2020 GMC Canyon vs. 2019 Honda Ridgeline

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Canyon Crew Cab and Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline’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 Ridgeline doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Canyon’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the front seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The Ridgeline doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Canyon and the Ridgeline have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 all wheel drive, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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

There are over 64 percent more GMC dealers than there are Honda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Canyon’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that GMC vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 12th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

Engine

The Canyon’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 28 more horsepower (308 vs. 280) and 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 262) than the Ridgeline’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

The Canyon’s 2.8 turbo diesel produces 107 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 262) than the Ridgeline’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Canyon

RWD

2.8 turbo 4-cyl. Diesel

20 city/30 hwy

AWD

2.8 turbo 4-cyl. Diesel

19 city/28 hwy

Ridgeline

FWD

3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

AWD

3.5 SOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

The Canyon has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Ridgeline (21 vs. 19.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Canyon V6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Ridgeline.

Brakes and Stopping

The Canyon stops shorter than the Ridgeline:

Canyon

Ridgeline

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Canyon has larger standard tires than the Ridgeline (255/65R17 vs. 245/60R18). The Canyon’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Ridgeline (265/70R16 vs. 245/60R18).

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 Ridgeline’s 60 series tires.

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

The GMC Canyon’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Honda Ridgeline only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Canyon Extended Cab’s wheelbase is 3.1 inches longer than on the Ridgeline (128.3 inches vs. 125.2 inches). The Canyon Long Box Crew Cab’s wheelbase is 15.3 inches longer than on the Ridgeline (140.5 feet vs. 125.2 inches).

The Canyon Short Box SLT Crew Cab 4x4 handles at .79 G’s, while the Ridgeline RTL-E 4x4 pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Canyon Extended Cab’s turning circle is 3.1 feet tighter than the Ridgeline’s (41.3 feet vs. 44.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Canyon Long Box Crew Cab has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Ridgeline (8.1 vs. 7.87 inches), allowing the Canyon to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Canyon Extended Cab’s minimum ground clearance is .43 inch higher than on the Ridgeline (8.3 vs. 7.87 inches).

Chassis

The GMC Canyon may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 300 pounds less than the Honda Ridgeline.

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 Ridgeline doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity

The Canyon Crew Cab Short Box has a much larger cargo box than the Ridgeline (41.3 vs. 33.9 cubic feet). The Canyon Crew Cab Long Box has a much larger cargo box than the Ridgeline (49.9 vs. 33.9 cubic feet).

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 Honda Ridgeline doesn’t offer a tailgate assist.

The GMC Canyon has a standard CornerStep, which allows for much easier access to the cargo area. The Honda Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline doesn’t offer two-tiered loading. The Canyon also has indentations to separate the cargo box into three different sections length-wise.

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

Payload and Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Honda Ridgeline is limited to 5000 pounds. The Canyon Crew Cab offers up to a 7700 lbs. towing capacity.

The Canyon Short Box Crew Cab has a higher optional payload capacity than the Ridgeline (1609 vs. 1465 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

The Canyon uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Ridgeline uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the Canyon is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Ridgeline. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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 Ridgeline does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Canyon and the Ridgeline 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 Ridgeline prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Canyon’s available exterior PIN entry system (not available on Canyon SL). The Ridgeline doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Canyon’s available exterior PIN entry system (not available on Canyon SL). The Ridgeline doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Canyon SLE/All Terrain/SLT/Denali’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Ridgeline’s 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 Ridgeline doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Model Availability

The GMC Canyon comes in extended cab and crew cab bodystyles; the Honda Ridgeline isn’t available as an extended cab.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Canyon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Canyon will cost $555 less than the Ridgeline over a five-year period.

Recommendations

The GMC Canyon outsold the Honda Ridgeline by 9% during 2018.

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

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