When it comes to shopping for mid-size trucks, it seems as though far too many people are overly concerned about towing and horsepower. Granted, these are important factors to consider when shopping for a truck, but in no way should you limit yourself by making a decision based solely on these properties. If you are in the market for a quality pickup truck, you will want one that exceeds your expectations in several areas, including standard features, safety considerations, and interior space, just to name a few. After all, in addition to power and towing capabilities, your dream truck should also accommodate your other needs. Two of the more popular mid-size truck models are the Chevy Colorado and Ford Ranger. Both are good choices; however, you only need one truck in your household, and you want to drive home in the one that best suits your needs. Let’s look at these two trucks in greater detail: the 2022 Chevy Colorado vs the 2022 Ford Ranger!
What You Want in a Mid-Size Truck
What do drivers want from a mid-size pickup truck? Probably many of the same things they want in a full-size truck. Sure, power and capabilities are at the top of the list. Still, mid-size truck shoppers also want roomy interiors, good fuel economy, and plenty of features that make driving a memorable and fun experience.
Considering that mid-size trucks have experienced double-digit growth over the last several years, something about them is a big draw. In all likelihood, many drivers are drawn to mid-size trucks because you get the best of both worlds. A mid-size truck offers people a workhorse with exceptional capabilities, with the ability to perform more like a sedan. But, think about it—not all drivers are comfortable behind the wheel of a full-size truck.
The smaller size of a mid-size truck makes it easier to maneuver, especially through tight parking lots. We get it—big trucks can be somewhat intimidating, especially when trying to slip into a parking spot in a busy lot. Also, many drivers feel more comfortable behind the wheel of a mid-size truck, even when driving on an open highway.
Mid-size trucks are capable like their bigger brothers but are far more practical for everyday use. A mid-size truck is a perfect choice for those day-to-day chores you do, you might not be hauling heavy gravel, but you still carry things like groceries and that beautiful antique desk you discovered at the flea market. On top of that, you save a few dollars in the process as mid-size trucks typically get better fuel economy.
Big Numbers for Midsize Trucks
Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way so we can focus on other important details and features. If you are in the market for a mid-size truck, in all likelihood, you plan on doing some tasks with it. In terms of towing capacities, the Chevy Colorado can tow 3,500, 7,000, or 7,700 lbs, depending on the engine choice, so you have options. The Ford Ranger only offers one engine choice, which can tow 7,500 pounds. So the Colorado just edges out the Ranger in towing power.
As we just mentioned, the Colorado offers three engine choices. Let’s start with the 2.5-liter I-4, which belts out 200 horsepower. Now, you probably aren’t choosing this engine if you plan on doing any significant towing. In fact, you might be more concerned about fuel economy with this engine choice, with 19 miles per gallon (MPG) in the city, and 25 MPG on the highway, respectively. The second engine choice is a 3.6-liter V6 with more pop under the hood as it throws down 308 horsepower. Lastly, you have a diesel option—the 2.8-liter Duromax I-4 offers up only 181 horsepower but kicks things up with 369 lb-ft of torque, which is why it has such impressive towing capacity. Interestingly enough, this is also the engine choice that garners the best fuel economy.
Should you head to the dealership and shop for a new Ford Ranger, you are stuck with the one engine they offer for the model. The 2.3L EcoBoost Turbo I-4 enjoys a paltry 270 horsepower with 310 lb-ft of torque for a decent towing capacity. The fuel economy for this engine is comparable to the Chevy Colorado choices—the all-wheel-drive (AWD) model will get you 20 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway.
Pay Attention to the Details
Now that we have power and towing out of the way, we can focus on the details that make a mid-size truck a good buy. For the Colorado, you enjoy impressive power and towing capacities in addition to a roomy interior, excellent safety features, and the technology you demand in a modern truck. Let’s take a closer look at the details.
It’s the little things that help us the most through our journey in life. It is also the little things that make one truck a better choice than the others. For example, it’s so handy to hit a button or flip a switch, and the rear defrosters come on to clean the back window. Should you own a Colorado, rear defrost is a feature either standard or available on all trims except the base model.
And how about heated mirrors? If you are driving your truck in adverse weather conditions, you will appreciate heated mirrors available on the LT trim and standard with the Z71 trim, as they allow better visibility and keep you safe. But, again, the Chevy Colorado offers this feature, while the Ranger does not. And while power mirrors are an available option with the base model and standard in all other trims for the Colorado, they are just available in the Ranger.
Many also think it’s important to have those features in your truck that are considered luxury additions. Not that these features make your truck perform better, they do make your life easier and increase the fun you have behind the wheel of your truck. For example, vanity mirrors are not necessary but provide the driver and passengers a better overall experience. The Colorado LT and higher trims come standard with illuminated vanity and visor mirrors, which are not available in the Ranger. The same holds true with a leather-wrapped steering wheel—the Colorado LT trim level and above come standard with one, and if you own a Ranger, a leather-wrapped steering wheel is an option on the higher trim levels.
While the Colorado and Ranger differ in a variety of features, in safety, the two share commonalities. Both models offer standard safety features, including traction control, daytime running lights, and electronic stability control.
Room to Grow
Interior space is important if you want your passengers comfortable for their journey. The Colorado is clearly the better choice if you demand space for your passengers. In nearly every category, the Colorado offers more room than the Ranger. The Colorado provides more legroom, headroom, and shoulder room than its competitor. It is safe to say that the Colorado will provide ample room for both you and your passengers.
The Chevy Colorado and Ford Ranger are two great choices for those in the market for a mid-size truck. They are both good-looking trucks with powerful engines and the ability to tow impressive weights. But when you take a closer look into the details, you are getting a lot more for your hard-earned money when choosing the Chevy Colorado. These small details enhance your driving experience and make you want to take long road trips on a regular basis. It’s a close comparison, for sure, but in the end, the Colorado comes out on top.