Even the Base 2021 Ford Ranger Beats the Turbo-Diesel Chevy Colorado

Some drivers will defend diesel engines until the day they die, while others prefer gas engines. However, the 2021 Ford Ranger simply has more to offer than turbo-diesel-equipped 2021 Chevy Colorado models.

Most consumers seem to agree with this statement, as the Ranger has destroyed the Colorado in sales recently.

Why is purchasing a base 2021 Ford Ranger a better option than choosing a Chevy Colorado with a turbo-diesel engine? Let’s analyze these compact trucks to find out.

The base 2021 Ford Ranger is a value-buy

A blue 2020-2021 Ford Ranger parked in the woods
The 2020 Ford Ranger on display | Photo via Ford

If you’re looking for a truck that combines utility with the modern driving experience, you shouldn’t overlook the Ranger.

The 2021 Ford Ranger has a starting MSRP of just $24,820. That undercuts the price of the 2021 Chevy Colorado LT turbo-diesel by $12,990.

Ford gives shoppers the option to outfit the Ranger’s base trim with either cloth or vinyl upholstery. The former will provide a cushy ride that’ll help lessen the load during your workday, while the latter gives the truck’s interior added durability.

Additionally, the 2021 Ford Ranger comes standard with Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a USB port, and a rearview camera. While this doesn’t scream luxury, it’s not an underwhelming offering for such an affordable truck.

Enhancements are available by way of optional packages. You can add the SYNC infotainment system with a 4.2-inch screen and an upgraded sound system for just $1,135.

The 2021 Chevy Colorado’s turbo-diesel engine will leave you wanting more

A silver 2021 Chevy Colorado ZR2 driving through dirt
The 2021 Chevy Colorado ZR2 in action | Photo via Chevrolet

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Gas mileage isn’t the primary focus of a pickup truck, but it is an added benefit of turbo-diesel models.

The Chevy Colorado’s turbo-diesel engine famously delivers class-leading numbers. However, these figures are matched by the Ranger’s base engine, as both powertrains get an EPA-estimated 23 MPG city/highway combined.

Plus, 2021 Ford Ranger drivers will experience the added benefit of cheaper gas. AAA statistics state that 87-octane fuel costs $2.400/gal. on average, compared to $2.640/gal. for diesel. Thus, the Ranger holds a slight advantage over its turbo-diesel counterpart, as owners will save a bit at the pump.

Meanwhile, the 2021 Chevy Colorado’s 2.8-liter turbo-diesel only delivers 181 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque. However, it is capable of towing up to 7,700 pounds when paired with its rear-wheel-drive system. Four-wheel drive versions tow 100 pounds fewer, and the ZR2 trim only hauls 5,000 pounds.

The Ranger’s 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine puts up quite a fight. It kicks out an impressive 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, making it seem silly to pay so much for a turbo-diesel Colorado.

Considering it doesn’t have any performance packages added to it, the base 2021 Ford Ranger’s towing capacity won’t blow you away. It achieves a 3,500-pound rating, which is serviceable for light-duty jobs. Notably, a properly equipped Ranger is capable of towing up to 7,500 pounds.

But let’s face it. If you want lots of hauling power, you should buy a full-size truck, such as the 2021 Ford F-150, instead.

Ford doesn’t skimp on safety

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Safety is perhaps the 2021 Ford Ranger’s most significant advantage. This budget model already comes standard with forward-collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB).

These features work together to identify an imminent crash and quickly react by automatically apply the brakes if the driver doesn’t respond in time. These actions can help mitigate the damage or avoid a collision altogether, helping you save your precious cargo.

Plus, you can equip lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert for just $625.

The 2021 Chevy Colorado LT Turbo-Diesel much-higher price indicates that it’s more tech-savvy. But that’s not really the case. It comes with a Teen Driver system, rear park assist, and lane-departure warning in addition to FCW and AEB.

In our opinion, we’d much rather take the 2021 Ford Ranger with the Safety Package for more than $12,000 less.