2020 GMC Canyon vs. 2019 Ford Ranger

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the Canyon Crew Cab and Ranger have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Canyon has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Ranger’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Canyon are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Ranger doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Full-time four-wheel drive is optional on the Canyon. Full-time four-wheel drive gives added traction for safety in all conditions, not just off-road, like the only system available on the Ranger.

Both the Canyon and the Ranger have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Canyon the rating of “Top Pick” for 2016, a rating granted to only 164 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Ranger has not been tested, yet.


The Canyon’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Ranger’s (6 vs. 5 years).


The Canyon’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 38 more horsepower (308 vs. 270) than the Ranger’s 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

The Canyon’s 2.8 turbo diesel produces 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 310) than the Ranger’s 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Canyon Diesel gets better fuel mileage than the Ranger:




2.8 turbo 4-cyl. Diesel

20 city/30 hwy


2.8 turbo 4-cyl. Diesel

19 city/28 hwy



2.3 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy


2.3 DOHC 4-cyl.

20 city/24 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Canyon V6’s fuel efficiency. The Ranger doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Canyon has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Ranger (21 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

The Canyon stops shorter than the Ranger:



60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Canyon Short Box Denali Crew Cab’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Ranger’s optional 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Canyon Short Box Denali Crew Cab has standard 20-inch wheels. The Ranger’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Canyon has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Ranger doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Canyon has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Ranger doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Canyon’s wheelbase is longer than on the Ranger:



Extended Cab Standard Bed

128.3 inches

126.8 inches

Crew Cab Short Bed

128.3 inches

126.8 inches

Crew Cab Standard Bed

140.5 inches


The Canyon Short Box SLT Crew Cab 4x4 handles at .79 G’s, while the Ranger Lariat SuperCrew 4x4 pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Canyon Extended Cab’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Ranger’s (41.3 feet vs. 42 feet).


The GMC Canyon may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 200 pounds less than the Ford Ranger.

The front grille of the Canyon uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Ranger doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Canyon Extended Cab has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Ranger SuperCab.

The Canyon Crew Cab has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front shoulder room and 1.3 inches more rear legroom than the Ranger SuperCrew.

Cargo Capacity

The GMC Canyon offers an optional EZ-Lift and Lower (not available SL), which prevents the heavy tailgate from falling with a crash and causing injury. It allows adults and children to easily open and close the tailgate with one hand to better facilitate loading and unloading. The Ford Ranger doesn’t offer a tailgate assist.

The GMC Canyon has a standard CornerStep, which allows for much easier access to the cargo area. The Ford Ranger doesn’t offer a rear cargo step.

The Canyon has bed indentations that accommodate 2x4’s for two-tiered loading to help accommodate diverse loads; the Ranger doesn’t offer two-tiered loading.

The Canyon has stake post holes, to allow the containment of tall, light loads. The Ranger doesn’t offer stake post holes.


Maximum trailer towing in the Ford Ranger is limited to 7500 pounds. The Canyon Crew Cab offers up to a 7700 lbs. towing capacity.


The Canyon’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Ranger does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Canyon and the Ranger have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Canyon is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Ranger prevents the driver from operating the rear windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Canyon’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Ranger’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Canyon SLE/All Terrain/SLT/Denali’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Ranger’s optional power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Canyon Denali keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Ranger doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Canyon’s optional (except Base/SL) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Ranger doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Canyon, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Ranger.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the GMC Canyon (except Base/SL/SLE) offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Ranger doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Canyon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Canyon will cost $895 less than the Ranger over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Canyon is less expensive to operate than the Ranger because typical repairs cost less on the Canyon than the Ranger, including $76 less for a water pump, $127 less for a muffler, $54 less for a starter, $78 less for fuel injection, $156 less for a fuel pump and $77 less for a timing belt/chain.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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