2020 Chevrolet Colorado vs. 2019 Ford Ranger

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Colorado Crew Cab and Ranger have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Colorado has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Ranger’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Colorado are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Ranger doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Full-time four-wheel drive is optional on the Colorado. Full-time four-wheel drive gives added traction for safety in all conditions, not just off-road, like the only system available on the Ranger.

Both the Colorado and the Ranger have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems and rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Colorado the rating of “Top Pick” for 2016, a rating granted to only 164 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Ranger has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Colorado’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Ranger’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

Engine

The Colorado’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 38 more horsepower (308 vs. 270) than the Ranger’s 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

The Colorado’s 2.8 turbo diesel produces 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 310) than the Ranger’s 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Colorado V6 is faster than the Ford Ranger:

Colorado

Ranger

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.1 sec

17.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

7.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.4 sec

3.6 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.5 sec

4.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

93 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Colorado gets better fuel mileage than the Ranger:

MPG

Colorado

RWD

2.8 turbo 4-cyl. Diesel

20 city/30 hwy

AWD

2.8 turbo 4-cyl. Diesel

19 city/28 hwy

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

Ranger

RWD

2.3 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/26 hwy

AWD

2.3 DOHC 4-cyl.

20 city/24 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Colorado V6’s fuel efficiency. The Ranger doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Colorado has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Ranger (21 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

The Colorado stops much shorter than the Ranger:

Colorado

Ranger

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

193 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Colorado RST’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Ranger’s optional 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Colorado RST has standard 20-inch wheels. The Ranger’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Colorado has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Ranger doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Colorado has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Ranger doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Colorado’s wheelbase is longer than on the Ranger:

Colorado

Ranger

Extended Cab Standard Bed

128.3 inches

126.8 inches

Crew Cab Short Bed

128.3 inches

126.8 inches

Crew Cab Standard Bed

140.5 inches

n/a

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Colorado is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Ranger.

The Colorado Long Box LT Crew Cab 4x4 handles at .78 G’s, while the Ranger XLT SuperCrew 4x4 pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Colorado Extended Cab’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Ranger’s (41.3 feet vs. 42 feet).

Chassis

The front grille of the Colorado uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Ranger doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Colorado Short Box Z71 Crew Cab 4x4 is quieter than the Ranger XLT SuperCrew 4x4 (37 vs. 39 dB).

Passenger Space

The Colorado Extended Cab has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Ranger SuperCab.

The Colorado Crew Cab has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front shoulder room and 1.3 inches more rear legroom than the Ranger SuperCrew.

Cargo Capacity

The Chevrolet Colorado offers an optional EZ-Lift and Lower (not available Base), which prevents the heavy tailgate from falling with a crash and causing injury. It allows adults and children to easily open and close the tailgate with one hand to better facilitate loading and unloading. The Ford Ranger doesn’t offer a tailgate assist.

The Chevrolet Colorado has a standard CornerStep (not available ZR2), which allows for much easier access to the cargo area. The Ford Ranger doesn’t offer a rear cargo step.

The Colorado has bed indentations that accommodate 2x4’s for two-tiered loading to help accommodate diverse loads; the Ranger doesn’t offer two-tiered loading.

The Colorado has stake post holes, to allow the containment of tall, light loads. The Ranger doesn’t offer stake post holes.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Ford Ranger is limited to 7500 pounds. The Colorado Extended Cab offers up to a 7700 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Colorado’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Ranger does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Colorado and the Ranger have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Colorado is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Ranger prevents the driver from operating the rear windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Colorado’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Ranger’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Colorado’s optional power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Ranger’s optional power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

On extremely cold winter days, the Colorado’s optional (except Base/WT) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Ranger doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Colorado, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the Ranger.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Colorado Z71/ZR2 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Ranger doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Colorado owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Colorado will cost $925 less than the Ranger over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Colorado is less expensive to operate than the Ranger because typical repairs cost less on the Colorado than the Ranger, including $76 less for a water pump, $127 less for a muffler, $54 less for a starter, $78 less for fuel injection, $156 less for a fuel pump, $77 less for a timing belt/chain and $31 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its May 2019 issue and they ranked the Chevrolet Colorado Short Box Z71 Crew Cab 4x4 first. They ranked the Ford Ranger XLT SuperCrew 4x4 fourth.

Motor Trend selected the Colorado as their 2016 Truck of the Year. The Ranger has never been chosen.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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