The 2021 Jeep Gladiator and Ford Ranger Struggle to Keep Up With the Chevy Colorado

We, automotive journalists, like to think that we are the gatekeepers for which vehicles do well and which ones fail. Here’s a shocker; we aren’t. We regularly test and then report that the Jeep Wrangler is objectively not great, but you (and I) still end up buying them by the bazillions because people love them, regardless of what we have to say. The Chevy Colorado has been slammed by reviewers left, right, and center, yet it still sold more than the 2021 Jeep Gladiator and Ford Ranger in Q4 of 2020. 

Is the Chevy Colorado a good truck? 

According to Consumer Reports, it’s the worst truck. CR gave it an overall score of 44/100. For reference, the Gladiator soared ahead with a 65/100. The Ford Ranger wasn’t as loved as the Jeep but barely scored higher with a 45/100. 

The 2021 Chevy Colorado slammed from every angle on CR. It got a two out of five on predicted reliability and a three out of five on predicted customer satisfaction. It has a stiff and choppy ride, an underpowered engine, and a low-quality interior. Honestly, the grievances could go on for some time. The point is, the Chevy Colorado is, by all metrics, a bad pickup truck. Regardless, people bought them. 

How many Chevy Colorado units were sold in 2020? 

2021 Chevy Colorado LT trim driving through the city
2021 Chevy Colorado LT Trim

Overall the sales were still down on the raggedy little Chevy. However, the Colorado’s Q4 sales were up across the board. South Korea, Canada, and America all saw a big sales spike in Q4 of 2020. In Canada, the Chevy Colorado saw a sales increase of nearly 45 percent compared to 2019’s Q4. In South Korea, the little truck climbed over 31 percent in the same time frame. Although the sales increase wasn’t quite as big here in the states, The Chevy Colorado still sold 8 percent more units in Q4 of 2020 than in 2019. 

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator couldn’t keep up with the Chevy Colorado

Even though the Gladiator has been getting a ton of air time, and increased its sales 24 percent in Q4 of 2020 compared to 2019. Even still, the little Colorado outsold it by about 7,000 units, according to GM Authority. Mind-blowing. How much more exciting and capable is the Jeep Gladiator than the Chevy Colorado? Granted, the Gladiator is nearly $10k more expensive, but come on. 

2021 Jeep Gladiator driving through the mountains
2021 Jeep® Gladiator Rubicon | Jeep

RELATED: The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Has 1 Scary Flaw

Is the 2021 Ford Ranger a good truck? 

The Ford Ranger is basically the same price and scored one point higher than the Chevy Colorado but still was outsold by about 600 units. Now, the Ranger was underperforming compared to Q4 of 2019. In fact, it was selling about 17 percent fewer models in Q4 2020 than in 2019. Knowing how well the Colorado did in Q4, I can see where all the Ranger Customers went. 

A blue 2020 Ford Ranger XL SuperCrew drives on a paved snowy mountain road
2020 Ford Ranger XL SuperCrew | Ford

The time of the small pickup is now; Look at the Ford Maverick

Even though Ford’s small truck offering underperformed in the market at the end of 2020, Ford knows that the time of the little pickup truck is here. Even with the Ranger and its many configurations, Ford is also coming out with another compact truck for 2022 called the Ford Maverick. The writing is on the wall. Even though the full-size trucks aren’t going anywhere, the small trucks seem to be making a big come back. For now, I’ll tip my hat while scratching my head at the Chevy Colorado’s success.