic cast-aluminum wheels
  • Additional USB charging port on rear of center console
  • Dual reading lights
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Steering-wheel-mounted audio controls
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Chrome interior door handles
  • Cruise control
  • 4.2-inch color driver-information center
  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Soft-touch instrument panel materials
  • Rear-window defogger

SLT: $35,795

  • All SLE features, plus
  • Crew Cab body
  • 3.6-liter V-6 engine
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Chrome mirror caps
  • Heated mirrors
  • Sliding rear window
  • 18-inch polished cast aluminum wheels
  • Single-zone automatic climate control
  • Remote ignition
  • Four-way power passenger seat
  • Power front lumbar
  • Folding rear bench seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather seats

Denali: $40,595

  • All SLT features, plus
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane-departure warning
  • 2-inch receiver hitch
  • 4- and 7-pin  wiring harnesses
  • Automatic locking rear differential
  • Body-color rear bumper
  • Black spray-on bed liner
  • 20-inch Ultra-Bright machined aluminum wheels with painted accents
  • Denali-specific grille
  • Polished exhaust tips
  • Bose premium seven-speaker sound system
  • Navigation
  • Wireless charging mat
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 5-inch chrome assist steps
  • Ventilated front seats

2019 Ford Ranger Key Features and Pricing by Trim

XL: $24,300

  • 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Electric power steering
  • SuperCab body
  • 16-inch silver-painted steel wheels
  • Cloth front seats
  • Four-speaker AM/FM audio system
  • Black wheel-lip molding
  • Black mesh grille with a black surround
  • Cargo-area light
  • Black door and tailgate handles
  • Four tie-down hooks
  • Black mirrors with blind-spot mirrors
  • Trailer-sway control
  • 2.3-inch productivity screen in instrument cluster
  • 3.5-inch center stack screen with audio controls
  • One USB port
  • Black vinyl flooring
  • Single-zone manual climate control
  • Two front and one rear 12-volt power points
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Cloth-trim front seats
  • Power windows
  • Automatic-on/off headlights
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Forward collision warning
  • Daytime running lights
  • Halogen Headlights
  • Rearview camera
  • Wiper-activated headlamps

XLT: $27,940

  • All XL features, plus
  • Body-color Bumpers
  • Body-color wheel-lip molding
  • Halogen fog lights
  • Two front tow hooks
  • Power mirrors
  • Rear window defroster
  • 17-inch silver-painted aluminum wheels
  • 4.2-inch colored productivity screen in instrument cluster
  • 4.2-inch center stack screen
  • One smart-charging USB port
  • Color-coordinated carpet with floor mats
  • Overhead console
  • Locking glove box
  • Ford MyKey
  • Sic-speaker AM/FM audio system
  • Sync infotainment system
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Ford Co-Pilot 360
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Blind Spot Information System
  • Rear cross-traffic assist
  • Lane-keep assist
  • 110-volt power outlet
  • Forward sensing system
  • Reverse sensing system

Lariat: $32,210

  • All XLT features, plus
  • Chrome grille bars
  • Chrome grille surround
  • LED cargo light
  • Body-color door and tailgate handles
  • Power-folding side-view mirrors
  • Heated mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Body-color mirrors with puddle lights
  • Manual-sliding rear glass
  • 18-inch machined aluminum wheels with Stealth Grey pockets
  • Intermittent wipers
  • LED headlights
  • LED taillights
  • Perimeter alarm system
  • Intelligent Access with keyless ignition
  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • Universal garage door opener
  • Two 4.2-inch productivity screens in instrument cluster
  • Ambient lighting
  • 8-inch capacitive touchscreen
  • Two smart-charging USB ports
  • Leather-wrapped gear
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather seating
  • Heated seats
  • Eight-way power front seats
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control

Who Should Buy the 2019 GMC Canyon?

The 2019 GMC Canyon is the perfect pickup for the two ends of the broad midsize pickup spectrum. Those looking for a basic, cheap pickup for work will save thousands on the Canyon SL. On the flip side, those seeking a premium truck will find what they seek in the Denali model. Also, buyers with long highway commutes will appreciate the Canyon’s 30-mpg diesel model.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Ford Ranger?

Buyers who prefer more standard power or a more modern look will enjoy the Ranger’s swoopier styling and potent turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Ready to test drive the 2019 GMC Canyon through the streets of Ft. Pierce, FL? Come on by Garber Buick GMC for a test drive today. Can’t stop by our new-car showroom serving Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Fort Pierce today? You can check out our online inventory too.