2022 Nissan Frontier vs 2022 GMC Canyon

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  • 2022 Nissan Frontier

    A white 2022 Nissan Frontier is angled left.

    Starting at

    $27,840*

    2022 GMC Canyon

    A red 2022 GMC Canyon is angled right.

    Starting at

    $26,800

    310Horsepower (hp)181-308
    1,610Max Payload (lbs)1,570
    8/9Infotainment Screen (in)7/8

    Although they might not be as popular as SUVs, when you are shopping for a truck, you still have a ton of choices available to you. Even if you have narrowed down your options to a midsize model, there are still plenty of different midsize pickups on the market for you to choose from. It often helps to focus on one or two models at a time to see what they offer, such as the 2022 Nissan Frontier vs 2022 GMC Canyon. While these are both midsize trucks that have a fair amount in common, there are also some big differences between them.

    In particular, looking at these two trucks, you can find a clear example of when having more options can actually be a bad thing. For example, the GMC Canyon has three different engines available, while the all-new Nissan Frontier has a single engine on offer. At first glance, that might seem like an advantage for the Canyon, but the reality is that this means you have to pay more to get the same power that is standard for the Frontier. The GMC Canyon starts with a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine that offers just 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque; by comparison, the Nissan Frontier features a 3.8L V6 engine that delivers 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque.

    That difference in engine power is significant, and it becomes even more dramatic when you realize that these two trucks start at very similar prices. In other words, you end up paying a lot more for the GMC Canyon if you want to choose an available engine that can actually compete with what comes standard on the Frontier. These kinds of differences keep coming up as you look at these two trucks: the Canyon comes with a 7-inch infotainment display and has an 8-inch screen available, while the Frontier starts with an 8-inch screen and has a 9-inch infotainment display available. In other words, the 2022 Nissan Frontier gives you more to start with at a similar price and has more available as you look at higher trims.

  • Performance

    A grey 2022 Nissan Frontier is shown from the side off-roading in the desert.

    The heart of any vehicle is the engine, so it is one of the most important things to consider and look at when you are trying to decide on the right model. With something like a truck, even a midsize pickup, the engine is more important because of the size and weight of the vehicle. A great engine makes a truck much better, while a weak and unimpressive engine can turn an otherwise decent truck into a poor driving experience.

    Which One Has the Better Engine?

    When looking at the engines on the 2022 Nissan Frontier and the GMC Canyon, there are a couple of very important things to consider. For starters, the biggest difference between these two trucks, in terms of their engines, is what they have available. The Canyon has three different engines, including a diesel option, available, while the Frontier has a single engine. At first glance, this could make it seem like the GMC Canyon has the advantage – but in this case, having more options actually works against it.

    This is because the standard engine on the GMC Canyon is remarkably lackluster, and you really need to pay more for one of the two available engines to get the kind of power you deserve in your truck. The Canyon starts with a 2.5L I-4 engine that limps along with 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque; by comparison, the Nissan Frontier comes with a far more impressive 3.8L V6 engine that delivers 310 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. It is not difficult to see how much more powerful that is than what the Canyon has to offer.

    To be completely fair, the GMC Canyon does have an available 3.6L V6 engine that offers a more respectable 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, though you can see it still falls just short of the Nissan’s engine. To get this engine, however, you will need to spend more to add it as an option or choose a higher trim that comes with it standard – either way, you have to spend more money for the kind of power that the Nissan Frontier starts with. And even if you do spend more for it, the GMC Canyon still comes up short.

    This is because the standard and available diesel engines for the Canyon are both paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the available 3.6L engine comes with an 8-speed automatic. By comparison, the Nissan Frontier’s engine is paired with a more responsive 9-speed automatic transmission to ensure a smoother driving experience. So even if someone pays more for the Canyon to catch up with the Nissan Frontier’s power, they still get a less impressive drivetrain than what you get in the Frontier.

  • Technology

    The black interior of a 2022 Nissan Frontier shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen.

    As you are trying to figure out which midsize truck is right for you, it can be easy to focus on everything but the interior of the pickup. While the engine and other features are certainly important, most of your time with your truck will be spent with you inside of it while driving. This means you want to choose a pickup that surrounds you with the kind of comfort and tech features that will let you get the most out of your time on the road.

    Which Truck Will You Want to Spend More Time In?

    Although the trim and other options you choose will greatly affect the features you end up with, it is still useful to look at what a truck starts with. For example, the GMC Canyon starts with a 7-inch infotainment display, with cloth seating, a 6-speaker audio system, and a standard steering wheel. It has a 3-inch monochromatic driver information display, single-zone climate control, and a couple of USB ports.

    By comparison, the 2022 Nissan Frontier starts with an 8-inch infotainment display, cloth seating, and a 6-speaker sound system. You get a 7-inch drive-assist display as a starting option, much bigger than the Canyon’s driver display, as well as air conditioning and an in-cabin microfilter to keep your air quality high. Remote keyless entry is standard for the Frontier, as is a push-button ignition, which is only found on higher trims of the Canyon.

    Even when you look at the features of the higher trims, you still get more with the Nissan Frontier than the GMC Canyon has to offer. For example, while the Canyon does have an 8-inch infotainment display available, you can get a 9-inch screen in the Frontier. If someone chooses the highest Canyon trim, the Denali, they still only get a 4-inch driver display and a 7-speaker sound system. The available 10-speaker Fender premium audio system in the Frontier stands out as a much nicer option, not to mention its larger, standard display.

  • Safety

    A grey 2022 Nissan Frontier is shown from the front driving in the mountains.

    No matter what kind of vehicle you are looking at, nothing is more important than your safety on the road. While a midsize truck is a great way to enjoy your time getting around town, do some off-roading, and even handle a fair amount of work, it still needs to be safe. Although the GMC Canyon is a fine truck, the standard and available safety features on the Nissan Frontier really do put it to shame.

    Which Truck Has the Safety You Want?

    For example, the 2022 Nissan Frontier comes with Rear Cross Traffic Alert standard, with a Blind Spot Warning, High Beam Assist, and Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection standard on every model. You also get a driver alertness system standard, along with a comprehensive airbag package. In terms of what is available, you can get Intelligent Cruise Control on the Nissan Frontier, as well as an Intelligent Forward Collision Warning. Even more features are also available, including an Intelligent Around View Monitor and Traffic Sign Recognition.

    By comparison, the safety features of the GMC Canyon are quite sparse, especially for the base trim. It comes with six airbags, daytime running lamps, and a rear vision camera standard. Available features on high trims include Rear Park Assist, a Lane Departure Warning, and a Forward Collision Alert. You can see that its available features include some things you get standard on the Frontier, while a lot of the features on the Frontier are not offered for the Canyon. For example, automatic emergency braking is standard on the Frontier and not even available on the Canyon.

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