2020 Ford Ranger
2020 Chevy Colorado
|270||Base Horsepower (HP)||200|
|1,860||Max Payload (lbs)||1,578|
|10-Speed Automatic||Transmission||8-Speed Automatic|
Competition is fierce in the midsize truck segment, and nowhere is this more apparent than when comparing the 2020 Ford Ranger vs 2020 Chevy Colorado. These are two good trucks from two companies who know how to make trucks. The Ford and Chevy brand names have become synonymous with trucks, and now we are seeing all of their extensive research and development spilling over into the midsize segment. The Ford Ranger is back on the scene after an extended absence, and was all-new for the 2019 model year, while the Chevy Silverado is starting to show its age, with its most recent generation beginning with the 2015 model year. With many of the entries in this segment in need of modern updates, such as the once-dominant Toyota Tacoma, the Ford Ranger is primed to take over the class with its unique combination of standard power and efficiency.
If you are looking in this class, you likely do not need a truck for heavy towing and hauling but do occasionally need this capability. Luckily for you, midsize trucks now nearly have the capability of full-size pickups. They can tow and haul more than some half-ton trucks. But what sets these two trucks apart? If you are comparing the Ranger and the Colorado and look close enough, you will see that some major differences separate the two. The base engine for the Ranger, for example, is much more powerful. That’s an important feature, especially if you do not want to have to pay extra for an expensive engine just to get the same capability of the standard engine for the Ranger.
Of course, there are other considerations when buying a truck, especially with all of the state-of-the-art tech and safety features trucks now have, so let’s take a look at how these two trucks compare and see which one might be the best fit for your lifestyle and needs at work or around the house.
When looking for a truck, arguably, the most important aspect of your search concerns the powertrain. You want to make sure your truck is not underpowered, but you also do not want too big of an engine, or an engine that makes daily driving prohibitive. Luckily, the Ford Ranger makes things easy for us. Ford offers only one engine choice for the Ranger, and it is a good one—a really good one. With this engine, you will appreciate the exceptional power, but you might appreciate the engine’s efficiency even more.
The Ranger's Engine
The standard and only engine option for the Ranger is a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. This engine produces 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque while returning 21/26 MPG (city/highway) and does not require premium fuel. That’s more horsepower than you will find in relatively recent half-ton V8 engines, and nearly the same amount of torque. It’s actually an engine borrowed from the Ford Mustang, so you know it has the ponies to get the job done. You’ll also find best-in-class payload at a maximum of 1,860 lbs with the Ranger’s standard powertrain.
The Chevy Colorado counters in the competition with three engine options. The standard engine is a 2.5-liter inline-4 with 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. The power output is nowhere near the Ranger. In fact, with this powertrain, you will only be able to tow up to 3,500 pounds. This isn’t really an option; it’s unclear why Chevy would offer this engine other than to get you to pay for a more expensive engine. So let’s take a look at the other engines, and how much they cost because you will need to upgrade to one of them if you want truck-like capability.
The first upgrade option is a 3.6-liter V6 with 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. The issue is that this engine does not become standard until you climb trim levels to the most expensive of trims—the ZR2 model. And if you want to tow as advertised, you’ll still want to upgrade to the next engine, which offers the best towing capability. Unfortunately, the next option can cost up to $7,000 when customizing the truck, so you will be paying a premium for 200 pounds more towing capacity than the Ranger.
How Do They Compare?
That’s right—the Ford Ranger can tow 7,500 pounds with its single, standard engine while the Colorado maxes out at 7,700 pounds with the diesel engine. The diesel engine also suffers from a lack of power, with only 186 hp. While it is a good engine with lots of useful torque, the lack of horsepower takes away from its value. With such a high price tag, it does not deliver enough of a performance upgrade for the money.
There is no denying the fact that the interior of a vehicle is just as important as its performance these days. With the technology and creature comforts that can be found in cars, it is hard not to want it all. What do the Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado have to offer in terms of the interior? Let's take a look.
Inside the Ford Ranger
With the 2020 Ford Ranger being only in the second year of its recent generation, it is loaded with the latest technology and convenience features. You can opt for either a SuperCab or SuperCrew model. The family-friendly SuperCrew seats five and has four full-size doors. Both cab styles offer abundant space for adults in both rows and provide wide door openings for easy exit and entry. There’s also a rear armrest in the SuperCrew models so everyone will be comfortable in the Ford Ranger. Additionally, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone capability are available so that you can listen to your favorite music, call your loved ones, and navigate to your destination all hands-free. Plus, the Ranger offers 4G LTE WiFi, so your passengers will never be bored.
The Colorado's Interior
The same cannot be said for the Colorado. The 2020 Chevy Colorado comes standard with inexpensive-looking plastics in the interior, a locking tailgate, and cargo-box lighting. The standard features are useful but are underwhelming when considering the powertrain they have to make up for. As far as the tech for each truck, both have very similar features like their 8-inch touchscreens. Overall, they each have a lot to offer, but the Ford does it with better style, which makes the Colorado fall behind yet another category.
No matter how great of a performance, or how comfortable an interior, a truck has no meaning if it cannot get you to your destination safely. In today's age, tons of technology features add tremendous amounts of safety to vehicles. And safety should always be the number one concern. Let's look at how the Ranger and the Colorado have been equipped with these features.
Staying Safe in the Ranger
The Ford Ranger includes many safety features in its inclusive safety suite, Co-Pilot360. Here you will find blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert (for both truck and trailer), lane-keep assist, and auto high-beams. Important standard features include a pre-collision warning system that detects cars and pedestrians in front of the vehicle and can brake on its own to prevent a collision, sway control, a rearview camera, and Sync 3 and FordPass Connect. And that’s just to start. Technically, you can walk out of the dealership with a great truck without adding on any extras.
Unfortunately, the Colorado does not come close to offering a comprehensive approach to safety. The safety package consists of forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning. There is also a Teen Driver system. And as available on the Ranger, the Colorado offers sway control. Overall, though, the Chevy Colorado's safety falls short in comparison to the safety features of the Ranger.