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The truck wars are still ongoing, and the Tacoma and Canyon are just two competitors in the battle. While the GMC Canyon is marketed as being more upscale than the Toyota Tacoma, a closer inspection reveals that this may not be true on the base level. So, which base trim offers the best value, and is bigger really better?

There’s a huge price difference between the GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma

When it comes to the base trims for the 2023 GMC Canyon and the 2023 Toyota Tacoma, there is a major price jump. Edmunds reports that the GMC Canyon starts off at around $36,000. This is a typical price for this segment, especially if you’re comparing it to the Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500. The 2023 Toyota Tacoma, by comparison, costs under $30,000. 

If you go for a fully loaded 2023 GMC Canyon, then the price will cost you $69,753. In contrast, a fully loaded 2023 Toyota Tacoma costs around $60,000.

Should you choose the Canyon over the Tacoma?

The GMC Canyon and the Toyota Tacoma have a lot in common. For example, both offer satellite radio and cruise control as standard features. 

There are a few differences, such as the engine. The Tacoma has a 2.7-liter engine with 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Canyon also has a 2.7-liter engine, but it produces 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

When it comes to fuel economy, the Tacoma is the clear winner. It gets 20 mpg city, 23 mpg hwy, and 21 mpg combined. In comparison, the Canyon gets 18 mpg city, 23 mpg hwy, and 20 mpg combined.

In terms of height, the Canyon is taller. It’s 79.8 inches in length, while the Tacoma is only 70.6 in. This doesn’t affect the ground clearance much, as the Canyon has 9.6 inches while the Tacoma has 9.4 inches.

There are some features on the Canyon that aren’t standard but are available as an option that you can’t get on the Tacoma. These include heated seats and parking assistance. Adaptive cruise control is standard on the Tacoma but isn’t an option on the base Canyon model.

It’s clear that there aren’t any major differences. The question is if the notable differences are enough to justify a price increase of $6,000. 

Is the GMC Canyon really more upscale?

When it comes to the base trims, the answer is a little murky. While it’s true that the Toyota Tacoma does have better fuel economy, the base engine is undeniably weaker. The Canyon also offers more color choices.

Even the Tacoma TRD Sport, which is close to the same price as the base Canyon, doesn’t have as many features, such as an 11.3-inch infotainment display size. The TRD Sport comes with an 8.0-inch infotainment display.

With this in mind, it’s clear that the Canyon is more upscale in terms of being bigger. Is it really worth $6,000 more, however? Not really.

The Tacoma is well known for being reliable, and many owners who have bought one in the past are eager to purchase another one. It’s also the perfect off-road vehicle and offers everything you’ll need for an affordable price. 

While the Canyon is a great truck that is certainly worthy of praise, having a few more upscale features doesn’t necessarily justify the increase in price. If you can live without a massive infotainment screen and optional heated seats, then there’s no real reason to choose the 2023 GMC Canyon over the Toyota Tacoma.