2012 GMC Canyon vs. Its Competition

2012 GMC Canyon SLT
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

The GMC Canyon dates back to the early 2000s, and it's not alone in the compact-truck field.

The Ford Ranger's even older, and so is the former Dodge Dakota.

Both of those trucks have been dropped for the 2012 model year, though you may still see a handful offered brand-new at showrooms, some of the Dakotas wearing Ram badges.

The newer entries in smaller trucks are the mid-sizers, and of the pair, we prefer the Nissan Frontier to the Toyota Tacoma.

The Tacoma gets an update this fall with a new look and Entune in-car infotainment, but it's been a rough rider in the past, and fairly pricey.

The Frontier still spans the range of frugal four-cylinder, rear-drive trucks up to expensive, V-6 off-road specials; four-door crew-cab models can be a big value compared to some compact crossovers and SUVs.

2012 GMC Canyon SLT2012 GMC Canyon
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2012 Chevrolet Colorado 2WD Ext Cab Work Truck Side Exterior View2012 Chevrolet Colorado
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2012 Nissan Frontier 4WD Crew Cab SWB Auto PRO-4X Angular Front Exterior View2012 Nissan Frontier
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2012 Toyota Tacoma 2WD Double I4 AT (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Toyota Tacoma
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2011 Dodge Dakota2011 Dodge Dakota
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2011 Ford Ranger 2WD 2-door SuperCab 126" XL Side Exterior View2011 Ford Ranger
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Quick Specs
Crash test scores are a concern, but it you're shopping for a truly compact pickup truck, the 2012 GMC Canyon is probably a better pick than the Ranger or Dakota.
The 2012 Chevrolet Colorado soldiers on as the only truly compact truck on the market (with its Canyon twin), but are you sure you don't really want a mid-size truck instead?
You may not need to go full-size--the 2012 Nissan Frontier pickup truck can cover a lot of the same ground a bigger pickup can.
The 2012 Toyota Tacoma's affordable price, fuel-efficiency, and simplicity make it a good, capable alternative for those who don't need a full-size truck.
MSRP From     
$17,490$17,475$19,260$17,125Coming Soon$18,160
Gas Mileage     
16 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy14 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy14 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 25 MPG HwyComing Soon MPG City / Coming Soon MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas 4-CylGas 4-cylGas I4N/AGas I4
EPA Class     
Style Name     
2WD Reg Cab Work Truck2WD Reg Cab Work Truck2WD King Cab I4 Manual S2WD Reg Cab I4 MT (GS)N/A2WD Reg Cab 112" XL
Rear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveN/ARear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Regular CabRegular CabKing CabRegular CabN/AReg Cab 6' Styleside
ManualManualManualManualN/AManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 GMC Canyon vs. 2012 Chevrolet Colorado2012 GMC Canyon vs. 2012 Nissan Frontier2012 GMC Canyon vs. 2012 Toyota Tacoma2012 GMC Canyon vs. 2011 Dodge Dakota2012 GMC Canyon vs. 2011 Ford Ranger