2010 GMC Canyon Versus 2010 Nissan Frontier

August 1, 2010

These two compact pickup trucks each have various pros and cons. The Nissan Frontier has always been a respectable contestant in the market since it was introduced over a decade ago. While the GMC Canyon has a stylish exterior and tends to appeal to drivers who want a truck that is tight and compact, as opposed to being too big and bulky. These trucks look good on the outside, but which one is the better buy? Let's compare these two pickups and find out.

2010 GMC Canyon
There are three engine sizes to choose from, the 2.9-liter in-line four-cylinder that gets 185 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque is the smaller of the three. There is also the 3.7-liter in-line five that gets 242 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque. Lastly, there is the all new 5.3-liter V-8 that gets 300 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque.  Reviewers say the Canyon has great handling and stability in a straight line, but doesn't fair as good when cornering. However, the ZQ8 sport suspension improves handling a great deal. There is slight vibration up the steering column on uneven surfaces, but it is not tremendously bad. Buyers can choose from a

regular cab model, an extended cab, or a crew cab. The GMC Canyon is actually quite a disappointment when it comes to interior quality. With the wealth of plastic features the interior looks cheap and old, this is probably due to the fact that the design hasn't changed since 2004. The extended cab model has little seating room in the back, and while the leather seats look comfortable they aren't ideal on long trips. Although they look cheap the controls on the dash are functional, practical, and easy to use. There really are no interior features that are worth mentioning, this truck was meant for driving, not for the gadget geek.

Anti-lock brakes come as standard on the basic model and traction control is an option for the two-wheel drive models with automatic transmissions. A neat aspect is that a tire pressure system comes as standard to warn drivers of unsafe tire conditions. You can purchase the GMC Canyon for $16,985 for the base model.

2010 Nissan Frontier
There are two engine sizes available, the King Cab's XE engine is a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder with 152 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. The other choice is the 4.0-liter V-6 engine with 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, which is available on the SE, 4x-Pro and LE trims. The Nissan Frontier performs well both on and off road, it handles perfectly taking the bumps in its stride. The 4x4 models are the best if you want to take the truck off road, and all trims handle great on the open road. 

Inside, the front bucket seats are very comfortable, and the rear seats are adequate with plenty of legroom in the back. Features include a premium Rockford-Fosgate stereo with satellite radio capability on the LE and Pro-4X trims. If you are into gadgets the Frontier also offers iPod interface and Bluetooth, which are rare options for the compact truck industry.Side-curtain airbags have been made standard for 2010 and electronic stability control is included with V-6 models. You can purchase the 2010 Nissan Frontier for a starting price of $17,540.


Comparing these two trucks is based on a number of factors. Power, handling, exterior and interior design, and the cost of buying each one. There is no real comparison in cost as they are roughly the same when it comes to price. The GMC offers an additional engine size and as a result has more horsepower. Obviously, if you are looking for more power from your pickup you would choose the Canyon with its available V-8. 
In saying that, the Frontier has better handling capabilities than the Canyon. Interior wise, the Nissan Frontier has got one over on the GMC Canyon with better quality and more features on offer. Most people are not looking for the latest electronics when considering buying a truck, but the interior doesn't have to look cheap either. 

Taking all of these points into consideration it seems that the Nissan Frontier is the better of the two. Although it lacks the power of the Canyon it has a lot more to offer and has been designed with the driver in mind. 

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