2020 GMC Canyon vs. 2020 Jeep Gladiator

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

The Canyon has standard head airbag curtains for front and rear seats which act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and outboard passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The Gladiator doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head and are only available for the front seats.

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 Gladiator.

The Canyon (except Base/SL)’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Gladiator doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Canyon and the Gladiator have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 collision 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 Gladiator has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 12th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that GMC vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 22nd in reliability. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

Engine

The Canyon’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 23 more horsepower (308 vs. 285) and 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 260) than the Gladiator’s 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Canyon

RWD

Auto

2.8 turbo 4-cyl. Diesel

20 city/30 hwy

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/25 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.8 turbo 4-cyl. Diesel

19 city/28 hwy

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/24 hwy

Gladiator

AWD

Manual

3.6 DOHC V6

16 city/23 hwy

Auto

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/22 hwy

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

The Canyon has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Gladiator doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The GMC Canyon comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Gladiator.

Brakes and Stopping

The Canyon stops shorter than the Gladiator:

Canyon

Gladiator

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Canyon has larger standard tires than the Gladiator (255/65R17 vs. 245/75R17).

The Canyon’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 70 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Gladiator Sport’s standard 75 series tires. The Canyon Short Box Denali Crew Cab’s tires have a lower 55 series profile than the Gladiator Overland’s 70 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Canyon Short Box Denali Crew Cab has standard 20-inch wheels. The Gladiator’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 Jeep Gladiator only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

The GMC Canyon’s independent front suspension is much lighter than the Jeep Gladiator’s solid front axle, which allows the Canyon’s wheels to react more quickly and accurately to the road’s surface, improving both ride and handling.

For much better steering response and tighter handling the Canyon has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the Gladiator.

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 Gladiator doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Canyon Short Box SLT Crew Cab 4x4 handles at .79 G’s, while the Gladiator Rubicon pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Canyon Short Box Crew Cab’s turning circle is 3.5 feet tighter than the Gladiator Rubicon’s (41.3 feet vs. 44.8 feet).

Chassis

The GMC Canyon may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 700 pounds less than the Jeep Gladiator.

The Canyon Short Box Crew Cab is 5.6 inches shorter than the Gladiator, making the Canyon easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Canyon has standard flush composite headlights. The Gladiator has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

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 Gladiator doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity

The Canyon Crew Cab Short Box has a much larger cargo box than the Gladiator (41.3 vs. 35.5 cubic feet). The Canyon Crew Cab Long Box has a much larger cargo box than the Gladiator (49.9 vs. 35.5 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 Jeep Gladiator doesn’t offer a tailgate assist.

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

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

Ergonomics

The Canyon’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows cost extra on the Gladiator.

The Canyon’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Gladiator’s optional driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

The Canyon’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Gladiator’s optional power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

The Canyon’s standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over, or reaching to the back seat. Power locks cost extra on the Gladiator.

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 Gladiator doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost SOS Call can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

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 Gladiator doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost SOS Call can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Canyon has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Gladiator has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Overland/Rubicon.

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 Gladiator doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 Gladiator doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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

The Canyon is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Gladiator doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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

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