Midsize. Compact. Small. “Lifestyle.” Whatever you call ‘em, pickup trucks like the 2019 Colorado and Ranger are more capable than their ancestral roots would suggest. Harnessing the power of a midsize truck just two or three decades ago, you’d have been the laughing stock of every Lowe’s parking lot from Kansas City to San Diego to Madawaska, Maine.
Today? Let’s just say smaller trucks like the Chevy Colorado and Ford Ranger are having the last, collective laugh. Unlike models of generations past, which put a premium on playtime rather than hard work, newer so-called lifestyle trucks have the grandest of grand ambitions. They cross items off honey-do lists and restore homes to their previous glory – that’s their new MO, adopted from larger pickups like the Silverado. Rejoice!
But we digress. You’re here to find out which American truck is the better buy: the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado or Ford Ranger. Explore and compare prices and the major differences between the Chevy truck and Ford pickup below.
First, let’s dive into the new additions and changes made to each 2019 truck.
In the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado, Chevy engineers added the following:
- New Chevrolet Infotainment 3 software
- Available 8-inch touchscreen with navigation
- Two USB data ports, SD card reader, and AUX input
- Six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat (standard on LT and up)
- Heated steering wheel (standard on Z71 and up)
- Rear Park Assist
- Rear Vision Camera with HD view (standard on LT and up)
- Available 18-in Dark Argent aluminum wheels
- New paint colors (Crush, Shadow Gray Metallic, Pacific Blue Metallic)
Returning after a lengthy 8-year hiatus, the 2019 Ford Ranger is virtually all-new – at least in the States. It pulls many features from recent Canadian and Australian models, and adds more towing capability, a larger engine, and technology like Wi-Fi. But how does it stack up to the Colorado?
Colorado vs. Ranger: Price
The Chevrolet Colorado is available in 5 trims: Base, WT, LT, Z71, and ZR2. MSRP for the Colorado Base comes in at a low $21k and change, while the range-topping ZR2 Colorado can be purchased for about $41,000.
Pricing for the new Ford Ranger starts at $24,000-plus (base XL trim) and increases to a high of $32,000-plus (top Lariat model).
Verdict: The Colorado wins for entry-level pricing, while the Ranger Lariat wins at the other end of the spectrum. (It should be noted, however, that the Ford Lariat is comparable to a mid-level Colorado model in terms of standard offerings.)
Colorado vs. Ranger: Power & Towing
Three powerplants are offered in the new Chevrolet Colorado:
- Base 2.5L 4-cylinder that makes 200 hp and 191 lb.-ft. of torque, with 3,500-pound towing capability
- 6L DOHC V6 that makes a best-in-class 308 hp and 275 lb.-ft. of torque, with 7,000-pound towing capability
- Duramax® 2.8L Turbo-Diesel that makes 181 hp and a best-in-class 369 lb.-ft. of torque, with segment-best 7,700-pound towing capability
The Duramax diesel also returns a class-best 30 MPG highway.
Ford released the Ranger with just a single engine: a 2.3L EcoBoost® that makes 270 hp and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. Towing capacity for the Ford Ranger maxes out at 7,500 pounds.
Verdict: Chevy Colorado offers more variety in its engine lineup, as well as a higher towing limit.
Colorado vs. Ranger: Specs & Dimensions
Crew Cab dimensions for the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado truck are as follows:
- Max Length – 224.9” (Long Box)
- Max Wheelbase – 140.5” (Long Box)
- Max Height – 72.2” (ZR2)
- Max Width – 76.7” (ZR2)
- Headroom – 41.4”/38.3” (front/rear)
- Legroom – 45”/35.8” (front/rear)
- Shoulder Room – 57.5”/56.2” (front/rear)
- Long Box Cargo Volume – 49.9 cu. ft.
- Long Box Width – 57.8”
- Long Box Length – 74”
Dimensions for the new Ford Ranger pickup are as follows:
- Max Length – 210.8”
- Max Wheelbase – 126.8”
- Max Height – 71.5”
- Max Width – 85.8”
- Headroom – 39.8”/38.3” (front/rear)
- Legroom – 43.1”/34.5” (front/rear)
- Shoulder Room – 56.7”/56.3” (front/rear)
- SuperCab Cargo Volume – 51.8 cu. ft.
- SuperCab Width – 44.8”
- SuperCab Length – 72.8”
Verdict: With the exception of rear shoulder room and bed volume, the Chevrolet Colorado straight-up beats the Ford Ranger on the spec sheet. Overall, either truck will fit snugly in your garage.
Colorado vs. Ranger: Ride Quality
Critics agree that the Ford Ranger offers a lackluster, if not woefully inadequate, suspension tuning and ride quality. We’ll let those critics speak for themselves:
“Every gentle turn, bump hit, or door closure makes the Ford rock like a cheap motel’s vibrating bed. It was so bad that we crawled underneath the truck to see if any part of the suspension was loose. It wasn’t.” – Motor Trend
“Ranger was always a second or two behind what the road was doing. And not only was its 193-foot stop from 70 mph the longest here, but the pedal feel was genuinely frightening. It sank through a couple of inches with no resistance or response and then grabbed with an immediacy that frequently had our heads bobbing.” – Car and Driver
The new Colorado truck expresses its off-road personality far better. The Chevy pickup responds well to even the twistiest of twisty turns on dirt, gravel, asphalt – you name it. Cabin motion is quite marvelously damped, and the brake pedal is firm like its Chevy-cousin, the Corvette. To make matters better, with a trailer in tow, the Colorado’s ride quality doesn’t crumble under the pressure. It’s a truly buttoned-down compact truck that deserves all the praise in the world.
Verdict: Chevrolet Colorado once again puts the Ranger in its rearview, offering a world-class, supple ride that simply isn’t matched by the Ford pickup.
Work, play, or anything in between, the new 2019 Chevy Colorado tackles every situation with just the right blend of finesse and brute strength. No matter the task, it is one slick do-it-aller. Allow our Lee’s Summit Chevy dealership to show you the light. Call McCarthy Chevrolet at 816-356-6610 or visit our showroom at 945 Southeast Oldham Parkway in Lee’s Summit, MO, to test drive a ’19 Colorado or any of our other new Chevrolet trucks for sale.
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