Here’s why the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X will give the Ford Ranger Raptor serious problems

The mid-size pickup truck is the most popular segment of the US automotive market today. From capable workhorses to family haulers, mid-size pickup trucks are versatile and have proven themselves over the years. While the US auto market has several big players, companies like Chevrolet, GMC, and Ford have made huge profits with their performance products.

Last month, GMC introduced its third-generation Canyon after eleven long years. The new Canyon has been completely redesigned inside and out. GMC also equipped it with a new engine and expanded the AT4 lineup with a fresh-out-of-the-oven AT4X model that promises impeccable off-road performance.

On the other side of America, Ford is set to introduce the new generation Ranger later this year. Ford has also confirmed that they will launch the Ranger Raptor in America. with some country-specific modifications.

While we don’t know the exact features and specs of the upcoming Raptor, we’ll do our best to speculate on the specs and compare it with its arch-rival, the GMC Canyon AT4X.

Related:8 awesome facts about the 2023 Ford Ranger Raptor

2023 GMC Canyon AT4X vs. Ford Ranger Raptor: Engine, Performance and Mileage

The new GMC Canyon AT4X features a high-output, off-road-optimized 2.7-liter turbo engine mated to a 10-speed torque converter automatic. The engine exhales 310 ponies at just 5,600 rpm and 430 lb-ft of twist, making it more refined. We expect the AT4X to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds and deliver an average mileage of 18 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highways. The AT4X will come with a 21.5 gallon fuel tank, giving it a highway fuel range of over 510 miles. However, the off-road optimized engine can tow up to 6,000 pounds.

Ford will sell the new Ranger Raptor with two engine options. The Raptor will likely come with a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The EcoBoost V6 power plant will deliver 400 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of power, providing enough power to meet any need on any occasion. Much like that of the AT4X, the Raptor’s twin-turbo V6 is tuned for better off-road performance, so it can only tow up to 5,500 pounds. We expect its 0-60mph timing to be in the range of 7 seconds.

For diesel engine fans, Ford will also offer the Ranger Raptor with an optional 2.0-liter twin-turbo diesel engine capable of producing 210 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. This unit will offer more mileage and a towing capacity of 6,000 lbs.

2023 GMC Canyon AT4X vs. Ford Ranger Raptor: Handling and Mechanics

The GMC Canyon AT4X will have unparalleled off-road capabilities. The AT4X comes standard with the Off-Road Suspension Package, equipping the truck with an ultra-wide track and suspension package with Multimatic DSSV damping system, front and rear electronic locking differentials upgrades and off-road performance display. These mechanical features provide the AT4X with 10.7 inches of ground clearance, improved approach, departure and breakover angles for excellent handling and off-road capability. Additionally, the AT4X offers five different riding modes, including a new Baja mode for high-speed off-road performance.

The new Ranger Raptor will be based on a different chassis than the regular Ranger. The new Raptor chassis is purpose-built with Raptor-specific enhancements to handle extreme off-road adversity. The Raptor also gets a set of new suspensions with FOX Live Valve shocks to deliver outstanding off-road performance. Additionally, the Ranger Raptor will have 11.1 inches of ground clearance and four off-road driving modes. Therefore, we expect the Ranger to have the upper hand in off-roading.

Related: These are our favorite features of the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4X

2023 GMC Canyon AT4X vs. Ford Ranger Raptor: Exterior Styling

The new AT4X is Canyon’s most aggressive and outgoing model to date. Striking body lines all over the exterior give it a badass appearance. The fairing is fitted with a massive headlight unit consisting of a pair of inverted L-shaped DRLs along with LED low beams above and high beams below. When fitted with the optional Edition 1 package, the AT4X looks even more stunning with an off-road specific bumper, U-shaped safari bar, 30-inch LED bar and a set of 17-inch wheels with 33-inch MT tires.

The new Ranger Raptor looks exactly like the Ford Everest, but Ford implemented a few design changes to make the Raptor look shredded. The Raptor fairing is fitted with bold black FORD lettering, giving the fairing more muscle. The fairing features flared wheel arches and C-clamp headlamps consisting of new LED matrix headlamps and anti-dazzle high beams with auto-leveling function for improved visibility. Below, the Raptor offers a set of 17-inch alloy wheels mated to Raptor-exclusive off-road tires.

2023 GMC Canyon AT4X vs. Ford Ranger Raptor: Interior Design and Comfort

The Canyon AT4X’s cabin is too good for an off-road beast. The interior of the AT4X offers Obsidian Rush interior trim. The dash is gorgeous with durable textured plastics, white leatherette parts with red accent stitching, carbon fiber and red accents.

The AT4X cabin offers an 11-inch all-digital instrument panel, 11.3-inch touchscreen, heated and leather steering wheel, 6.3-inch HUD, and power seats with heating and cooling , memory and lumbar and thigh support. For entertainment, a seven-speaker Bose premium audio system, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a wireless charger are offered. The AT4X cabin seats five, and both rows are quite spacious.

The Ford Ranger Raptor, however, offers a work-oriented cabin that feels rugged. The cabin is constructed with hard plastic and has a decent build quality. But they lack shine, which means the cabin will start looking shabby in no time. The controls are intuitive and ergonomically placed. We expect the Ranger Raptor to come with SuperCab and SuperCrew models, so it will seat four to five people.

As for features, the Raptor will offer leather seats, jet-inspired power front seats with heating and cooling, as well as lumbar and memory adjustments. The driver will get a leather steering wheel, which can have a heating function and a 12.4-inch color digital cluster. A 12-inch portrait-style touchscreen, a six-speaker B&O premium sound system, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless charging and many other features will be equipped.

The 2023 GMC Canyon keeps the upper hand

After comparing these two mid-size mics, there is no doubt that the AT4X and the Raptor will have a huge rivalry after their launch. However, we find the GMC Canyon more appealing. It offers an efficient and powerful engine, a cleaner exterior appearance, a premium interior and a host of features and options.

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