|7,700||Max Towing (lbs)||7,500|
Thinking about the 2022 Chevy Colorado vs 2022 Ford Ranger will have your head spinning if you don’t get the facts straight. Both mid-size trucks have garnered immense fan bases over their course on the market, and no two pickup trucks are arguably as ripe for competition as these two. Why wouldn’t they be? Both trucks share a rather similar price, and each truck aims to serve the same purpose. The one problem, however, is that there’s likely nobody who will buy both trucks in the same year.
This is where the question comes in: which pickup truck is worth your money, and why? For Chevy enthusiasts, the 2022 Colorado joins the likes of the venerable Silverado in the lineup, and the Ranger shares the same lineup with prime pickup trucks such as the F-150. Suffice to say, both manufacturers know a thing or two about pickup trucks, but which mid-size option is the better of the two?
The pricing for these two pickup trucks is surprisingly similar. For the 2022 Colorado, the base trim, the WT, starts at $25,200, and the base Ranger model, the XL, starts at $25,500.[a] If you’re looking for a wider range of customization, the Colorado slightly pulls out ahead with one additional trim level, the off-roading behemoth ZR2. Both trucks are fitted for adventures, either on or off the beaten trail. With trim levels dedicated to exceptional performance on the trails, both trucks offer drivers many off-roading amenities such as an automatic locking rear differential, custom-tuned shocks, suspensions, and you can expect proper ground clearance with skid plates available for both trucks. Ultimately, the Colorado will cost you slightly less, and your choice of trim levels is extended further.
Pickup trucks need power regardless of their size. Although several pickup trucks have historically fallen flat in this category, this couldn’t be further from the truth for the Colorado and Ranger. However, there’s a glaring issue that drivers need to know about the Ranger – it only has one powertrain. Yes, there’s an argument to be made about unified power across its catalog of trims, but this also limits the driver in every sense of the word. Fortunately, the sole powertrain of the 2022 Ranger isn’t the worst it could be, as it utilizes a turbocharged 2.3L I-4 that’s known for power and efficiency. What it does lack is any form of a V6, or more importantly, a lack of a diesel option. Immediately, this will off-put any diesel driver, but the problem goes further than that. Without a diesel-powered engine option, the Colorado can outshine the Ranger in torque output, fuel efficiency, and even towing capacity.
Starting with the Ranger’s powertrain, it’s the aforementioned turbocharged 2.3L I-4 engine. With this, you can expect 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, which helps it achieve its maximum towing capacity of 7,500 lbs. Certainly impressive, there’s no doubt about that, but once you bring the Colorado’s turbo-diesel 2.8L I-4 engine into the mix, regardless of the price difference, it still makes the Colorado the more performant machine. Like most diesel-powered machines, its lower horsepower rating of 181 hp shouldn’t deceive you. Once you take its 369 lb-ft of torque into the mix, you’ll see a maximum towing capacity of 7,700 lbs. Slightly higher than the Ranger, but an improvement nonetheless.
The real competition here stems from the fuel efficiency you can expect between a turbo-diesel I-4 and a regular turbocharged I-4. With the 2022 Colorado’s diesel engine, you can expect EPA-estimated ratings of 20 MPG in the city and 30 MPG on the highway, and with the Ranger’s diesel option, you’ll get 21 mpg city and 26 MPG highway. As you can tell, the Colorado only loses one mile per gallon while driving in the city but can travel four more miles per gallon on the highway.
However, if diesel powertrains aren’t your thing, you can invest in either the 3.6L V6 or the base 2.5L I-4 for the Colorado. The former creates 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, with a maximum towing capacity of 7,000 lbs. Sticking with the base model will get you 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, with a lower 3,500 lbs of available towing power. Additionally, if you invest in the proper trailering packages for both trucks, you’ll get a hitch with a 7-pin connector. Only the Ranger comes with a 4-pin connector in addition to the 7-pin, but fortunately for Colorado owners, a solution is an easy-to-find 7-pin to 4-pin adapter. The 7-pin trailer hitches are more commonplace, and through each pin, a signal is sent to supply power to different portions of your trailer, such as brake lights, for example.
