The Toyota Tacoma is a shining example of Toyota’s 50-year long North American truck heritage. First produced in 1995, the Tacoma has over two decades of engineering quality behind its name. Meanwhile, the GMC Canyon was released in North America just a few short years ago in 2014. In this head-to-head comparison of the two trucks, we will look at important categories such as overall performance, safety features, and reliability to determine one clear winner. Let’s begin.
Published Date: 6/14/2018
Tacoma truly gives Canyon rugged competition with its impressive off-road capabilities and functional performance features. Tacoma TRD Off-Road and TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro models with automatic transmission come with available Multi-Terrain Select (5 modes), Crawl Control, and Hill Start Assist Control (HAC).
To compare, Canyon All-Terrain has a Hill Descent Control feature, but misses out on Crawl Control and Hill Start Assist Control. Tacoma also includes the Star Safety System® standard. This feature is similar to Canyon’s standard StabiliTrak® electronic stability control system with traction control. Tacoma TRD Off-Road and Pro models also come with an electronically controlled locking rear differential, plus a quarter-inch thick aluminum skid plate, TRD-tuned FOX® Internal Bypass shocks, and an aggressively-styled exterior turn Tacoma into an off-roading machine.
In addition, the 2019 Tacoma gives its drivers the option of a manual transmission on TRD Off-Road, TRD Sport, and TRD Pro grades. Canyon does not offer a manual transmission option on any trim level. Tacoma boasts a greater ground clearance of 9.4 inches vs. Canyon’s 8.2 inches and the TRD Pro model comes with 16-in. TRD Pro black alloy wheels with P265/70R16 All-Terrain tires. Canyon All Terrain comes standard with 17-in. dark argent metallic cast-aluminum wheels.
Every 2019 Toyota Tacoma comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense® P (TSS-P). This advanced safety system includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), and Automatic High Beams (AHB).
The TSS-P safety system is a major advantage over the standard safety available on the 2019 GMC Canyon. The 2019 Canyon SLT offers just two similar features: Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert. But, these features come at an additional cost of $400 on the Canyon with GMC’s Driver Alert Package.
For even more added safety, Tacoma TRD Pro and Limited trims also come with a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Canyon does not have a comparable feature, and it also misses out on knee airbags which are standard on every 2019 Tacoma.
Drivers who want to take their truck off-roading need to be sure they have a truck that they can rely on. Drivers of the 2019 Toyota Tacoma can have peace of mind knowing that their truck comes from a long history of reliability.
In 2018, Tacoma was the J.D. Power and Associates Dependability award winner for mid-size trucks. In 2019, Tacoma had the second-highest dependability rating for Overall, Mechanical, and Features and Controls for mid-size trucks. The GMC Canyon was rated 3rd overall. Plus, for the 2019 model year, Toyota tied for the second-most reliable brand according to the 2019 J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) rating.
Plus, ToyotaCare comes standard on every 2019 Tacoma. With ToyotaCare, all leases and purchases of new Toyota vehicles receive 24-hour Roadside Assistance for two years/unlimited miles plus a no-cost factory scheduled maintenance plan for 2 years or 25,000-miles, whichever comes first. The GMC Canyon includes 24/7 roadside assistance for 5 years and 60,000 miles, but factory scheduled maintenance plans are an extra-cost feature.
With a longstanding history of truck reliability in North America, it is no surprise that Toyota produced a true winner like the Tacoma. The Kelley Blue Book® 2019 5-Year Cost to Own Award: Best Mid-Size Pickup Truck is just one of the many awards that the Tacoma has won in recent years, showcasing it’s penchant for reliability.
Off-road enthusiasts will appreciate the Tacoma’s off-road savvy features. The TRD Off-Road and Pro trims were made for off-road adventure with a quarter-inch thick aluminum skid plate, TRD-tuned FOX® Internal Bypass shocks, and an aggressively-styled exterior. In comparison, the GMC Canyon’s higher-end Denali trim focuses more on a luxurious feel, rather than an adventurous one. It offers interior items that are not available on Tacoma such as ventilated seating.
Both trucks offer reliable towing options. An available 3.5-liter V6 engine on the Tacoma includes a standard Tow Package which features a towing hitch receiver with 4/7-pin connectors and standard Trailer-Sway Control, and allows Tacoma to tow up to 6,700 lbs. Canyon equipped with a Duramax 2.8L I-4 diesel engine can tow up to 7,700 lbs., but this will come at an added cost of $3,730. Plus, every Tacoma comes standard with the TSS-P suite of active safety features. Canyon SLT has only two features similar to those that come with TSS-P, though they come at an additional cost of $400.
With strengths over the GMC Canyon in performance, reliability, and safety, the 2019 Toyota Tacoma is the clear winner in this head-to-head competition.