According to 2020 and 2021 sales numbers, the GMC Canyon is somehow less popular than the unpopular Honda Ridgeline. GMC Canyon sales stats show 25,191 units sold in 2020 and only 7,144 through Q2 2021, GoodCarBadCar reports. Conversely, sales figures for the Honda Ridgeline reveal it sold 32,168 units in 2020 and 17,177 through Q2 2021, according to GoodCarBadCar.
Simply put: Even though consumers continue to avoid the Ridgeline, Honda’s midsize pickup truck still crushes the Canyon in sales.
General Motors’ dissociative identity disorder has hurt the GMC Canyon
Our November 2019 article “What You Really Won’t Like About the GMC Canyon” explains why the Canyon hasn’t been as popular as other midsize pickup trucks. The biggest issue affecting GMC Canyon is that its direct competitor is also its counterpart, the Chevrolet Colorado. The funny thing about it is that if you Google “GMC Canyon Wikipedia,” you’ll land on a redirect page for the Chevy Colorado.
This is meant to point out that even Wikipedia doesn’t feel the need to dedicate an entire page to the Canyon — toss it in with the Colorado. So not only does the Canyon find itself directly competing with its own counterpart — a counterpart that is a product of GM’s poster-child brand — but the Colorado is also the more affordable truck. They’re basically the same pickup, but the Canyon is supposed to be more stylish.
The GMC Canyon and Honda Ridgeline pale in comparison to other pickups in their class
It’s no secret that Americans adore trucks. According to a May 2020 CNBC report, the pandemic reinforced America’s love of pickups even as inventory tightened. A more recent CNBC report shows five of the 10 best-selling vehicles are pickup trucks.
Of course, the Ford F-Series maintained its decades-long sales dominance, followed by the Chevy Silverado in second place, the Ram 1500 in third, the GMC Sierra HD in ninth, and, finally, the Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road in 10th place. That’s from CNBC’s list of America’s 10 best-selling vehicles of 2020, so the roundup includes SUVs and sedans, too. CNBC noted, “The three top-selling pickups accounted for about 13 percent of the 14.5 million vehicles estimated to have been sold last year in the U.S.”
Absent from that list (and nowhere near it) are the GMC Canyon and Honda Ridgeline. In 2020, the GMC Sierra HD sold 253,016 units, completely smashing the Canyon. And though sales were down 4 percent, the 2020 Toyota Tacoma sold 238,806 units — a fellow Japanese competitor giving the Honda Ridgeline a thorough spanking.
A quick comparison of the Canyon and Ridgeline
The Honda Ridgeline saw a nice refresh for the model year 2021. Some reviewers think it looks much tougher than previous models. Additionally, Kelley Blue Book says the 2021 Ridgeline rates above average in terms of its multifunction tailgate, in-bed trunk, smooth V6 power, quick acceleration, new torque-vectoring all-wheel drivetrain, refined ride, and roomy standard crew cab.
However, the Ridgeline sits below average in off-roading capability. Plus, the front-wheel-drive version has a towing capacity of only 3,500 pounds, and the all-wheel-drive version can tow only 5,000 pounds.
But it boasts arguably the suavest car-like ride of any midsize pickup — the Honda Ridgeline is the epitome of comfort. Moreover, though it might be lacking in capability, it’s a segment leader in fuel efficiency. So it’s an excellent choice for those who do most of their work on the road and not off it.
As for the 2021 GMC Canyon, it shares the same 181-hp Duramax turbodiesel four-cylinder engine. Plus, it can tow 7,700 pounds and offers a refined Denali model and a new AT4 off-road performance edition. On the other hand, the Canyon has no manual transmission, the bed is higher than normal, and the MultiPro tailgate is unavailable. Oh, and some think the trim names are a bit strange.
Though the specs indicate the GMC Canyon would be popular, more buyers appear to prefer comfort and a smooth ride over toughness.