Not everyone needs to tow over 10,000 pounds, but many drivers still like the idea of owning a truck. This is where the midsize truck class comes into the picture. The midsize truck offers plenty of bed space, along with that classic “pickup truck” look and feel that people love, but at a lower price. However, if you’ve made it this far, the question isn’t whether or not you want a midsize truck. Rather, it’s about which model is the best option. This is where we get into the juicy stuff. Let the 2022 Chevy Colorado vs 2022 Ford Ranger battle begin!
Which One Is the True Towing Champion?
Sure, you’re not forking out $60,000+ for a heavy-duty truck, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need tow capacity at all. While you don’t need to haul a houseboat with your midsize truck, you still want to have a reasonable amount of towing capability. Modern midsize trucks can still tow what’s necessary, like fishing boats, small cargo trailers, and ATVs. But no two truck brands are exactly the same, meaning that tow capacities will vary, even if they only differ ever-so-slightly. This is the case with today’s two models.
Both the 2022 Chevy Colorado and 2022 Ford Ranger trucks can tow over 7,000 pounds. However, Chevy takes the win by 200 pounds, offering a 7,700-pound maximum towing capacity versus the Ranger’s max 7,500-pound tow rating. This small difference doesn’t sound like much at first, but keep this in mind – the Colorado can tow 200 pounds more than the Ranger while maintaining up to 4 MPG more on the highway. Those four little miles may not sound like much, but when it comes to fuel prices, every single mile counts.
Every driver is different. This is why it’s important for brands to offer several customization and mechanical options, along with design flexibility. Most importantly, you want different engines to choose from. Even though you may love the truck itself, the power behind it can make all the difference. The 2022 Chevy Colorado comes in four different trims with three different engine options. Conversely, the 2022 Ford Ranger only offers three trims and one engine option.
If you choose the Ranger over the Colorado, then you’ll have no choice beyond the 2.3-liter EcoBoost Turbo I-4 engine option. While this option isn’t bad, Ford completely eliminates the popular V6 and diesel engine options on the Ranger. The Colorado, on the other hand, still offers a 2.5-liter I-4 as a base engine while adding options for a 2.8-liter Duramax Turbo Diesel and a 3.6-liter V6 engine. This is how the Colorado pulls off its higher 7,700-pound tow capacity. When you opt for the Duramax diesel engine, you’ll get 369 pound-feet of torque, leading to that 7,700-pound rating. You’ll also get better fuel economy ratings with the Duramax (an average of 23 MPG combined).
An Off-Roading Trim or an Off-Roading Package?
When comparing the 2022 Colorado with the 2022 Ranger, one of the first things to notice is the differences in off-roading capability. Both trucks can head off the pavement just fine. Some drivers even believed the Ranger to be more off-road capable than the Colorado in the past, but this isn’t the case for the 2022 models. The new Ranger includes an off-roading package called the “Tremor” package, but the Colorado offers two off-road specific trims. The difference? A package can be added to any pre-designed Ranger trim level, whereas an off-roading trim is designed specifically with off-roading in mind.
The Colorado Z71 is the “lesser” off-roading trim option. It was once a package, much like Ford’s Tremor Package, but it went over so well that Chevy gave the Z71 package its very own Colorado trim. The 2022 Colorado Z71 includes its own off-road suspension package, plus an automatic rear locking differential, 17-inch wheels, and all-terrain tires. The ZR2 includes everything that the Z71 has, plus an Off-Road Appearance Package, higher ground clearance, and a Multimatic DSSV Damping System. Plus, the ZR2 offers its own upgraded suspension.
The ZR2 is built differently from other Colorado trims. It offers the same general Colorado design, plus wider front and rear tracks and a 2-inch higher suspension. The BISON Edition ZR2 has AEV front and rear bumpers as well, which adds durability and makes it easier for owners to install a winch. The ZR2 also includes skid plates to help protect the underbody during trailing. This model offers a terrain management system and is designed to tackle rock crawling, desert driving, and your typical off-roading trails.
Ford’s Tremor Package offers a few similar perks, such as a terrain management system, skid plates, and off-road suspension. Aside from these specs, the Tremor Package is more off-road aesthetic focused than it is practical. At least, this is the case when compared to the Colorado ZR2 trim. The Tremor Package only has a 9.7-inch ground clearance rating versus the Colorado ZR2’s higher 10-inch rating, and while it does have its own special front grille style, it does not include an AEV heavy-duty bumper.
Let’s head back to the pavement. While off-roading capabilities are handy and are often important to buyers, we can’t forget to go over comfort and entertainment features. Both vehicles fare quite well in the interior department. You’ll get option features such as wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and even a Wi-Fi Hotspot. There are also safety features such as lane departure and collision alert technologies. Furthermore, both the Colorado and the Ranger include Crew and Extended (or “Super”) cab options.
The Colorado does offer a larger, standard infotainment screen than the Ranger does. The Chevy Colorado gets a standard 7-inch screen that can be upgraded to an 8-inch monitor, while the Ranger starts off with merely a 4.2-inch monitor that can also be upgraded to an 8-inch option. While both vehicles offer the same sized monitor upgrade, the Ford’s standard entertainment screen is almost twice as small as the Colorado’s.
Is There Any Reason to Choose the Ranger Over the Colorado?
The Ford Ranger does offer more standard safety features than the Colorado does. While this would be a dealbreaker on a car or an SUV, the truck game is different. We still believe that the Colorado comes out ahead. Yes, the Ranger does offer more safety tech features than the Chevy Colorado does. However, many truck drivers don’t want or need these safety features. As a result, it’s actually handier that these safety features are optional and customizable so that those who don’t want these driver assist features can save money and aggravation. The current, tech-savvy generation may love driver assist safety technologies, but old-fashioned drivers can find them confusing, busy, and even annoying.
Finally, when it comes to truck ownership, performance almost always comes before technology in the end. Since this is the case, the 2022 Chevy Colorado definitely wins the battle against the 2022 Ford Ranger. That Duramax diesel engine is hard to beat when it comes to both power and efficiency. Maybe Ford needs to step up the game for the 2023 model. All in all, both trucks are great options if you’re looking for a casual pickup truck, but if you want more power for your money, the choice is simple – it’s Chevy all the way.