2021 Ford Ranger vs 2021 Chevy Colorado

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  • 2021 Ford Ranger

    A grey 2021 Ford Ranger Lariat is angled left.

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    2021 Chevy Colorado

    A white 2021 Chevy Colorado LT is angled right.

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    310Gas Torque (lb-ft)191-275
    10-Speed Automatic Transmission6 or 8-Speed
    1,860Max Payload (lbs)1,550

    The Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado are well-known in the world of midsize pickup trucks. After several years on the market, the Ford Ranger has developed a reputation as a workaholic with class and innovation. Meanwhile, the Chevy Colorado has also created a stir as an affordable alternative to a full-size truck. It is time to put these to popular models head to head to see which truck comes out on top in the battle between the 2021 Ford Ranger vs 2021 Chevy Colorado.

    While they fill a similar niche, Ford and Chevy took different approaches to building a midsize truck. The Ford Ranger sports a powerful and lightweight turbocharged engine, while the Chevy Colorado offers an array of more traditional engine choices. Which one is better may depend on your needs, but overall the Ford Ranger excels in the areas desired for a midsize truck with best in class payload and exceptional fuel economy.

  • Performance

    A white 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor is parked on dirt and shown from an above angle.

    Both the 2021 Ford Ranger and the 2021 Chevy Colorado are sleek and modern trucks. Overall, the Ford Ranger has a 126.8-inch wheelbase, which is just slightly shorter than the 128.3-inch wheelbase of the Colorado. This helps make the Ranger a touch more maneuverable than the Colorado without sacrificing cargo capacity. Another reason to choose the Ranger is its noticeably better ground clearance - the Ranger offers up to 8.9" while the Colorado is limited to no more than 8.4" and actually has even less clearance on its 4x4 models.

    Cargo Space and Payload

    The Colorado does come out slightly ahead of the Ranger when it comes to bed length, offering either a 74" or 62" bed against the 73" or 61" bed options for the Ranger. However, the Ford provides more volume at either 51.8 or 43.3 cu.ft. compared to only 49.9 or 41.3 cu.ft. for the Chevy. Further, the payload rating for the Ranger is significantly higher at up to 1,860 lbs instead of just 1,550 lbs for the Colorado. What all of this means is that if you are looking for a truck to carry building materials, gardening supplies, or other odds and ends, the 2021 Ford Ranger is a noticeably more capable vehicle.

    Engine Options

    The 2021 Ford Ranger promises power and fuel efficiency wrapped into an engine that lives up to the Ford name. The Ranger's standard turbocharged engine is a powerhouse that still provides above-average fuel economy. Every trim of the truck comes standard with a 2.3-liter turbo with 270 hp and 310 lb-ft torque, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. By using a smaller turbocharged engine instead of the large naturally-aspirated engines of the Chevy Colorado, the Ranger managed to combine exceptional power, fuel efficiency, and light weight.

    The 2021 Chevy Colorado offers three different engine options - a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, a 3.6-liter V6, and a 2.8-liter turbo-diesel. But while each of these engines excels in a specific area, none of them come close to the all-around versatile performance of the Ranger's 2.3-liter turbo. The base 2.5-liter engine in the Colorado only provides 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, making it mainly an economy option. The 3.6-liter V6 is a good all-around choice but falls far short of the Ranger's engine when it comes to towing capacity and fuel economy. Finally, the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel offers incredible towing capacity and fuel economy, but has the low horsepower and expensive upkeep typical of diesel engines.

  • Interior

    The tan interior of a 2021 Ford Ranger is shown from the back of the front seat forward.

    The interior is one of the most crucial points when comparing two models as cabins vary widely in space and creature comforts. Both the Ford Ranger and the Chevy Colorado offer the option of either an extended cab with two bucket seats in the front and two small seats in the rear or a crew cab with bucket seats up front and a three-passenger bench seat in the back. Unfortunately, neither truck offers a three-passenger bench seat for the front row. While there are a few differences in measurements, such as the extended cab Raptor offering an additional 1.8" of second-row legroom, the two trucks are fairly comparable when it comes to interior space.

    Infotainment Options

    There are notable differences between the two models' infotainment systems. While Chevy offers a solid standard infotainment system on every trim of the Colorado, Ford allows you to choose between everything from a bare-bones system up to a truly luxurious setup. But let's dive into the details.

    The base Chevy infotainment setup consists of a 7" touchscreen and the Chevy Infotainment 3 software, which includes support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is combined with a 6-speaker audio system for acceptable sound quality. However, the top infotainment configuration isn't much better, only bringing an 8" touchscreen and a 7-speaker sound system.

    Inside the base Ford Ranger you will find a simple 4.3" screen and four speakers. This is a great simple choice for a no-frills work truck and helps keep the cost of the truck down. However, if you want more, then the Ranger gives you the option of an 8" touchscreen and the SYNC 3 software. This gives you Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and also offers the option of a stunning 10-speaker premium sound system that will transform your audio experience.

    Creature Comforts

    When it comes to luxury features, the Ranger tends to come out ahead. For instance, the Colorado tops out with six-way power-adjustable seats, while the Ranger can be optioned with eight-way power-adjustable seats that include power lumbar support. And when it comes to climate control, both models offer fully automatic systems, but the Chevy only has a single-zone setup while Ford sports a dual-zone system so the driver and passenger can each have their own settings. These little touches are what set the Ford Ranger apart if you are looking for a comfortable midsize truck for commuting or road trips.

    Information and entertainment features are musts in today's automobiles, and the 2021 Ford Ranger doesn't disappoint in its technological innovations within the cabin! Overall, the 2021 Ford Ranger offers plenty of space and entertainment features to ensure that, whether you're parked or on the road, you get the most out of your 2021 Ranger.

  • Safety

    A red 2021 Ford Ranger STX is parked in an open area with distant mountains behind it.

    Advanced Features

    There's little doubt that safety features are among the most important parts of any vehicle. The 2021 Ford Ranger features the advanced Co-Pilot 360 suite of driver assistance technologies as an option for the base XL trim level and a standard feature on XLT and LARIAT trims. This is in sharp contrast to the 2021 Chevy Colorado, which reserves its advanced safety systems for the highest trim levels.

    Co-Pilot360 is a safe-driving wizard with such features as lane-keeping assist to ensure that you never drift out of the lane, blind-spot warnings so that there are never surprises on the road, pedestrian detection, and automated emergency braking. While Chevy does offer similar systems, you will pay more to get them. Ford's commitment to you, your passengers, and everyone around you is clear in its emphasis on holistic safety.

    Crash Testing

    How does the 2021 Ford Ranger perform on crash tests? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) granted the 2021 Ford Ranger four out of five stars for overall crash safety, with four stars for front protection, five stars for side protection, and three stars for rollover protection. These are the same crash ratings given to the 2021 Chevy Colorado. The 2021 Ford Ranger's forward collision mitigation system ranked "Superior" for vehicle-to-vehicle accidents and second-place in the "Advanced" category for vehicle-to-pedestrian accidents. The verdict? The 2021 Ford Ranger provides ample safety features to ensure that your adventures are as secure as they are memorable!

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