Why Would You Pick the 2020 GMC Canyon Over the Honda Ridgeline?

As you shop for the best compact pickups for 2020, you’ll see that the Honda Ridgeline is at the top of many lists. The Ridgeline’s class rival, the GMC Canyon, not so much. The Ridgeline outshines the Canyon in a few key areas. But is there any reason to pick the Canyon over the Ridgeline?

Performance options are the main reason to consider the Canyon over the Ridgeline 

A GMC Canyon on display at an auto show.
GMC Canyon | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The 2020 Canyon has largely been a flop this year, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New competition in the compact truck class has also caused GMC to lose momentum with the Canyon. However, the 2020 Canyon does have a few things going for it.

Respected critics recognize the Canyon for its agile handling and towing capacity. Consumer Reports reviewers especially like the Canyon’s quiet nature compared to the pickups Toyota offers. CR also felt that the Canyon’s towing capacity would satisfy most buyers. That said, one of the reasons you might want to consider the Canyon over the Ridgeline is because it offers more engine options. The Ridgeline has one; the Canyon has three.

While many critics consider the Ridgeline’s 280-hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine to be the most refined in the class, some are disappointed by its towing capacity. The Ridgeline can only tow up to 5,000 pounds. So if you want a compact pickup that’s more capable in this area, this might make the Canyon more appealing to you.

More about the Canyon’s engine options 

2020 GMC Canyon Denali
2020 GMC Canyon Denali | GMC

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Base Canyons come with a 200-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, and a six-speed automatic transmission. As U.S. News highlights, this powertrain is suitable for daily driving and light-duty work. The Canyon’s two available engines are more impressive.

The Canyon’s available turbodiesel 2.8-liter four-cylinder produces 181-hp. This is the best option for unlocking the truck’s max towing capacity of 7,700 pounds. Plus, the Canyon’s turbodiesel returned 24 mpg in CR’s road test, making it the most fuel-efficient truck on the market. 

For a noticeably quicker experience in the Canyon, you will want to consider the 308-hp, 3.6-liter V6. Each variant feels responsive and energetic. Some critics also called out that the Canyon drives more like a full-size pickup than its class rivals.

Interior elements 

2021 GMC Canyon AT4 | GM-0
2021 GMC Canyon AT4 | GM

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The Ridgeline arguably has the grandest interior in its class. But the Canyon can also offer you an attractive car cabin. The Canyon has a modern-looking interior that can seat up to five people. It’s also worth mentioning that the Canyon is available in two body styles: Extended Cab and the larger Crew Cab. The Ridgeline only features one. 

The Canyon also gets points for its user-friendly infotainment system. Standard infotainment features include a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android. You have to upgrade for advanced safety features, though.

Wrapping it up

The Canyon offers a few things that the Ridgeline doesn’t. The Ridgeline is still the better choice between the two. The Ridgeline has a far better predicted reliability rating and provides a more polished experience.