|200-308 hp||Horsepower||270 hp|
|191-369 lb-ft||Torque||310 lb-ft|
|Up to 7,700 lbs||Towing Capacity (LBS)||7,500 lbs|
The 2019 Chevy Colorado vs 2019 Ford Ranger. It’s a fight that’s been brewing for quite some time. After consistently going against each other in the early 2000’s, the war among domestic mid-size pickup trucks had largely fizzled over the last 7 years. The Dodge Dakota and Ford Ranger both left us in 2011 after years of fading sales. The Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon took a brief hiatus between 2012 and 2014 as well – dark times for those who love mid-size trucks. Thankfully, that dark period is in the past. The Colorado and Canyon were reintroduced in 2014 and currently carry the crown as best-in-class. Fiat Chrysler, the parent company of Ram, Dodge, and Jeep, has been dropping hints that a new Dakota will resurface sometime around 2020 as a Ram model, and the Jeep Gladiator pickup will hit dealerships this spring. But for many prospective truck owners, the decision will come down to a timeless one – Chevrolet or Ford. The Ford Ranger went on sale in January as the most direct competitor that the Colorado has seen in years. While both trucks have pros and cons, there must be a winner. Will the new kid on the block unseat the reigning champion? A look at the details should provide an answer.
Chevy vs Ford is a rivalry that has left the automotive world and become a well-known part of pop culture. It operates like many other great rivalries; you don’t have to be a football fan to grasp the importance of Ohio State vs Michigan or a food industry insider to see the animosity between McDonald’s and Wendy’s. For Chevy and Ford, it’s more than a shared industry that drives the competition. GM’s downtown Detroit headquarters is a few miles from Ford’s in Dearborn, and the companies compete every day for the best talent in the industry. The vehicles involved in the rivalry have fluctuated over the years, mostly in-line with consumer preference – the fight between the Chevy Malibu and Ford Fusion has become less intense while Ford Escape vs Chevy Equinox has grown substantially.
Despite the fluctuation present in the competition, there is always one constant – the pickup trucks. Although the names and numbers have changed in the decades since this particular facet of the rivalry began, it’s currently a fight between the Chevy Silverado and Ford F-150. The arrival of the new Ranger, however, could add another layer to the drama. It’s been eight long years since the Ranger disappeared and the automotive landscape has changed dramatically. The timing is just right for the Colorado and Ranger to battle it out.
The Ranger and Colorado are a part of the current boom in trucks. The market is the hottest it has ever been. While SUVs have rightfully been the stars of the show lately, pickups are flying off the shelves at unprecedented rates. There are currently 11 models and seven brands to choose from, with more surely on the horizon. While the collection may be intimidating, the intense competition between brands has put trucks at the leading edge of technology, efficiency, and capability – all to the benefit of the buyer.
A descendant of the Chevy S-10, the Colorado made its debut in 2003 as a 2004 model. Since then, the Colorado has received one full redesign, for the 2014 model year. The current truck comes in three different configurations:
After the demise of the ranger and Dakota in 2011, the Colorado and its sibling, the GMC Canyon, have been the only domestic mid-size trucks available. The 2014 redesign was well-received by critics; the Colorado took home the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award in both 2015 and 2016. Consumers have been as bullish as critics. The truck has surpassed the 100,000 sales mark every year since 2014 and sold over 165,000 units in 2018.
The original Ranger replaced the Mazda-sourced Ford Courier in 1982. It subsequently went through two full redesigns before lagging demand pushed Ford to end production in 2011. The Ranger experienced a long run of success, selling 100,000+ every year from 1985-2005. As the Ranger got old in the tooth, sales cratered with less than 20,000 vehicles being sold in 2012. Ford introduced the new Ranger at the 2017 North American Auto Show in Detroit and new 2019 models hit dealer floors in late January of this year. The truck debuted with just two configurations:
If there is one thing you can learn from truck commercials, it’s that power is king. Mid-size trucks should offer the best of both worlds to the majority of customers – enough towing capacity and payload to handle leisure activities and small work jobs paired with fuel economy that won’t break the bank. The 2019 Chevy Colorado vs 2019 Ford Ranger are perfect examples of this principle.
Colorado buyers have a choice of three engines:
The Duramax turbo-diesel is the only diesel engine offered on any mid-size truck and is the perfect match for any buyer looking to do a considerable amount of towing – it can handle up to 7,700 pounds. The V6 can tow 7,000 pounds and is well-suited for weekend warriors needing to tow a boat or equipment for a home-improvement project. The 4-cylinder engine can pull 3,500 pounds. Payload varies across configurations and engine choices but the maximum payload tops out at 1,574 pounds.
As of now, the Ranger is available with only one engine, a 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder good for 270 horsepower, will tow 7,500 pounds and has a payload of 1,860 pounds. The engine is equipped with start/stop technology that turns the engine off when idling and deactivates when towing, all of which will help with fuel economy.
This round is a fairly easy win for the Colorado. The Ranger’s slightly higher payload is beaten by the Colorado’s selection and diesel offering.
Both of these trucks beat their older siblings when it comes to fuel efficiency. For petrol engines, the Ranger’s EcoBoost wins a slight advantage at 21 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. The 4-cylinder Colorado is just behind with a 20 city/26 highway split. The Duramax turbo-diesel wins the day again for the Colorado with a sedan-like 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. Not too shabby for an engine that can turn around and tow 7,700 pounds. The Colorado wins another round.
Both of these vehicles offer the tech you would expect in any 2019 vehicle. Touchscreen infotainment and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are available on both models. Drivers of either vehicle can use manufacturer apps to schedule service or locate their truck. When it comes to safety features, the Ranger’s package, which includes automatic emergency braking, bests the Colorado. As for unique features, the Colorado offers wireless charging and an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, though the Ranger comes integrated with Waze and Amazon Alexa. When you put it all together, this category is slight win for the Ford since its more advanced safety tech squeaks past the Colorado’s Wi-Fi and wireless charging capability.
If you’re looking for the lowest price for these two trucks, your best bet is going to be an extended cab model. A base model extended cab Colorado comes in at $21,300. The Ranger starts at $24,300. It should be noted that the Ranger’s only engine is much more powerful than the Colorado’s standard 4-cylinder. Buyers will have to decide if it’s worth the extra $2,000 to get more power. On the other end of the spectrum, a Ranger Lariat will top out around $45,000. The Colorado ZR2 Bison totals up to a tidy $53,595. Unless Ford brings a Raptor version of the Ranger to the US, the ZR2 Bison has no competition. With a lower starting price and a well-priced off-road model, the Colorado takes this one.
When it comes to warranties, it’s a straight wash. New Colorado and Ranger owners would get 3 years/36,000 miles basic and 5 years/60,000 miles powertrain.