Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Chevy Colorado Took the Ford Ranger Down

There is a new sheriff in town. The 2021 Chevy Colorado just outranked the 2021 Ford Ranger on the list of best midsize pickup trucks. The rivalry between Ford and Chevy remains strong even when it comes to smaller trucks. But what exactly does the Chevrolet Colorado have on the Ford Ranger? 

The 2021 Chevy Colorado vs. the 2021 Ford Ranger 

According to the Motor Trend list of the seven best midsize pickups to buy in 2021, the Ford Ranger is in seventh place, and the Chevy Colorado is in second place. That’s a pretty big gap between these two trucks. 

A grey and black 2021 Chevy Colorado ZR2 turbo-diesel pickup truck driving off-road, kicking up sand
The 2021 Chevy Colorado ZR2 showing off its capability | Chevrolet

Also, the 2021 Nissan Frontier came in last place, but that’s old news. Motor Trend mentioned that it’s an outdated model that feels a little bland. Of course, the 2021 Honda Ridgeline came in first. Critics can’t get over its smooth ride and fancy interior. 

But why did the 2021 Chevy Colorado rank so far ahead of the 2021 Ford Ranger? Motor Trend noted that it has a choppy ride, so-so interior, and poor suspension tuning. But they also mentioned that the Colorado doesn’t have the best cabin, the back seat is tight, and the V6 lacks torque. 

How the Chevy Colorado and Ford Ranger Perform 

You can get started in a 2021 Chevy Colorado for about $25,000. The 2021 Ford Ranger has an MSRP of about $24,820. So, they’re very competitively priced. These prices are listed before destination fees, and dealership markups have been added. 

The Colorado has three engine options. The 2.5-liter inline-four pumps out 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the 3.6-liter V6 engine for 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, and the 2.8-liter inline-four diesel engine proves 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, the Colorado can tow up to 7,700 lbs. Also, it’s the only midsize truck with an integrated trailer brake controller. 

RELATED: 3 Ways Chevy Colorado is Better Than the Nissan Frontier

The Ford Ranger only has one engine option, which is the 2.3-liter turbo inline-four. It provides 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. It can tow up to 7,500 lbs. So, again the trucks are pretty evenly matched. 

According to Edmunds, the Ranger offers a fast acceleration that’s pretty fun. But the steering is light, and the suspension is unsettled. With sudden braking, the Ranger may take a nosedive. Edmunds noted that the Chevy Colorado is a little slower off the line but has a smooth suspension and limited body roll. 

Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado features 

The 2021 Ford Ranger has a quiet cab with pretty comfortable seats but has a bumpy ride. The 2021 Chevy Colorado has a very smooth ride with comfortable front seats that may feel small for larger drivers. Also, there is a bit of wind noise in the cabin. 

A blue 2021 Ford Ranger Raptor crawls over some desert rocks
2021 Ford Ranger Raptor | Ford

With the Colorado, you get an infotainment system that’s easier to use. It has great graphics and is fast to respond. The Ford Sync 3 System is fine in the Ranger, but the software could use a few shortcuts. 

Also, the Chevy Colorado features more storage than the Ranger, with a larger center console and seat pockets. There is plenty of storage for smaller items. The Ranger has limited storage under the rear seat too.