Some people refer to their trucks as their “home on the go,” which means that the driver feels comfortable in their truck, and they experience feelings of happiness, entertainment, and comfort. The interiors of many mid-size pickup trucks nowadays try to accommodate to the best of their abilities, but very few trucks truthfully succeed at this. With Chevy and Ford, you can always expect quality interiors that make the drivers feel at home.
For the 2022 Colorado, you’ll have the option between the Extended and Crew Cabs, the latter of which gives passengers in the back row more head and legroom. The Ranger’s two cab sizes are the SuperCab and SuperCrew, with the SuperCab offering less space for rear-seat passengers. With the Colorado’s Extended Cab and the Ranger’s SuperCrew, both trucks will present two doors, whereas the alternative two cab sizes will offer four doors.
How do these cab sizes directly affect the experience of sitting within the vehicle? As mentioned, the cab sizes will have differing dimensions in the rear row of seats, but with the Chevy Colorado, you’ll get 41.4 inches of headroom and 45 inches of legroom in the front row regardless of which cab you opt for. For the Ranger, the front row only gives you 39.8 inches of headroom and 43.1 inches of legroom. Although a two-inch difference for your head and legs may not sound like much, it can quite literally be the difference maker between feeling crowded or comfortable.
The rear-row dimensions are a tad more complicated, but ultimately we feel the Colorado comes out on top, and here’s why. Starting with the Extended Cab vs the SuperCab, Chevy’s truck offers 36.7 inches of headroom against the lower 35.9 inches found within the Ranger’s back row. The Crew Cab vs the SuperCrew tells a similar story, but for legroom, measuring out at 35.8 inches instead of Ford’s 34.5 inches. These dimensions surely beat the Ranger, albeit the Ranger does have the advantage with the SuperCab’s rear legroom as opposed to the Extended Cab, with 30.4 and 28.6 inches, respectively. It’s also worth noting that both the Crew Cab and SuperCrew offer an identical 38.3 inches of headroom for rear-row occupants.
Other interior amenities are rather varied across the board from infotainment centers with features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and built-in navigation, among others. Regarding the seats, the Colorado comes with a 4-way power-adjustable seat standard. Meanwhile, the Ranger comes with an 8-way manually-adjustable seat. Many drivers are likely to prefer the power-adjustable seating because of instant access to your seating controls with an instant motorized reaction instead of manually pulling levers. Where things get interesting is when you move your way up the list of trims. For example, stepping up one trim level for each truck means that you’ll get a 6-way power-adjustable driver’s seat for the Colorado, and the Ranger will retain its 8-way manual seat. For the money you’d be spending on the Ranger, you’d hope for more advanced features, which even then, asking for power-adjustable seats is not an outrageous request for 2022 models.
Both trucks offer safety suites that add a new layer of reliability to your truck. These features promote better visibility, awareness, and protection. For example, a Forward Collision Alert is available for both trucks, which will utilize sensors to detect an impact before it can occur. The Forward Collision Alert then combines with a form of Automatic Emergency Braking that applies pressure to the brakes if the driver doesn’t do so in time. The goal of these two features is to hopefully prevent an accident, or it could alleviate some of the damage caused by said impact.
Chevy and Ford have both considered highway travel for the Colorado and Ranger, which is made better by fuel-efficient turbocharged powertrains. Features that further assist with freeway travel includes Lane Departure Warning to give you an alert that will sound if you’re beginning to shift into the next lane. Of course, both trucks include a rear vision camera, and each one can implement Rear Park Assist to guide your truck into a parking space safely without hitting anything. Additionally, Ford’s MyKey and Chevy’s Teen Driver both offer parents an array of settings that they can use to tailor their teenager’s driving experience, all of which to make the ride safer, such as volume limits, speed limits, etc.
Comparatively, the Colorado and Ranger are undoubtedly safe vehicles, and while every safety feature doesn’t come standard, it pales in comparison to the grander picture. Considering these trucks have more commonly than not received similar, albeit not identical ratings, from the IIHS, the Colorado remains a reliable and safe vehicle that comes in at a lower cost.