Midsize pickup trucks like the 2024 Nissan Frontier and 2024 GMC Canyon offer tons of utility and go-anywhere capability that’s one size below larger, more expensive full-size models. Competing against the likes of the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, and Jeep Gladiator, the Frontier and Canyon are fresh from recent updates and pack a wide array of features. 

This latest version of the Frontier comes with a stout V6 engine, available 4-wheel drive, and a choice of two cabins and two cargo beds. Updates for the 2024 model year include a new range-topping model, the SL Crew Cab, and a retro-themed version dubbed the Hardbody. It takes styling cues from Nissan’s original Hardbody pickup, which dates to the 1980s.

GMC similarly gave its smallest pickup truck a reboot. Gone are the previously optional 4-cylinder and V6 engines, and in comes a turbocharged 4-cylinder that’s smooth in operation and delivers tons of torque. The 2024 Canyon lineup has added an extreme off-roader called the AT4X AEV, jointly developed by General Motors and American Expedition Vehicles.

How do these midsize trucks compare? Let’s explore the highlights of the Nissan Frontier and GMC Canyon to find out.  

2024 Nissan Frontier

The 2024 Frontier has a starting price of $31,540 and is available in six trims: S, SV, Pro-X, Pro-4X, SL, and Hardbody Edition. The S and SV can be had with either the shorter King Cab or roomier Crew Cab, whereas the upper three trims all come with the Crew Cab. 

Under the hood of the Frontier is a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 310 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. It works in cooperation with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard and 4-wheel drive (4WD) is optional, but 4WD comes standard on variants like the Pro-4X and newly-added Hardbody Edition. The Frontier’s maximum tow rating is 6,640 pounds.

Nissan Frontier Highlights

Two cabs and two cargo bed choices: Truck buyers often like having many options when configuring a vehicle. In this regard, the Nissan Frontier wins thanks to its two available cabin sizes and bed lengths – the Canyon offers only one of each. The larger of the Frontier’s cargo beds measures 73 inches (versus the smaller 59.5 inch bed). It’s fitted to King Cab models and optional on the SV Crew Cab. 

Strong V6 engine: The trend among midsize trucks has been to nestle a turbocharged 4-cylinder into the engine bay. Not so the Frontier; its 3.8-liter V6 sticks to a tried-and-true formula with plenty of grunt for all manner of work and play.

Technology package: Safety matters even in the world of pickup trucks. This is why the Technology package is worth serious consideration. For about $990 extra, it bundles driver aids like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, reverse automatic emergency braking, rear parking sensors, automatic high-beam headlights, and lane-departure warning. 

Retro Hardbody Edition: Nissan is feeling nostalgic, as proven by the available Hardbody Edition based on the SV Crew Cab 4×4. It borrows design cues from Nissan’s 1980s original, such as black fender flares, chunky 17-inch alloy wheels, an underbody skid plate, exterior decals, and a black sport bar behind the cabin. It’s a throwback take on the modern Frontier. 

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Frontier models for sale near you. 

2024 GMC Canyon

2024 GMC Canyon AT4X AEV Edition in a field.

The GMC Canyon has a starting price of $37,595, including destination fees, and is available in five trims: Elevation, AT4, Denali, AT4X, and AT4X AEV. You might have noticed the Canyon’s entry fee is significantly higher than the Frontier – among midsize pickups, only the Jeep Gladiator’s base trim costs more. 

Keep in mind GMC prefers to sidestep more spartan workhorse models and focus on versions with a high degree of comfort, safety, and technology already baked into their design. This means even the standard Canyon Elevation comes with features like wireless smartphone connectivity, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and remote locking tailgate. 

Thanks to its turbocharged 2.7-liter 4-cylinder that produces 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque, the Canyon boasts excellent towing capability. It has a max rating of 7,700 pounds. 

GMC Canyon Highlights 

Upscale interior: Step inside the Canyon and you immediately know this is far from a bare-bones work truck. The materials used throughout the cabin look and feel a cut above many competitors, the Frontier included. The posh Denali model comes with a handsome appearance package, perforated leather seating, a Bose audio system, and wood trim.

User-friendly tech: Another plus point is the Canyon’s attractive and user-friendly infotainment system. An 11.3-inch touchscreen is standard and comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also features Google-based voice commands and highly-detailed Google Maps navigation. 

AT4X AEV Edition: This new addition to the Canyon range is aimed at truck buyers who intend on doing serious off-road driving. Its extreme go-anywhere hardware consists of locking front and rear differentials, beadlock-capable mud-terrain tires, Multimatic spool-valve shocks, launch control, and 12.2 inches of ground clearance. 

CornerStep bumper, tailgate storage: Clever details like the standard CornerStep rear bumper makes accessing the cargo bed much easier. An available waterproof tailgate storage compartment is another smart feature. It’s perfect for storing muddy gear, or securing wallets and smartphones while out adventuring. 

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Canyon models for sale near you. 


The Frontier and Canyon compete in the same midsize pickup truck segment and deliver a lot for your money. You can take either of them for adventurous voyages without a paved surface in sight. They’re equally at home in a city or suburban environment, too, where their more manageable size makes them more maneuverable than bulkier full-size alternatives like the Nissan Titan and GMC Sierra.


We like the no-nonsense appeal of the Nissan Frontier, not to mention the fact it starts many thousands less than the Canyon. Nissan kept the formula familiar and simple when it came to giving the Frontier a (long overdue) redesign a couple of model years ago. The result is a well-mannered truck that’s comfortable, easy to maneuver, and isn’t shy about getting down to hard work.

Yes, the Canyon is pricier, but it’s also the more finely-tuned of these two pickups. It has an even higher degree of off-road capability, class-leading towing capacity, and an upscale interior fitted with a state-of-the-art infotainment system. Consider the traits of each to determine which will best meet your needs and budget.

  2024 Nissan Frontier  2024 GMC Canyon
Starting Price  $31,540 $37,595
Popular Powertrains      
Engine  3.8-liter V6 Turbocharged 2.7-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower  310 hp @ 6,400 rpm 310 hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque  281 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm 430 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
Transmission  9-speed automatic  8-speed automatic 
Fuel economy  18 mpg city/24 mpg highway/20 mpg combined 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway/20 mpg combined 
Also Available  4WD 4WD
Basic Warranty  3 years/36,000 miles  3 years/36,000 miles 
Powertrain Warranty  5 years/60,000 miles  5 years/60,000 miles 
NHTSA Overall Safety  4-Star  4-Star
Max Seating Capacity 
Wheelbase  126.0 inches  131.4 inches 
Overall Length  210.2 inches  213.2 inches 
Width  73.0 inches  72.4 inches 
Height  71.5 inches  79.8 inches 
Turning Diameter  43.5 feet  TBD 
Headroom, Front  39.7 inches 40.3 inches 
Headroom, 2nd Row  36.6 inches  38.3 inches 
Legroom, Front  42.3 inches  45.2 inches 
Legroom, 2nd Row  26.2 inches  34.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Front  58.2 inches  57.4 inches 
Shoulder Room, 2nd Row  52.4 inches 56.1 inches
Cargo Volume  59.5 inch cargo bed   62.0 inch cargo bed 

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