|Max Towing Capacity (lbs)
Midsize trucks, often labeled "lifestyle trucks," offer the capability of a full-sized pickup, such as the ability to tow and haul, in a smaller and easier to handle package. As such, these trucks are more likely to be seen carrying camping gear for the weekend rather than hauling supplies to a farm or ranch or dragging a full-sized trailer. There are a wide variety of midsize pickup trucks available across multiple dealerships, and each manufacturer has its own model to promote. For 2021, two of the trucks drawing major attention are the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado vs 2021 Ford Ranger. But how do they stack up, side by side?
The Chevy Colorado has considerable towing and payload capacities with the easy maneuverability guaranteed by its size. Form and function meet in the vehicle that Kelley Blue Book named midsize pickup truck best buy of 2020. For 2021, things can only go up. This pickup delivers what it promises: a capable machine with a pleasant driving position and powerful, smooth handling. It offers more towing, better gas mileage, and more options. Though it costs more, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
The 2021 Ford Ranger offers a limited number of available options for buyers to choose between. Two body configurations and a single powertrain configuration may simplify the decision-making process for any buyers who may opt for brand loyalty above all else but will not give truck owners the flexibility they are accustomed to. The Ranger has a few interesting packages that can be added to the base model, allowing for more options, such as the ability for off-roading. These are not a bad choice to select if the extra options and packages are needed, but they do add to the Ranger's price tag. Overall, the side by side comparison speaks for itself.
The 2021 Chevy Colorado has a starting MSRP of $25,200. This makes it slightly more expensive than the Ford Ranger, but this is not a drawback because Chevy offers many more options than Ford does. These powertrain options include an efficient four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission, a 308 hp V6 with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and 2.8L diesel with 369 lb-ft of torque. The optional towing package boosts the Colorado's maximum towing capacity to 7,700 lbs.
There are many exterior color options for the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado. These include black, summit white, satin steel metallic, bright blue metallic, cherry red tintcoat, sand dune metallic, and crush, which is a red-orange color. Between the options of short or long bed, extended and crew cab, and WT, LT, Z71, and ZR2 trim options, there are many choices to make to bring variety and uniqueness to your Chevy Colorado. For further options, the Colorado comes with standard rear-wheel drive and optional four-wheel drive.
The 2021 Ford Ranger is a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than the Chevy, but the number of options to choose from is severely limited in comparison. A turbocharged 2.3L four-cylinder engine with a ten-speed automatic transmission is the only powerplant offered for the Ranger. Rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are available, but this is one of the only meaningful choices available for buyers looking at the Ford Ranger. Having gone almost entirely unchanged since it first hit the global market back in 2011, the Ranger is long overdue for a facelift. However, this will not happen until 2022 at the earliest.
Though Ford may offer a slightly lower price, that is the only real advantage it holds over the Chevrolet Colorado. The larger number of engine options and trim options means that the 2021 Chevrolet Colorado is far more customizable than its competition. Plus, its superior power and higher tow ratings mean that the Chevy is a highly capable light-duty truck as well as a lifestyle model, which can make all the difference for a serious buyer.
The 2021 Chevrolet Colorado has a spacious cockpit, ensuring maximum comfort for the driver and passengers. A compartment under the crew cab's backseat combines with a large center console for maximum storage capacity inside the cab. The extended cab can seat four while the crew cab boosts max capacity to five. Everyone sits high, with a good view of the road all around. Step bars and running boards are available to allow easier access into the raised cab.
Two sets of connectors are available for child safety seats in the back. The front seats and steering wheel have the additional option of automatic heating, ensuring further comfort for the driver. Optional cargo space only increases when you consider the bed. The 2021 Chevy Colorado has an extra 41 to 50 cubic feet of available cargo space, not including the available space in the interior.
The 2021 Ford Ranger seats four occupants in the SuperCab, offering two full-sized doors for the front and two smaller doors to access the back. Seating jumps to five in the SuperCrew, which has four full-sized doors. The SuperCrew also offers a rear armrest, which can keep passengers more comfortable with some separation between them or can be used to separate squabbling siblings. The front seats offer four-way adjustability but not the same level of comfort, space, or visibility as the Chevy Colorado.
Other options offered in the 2021 Ford Ranger are attached to different trim options and generally mean more expensive packages. These options include things like leather interiors or power-adjustable front seats. While this rule of thumb applies to the Chevrolet Colorado as well, there are more options offered from the beginning, allowing for better customization and comfort when compared to the Ford Ranger. The one similarity the two models share is the presence of fabric and plastic in the interior. This makes for easy cleaning and gives a feeling of a utilitarian work truck.
Though both interiors give a range of options from basic to luxurious, the Chevrolet Colorado offers more space and better visibility. It has more cargo space, thanks to the compartment in the crew cab, even without considering the space in the bed. The truck bed also offers seventeen tie-down points for large loads that may need to be covered and rear cameras to aid the driver in keeping track of a load while on the road. All of this increases not only comfort but safety and peace of mind for drivers of the 2021 Chevy Colorado.
The 2021 Chevy Colorado features an optional WiFi hotspot as well as Bluetooth audio streaming for up to two devices. It comes with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, allowing you to seamlessly link your phone. Multiple USB ports are available as well as wireless charging. Lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and rear park assist are all available to enhance your safety on the road. Finally, Chevy's limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles, with complimentary maintenance for the first visit.
The 2021 Ford Ranger offers only one USB charging port, and the base model doesn't even come standard with a touchscreen infotainment system, let alone Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The six-speaker sound system and aux input jack feel like something out of an earlier era. However, the FordPass Connect with 4G WiFi does nudge the Ranger a step closer to modern capabilities on the infotainment front. A rearview camera and child seat tether anchors are both offered as standard, and a variety of driver assistance features are available as part of Ford Co-Pilot360. Ford offers a bumper-to-bumper warranty for three years or 36,000 miles, but no complimentary maintenance.
The safety and infotainment options in the Colorado are obviously superior, and not only because more charging ports are always a good thing. The safety features offered do a better job of protecting the driver and passengers with more focus on driver assistance than the Ford Ranger's standard features. The Colorado also offers full connectivity with Amazon Alexa as an option for the vehicle. This ensures a streamlined and well-integrated driver assistance system as well as full integration and syncing with any smart devices a Colorado buyer may already own.