If you’re in the market for a mid-size truck, you’ve probably taken a look at the Ford Ranger and the Chevrolet Colorado. Both can accommodate a buyer that’s looking for a capable, all-around truck, but let’s really take a look at what both of these trucks have to offer. In this comparison guide, we’ll show you how the Ford Ranger and Chevrolet Colorado stack up.
The Ford Ranger comes with a 2.3L EcoBoost engine with 270 horsepower and 310lb-ft of torque. A 10 speed transmission with Tow Haul mode makes for a smooth ride when you’re hauling toys; and when properly configured, you get a max towing capacity of 7,500 lbs with a max payload of 1,860 lbs. That’s a good amount of weight to pull.
The Chevrolet Colorado has two gas engines to choose from - the standard 2.5L 4-cylinder or the upgraded 3.6L DOHC. There’s also an available 2.8L Turbo-Diesel if you want to go that route. While we appreciate that Ford provides some engine options, we wish that the standard engine were a little more capable. With only 200 horsepower and 191lb-ft of torque, you can only haul 3,500 lbs. You have to upgrade to the bigger engine if you want to be able to trailer 7,000 lbs. Now, if you’re thinking that a diesel may be for you, the Colorado can haul an impressive 7,700 lbs, but a diesel engine may not be on the top of your list.
The Ranger comes in three trim packages: the XL, XLT, and Lariat. All three come with Ford Co-Pilot360 Technology including Pre-Collision Assist, Rear View Camera, and Trailer Sway Control. Choose the XLT or Lariat, and you’re talking major safety features - Blind Spot Information system with Blind Spot Alert and Trailer Monitoring, the Lane Keeping System, and Automatic High Beams just to name a few. Ford makes an impressive showing when it comes to keeping you safe on the road. The XL and Lariat both come with a touch screen based infotainment center. Ford’s SYNC3 keeps you easily hands-free and the FordPass Connect lets you interact with your Ranger from just about anywhere.
The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado comes in four trim packages: the Base, WT, LT, Z71, and the ZR2. While the Colorado does include some standard safety features such as Stabilitrak Traction Control and Teen Driver (to keep the kids driving responsibly), we don’t like that you have to upgrade to get many of the safety features that Ford offers with every Ranger. The Colorado comes with Chevrolet’s Infotainment 3 system and touch screen, which provides a pretty seamless hands-free experience.
If you’re looking to ditch the city and go off-road, both the Ford Ranger and the Chevrolet Colorado have options to make for a great experience, but you need to make sure to choose the right package. Ford’s FX4 package gives you what you need to make the Ranger a beast off-road. All-terrain tires, a terrain management system, and off-road shocks help you successfully explore any landscape. Choose from driving modes - Normal, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts and Sand - to ease your way over the terrain. Skid plates keep you covered and the automatic locking differential keeps you in control. The FX4 road package comes on any trim level and is only $1295, which seems like a great deal to us - especially considering the starting price for a Ranger is a mere $24,410.
If you plan on doing a lot of off-roading, Chevrolet makes the ZR2 just for those occasions. With 3.6L V6 engine or the Duramax 2.8L Turbo-Diesel, multimatic shocks, and rear/front electronic locking differentials, and the Autotrac transfer case, the Colorado can handle quite a bit. You also get a 48 mm factory installed lift, skid plates, and rocks sliders to get you through the rough spots. The Colorado ZR2 is built to be more than capable, but here’s the catch...the ZR2 starts at $41,400. That’s a number we’re not super excited about - especially for a mid-size truck.
Overall, both the Ford Ranger and the Chevrolet Colorado have a lot to offer, but when it comes down to it, you just get more bang for your buck with the Ford Ranger. It’s a great all-around truck with the power to pull, the tech to keep you covered, and the know-how to take you off-road.