When it comes to mid-size pickup trucks, there are two contenders on the market that are currently vying for the top spot: the 2021 Chevy Colorado vs 2021 Ford Ranger. Comparing the 2021 Chevy Colorado and the 2021 Ford Ranger, you will notice several similarities as well as a plethora of differences that make these models stand out. So, which is the best of the best when it comes to mid-size pickup trucks? Let’s find out.
What Under the Hood?
The 2021 Chevy Colorado is offered with three unique powertrains to suit your specific driving needs. First up is the standard 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Producing 200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, this powertrain can haul up to 3,500 pounds. It also has a decent fuel economy rated at 22 MPG combined (19 city/25 highway) for rear-wheel drive models and 21 MPG combined (19 city/24 highway) for four-wheel drive models.
Next, the new Colorado can be equipped with a 3.6L DOHC V6 engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Pumping out 308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, this powertrain has a maximum towing capacity of 7,000 pounds. Since the average camper weighs about 6,000 pounds, this is the engine you need for hauling an RV for a camping trip. The fuel economy does drop to 21 MPG combined (18 city/25 highway) for rear-wheel drive and 19 MPG combined (17 city/24 highway) for four-wheel drive, but that’s not too different from the 4-cylinder model.
Finally, the 2021 Chevy Colorado is also available with a 2.8-liter turbo diesel 4-cylinder motor. This rugged powertrain generates 181 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, and the towing limit is capped at 7,700 pounds. This engine is going to give you the best fuel economy of the three, with rear-wheel drive models getting 23 MPG combined (20 city/30 highway). Four-wheel drive models will drop to 22 MPG combined (19 city/28 highway), but that is still more than the other engine options.
On the other hand, the 2021 Ford Ranger is reported to only be available with a single powertrain. This 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The 2020 model was also equipped with the same engine option, so drivers can expect a similar 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Drivers can also expect a max towing capacity of around 7,500 pounds. However, you can expect to see a fuel economy that is on par with the base engine option of the Chevy Colorado, so there is no sacrifice there.
How Big Are They?
Here is where we can see some of the few similarities between these two trucks. Both vehicles are available in two body styles with two bed lengths. First, let’s look at the 2021 Chevy Colorado. The two-door Extended Cab can seat four people and is fitted with a 74-inch bed. You can also get the four-door Crew Cab body style can seat up to five people, and it can be built with the standard 74-inch bed or the shorter 61.7-inch bed.
Moving on to the 2021 Ford Ranger, we expect to see the two-door SuperCab body style that can also seat four people with a 6-ft box. We also expect to see the return of the SuperCrew with four doors, seating for up to 5 people, and a 5-ft long bed. Basically, both of these mid-size truck models are going to offer you the same dimensions and seating, so there is no winner in that department.
What About Infotainment?
When it comes to infotainment, it’s hard to beat the new 2021 Chevy Colorado. Even the base model comes well equipped with a large 7-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. Operating with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, you can sync up to two smartphone devices at the same time. Audio streaming and smartphone integration are made easy with this advanced system. Higher trim levels get a larger 8-inch touchscreen interface and a 4G LTE Wifi hotspot. The top-tier trim even comes with a navigation system.
Looking at the 2021 Ford Ranger base model, things aren’t as exciting. Known as the XL, this base trim comes with FordPass Connect with a 4G LTE Wifi Hotspot. The upgraded Sync infotainment system comes in at higher trim levels and adds advanced smartphone integration like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A navigation system can also be found on the top-of-the-line trim level. You can certainly add more features to the model with additional packages, like the announced STX Special Edition Package, but it is also going to cost you more to do so.
What Safety Features Do They Have?
Switching gears for a moment, let’s talk about safety. As for safety features, not all of the details have been released just yet for the Ford Ranger. However, we do have some information and guesses about what might come standard on the Ranger and what is coming standard on the Colorado.
The 2021 Chevy Colorado base model will include daytime running lamps, a rearview camera, and electronic stability/traction control. The Teen Driver system and a tire pressure monitoring system also come standard. Advanced safety features like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and rear park assist are all available as add-ons on higher trim levels.
Sliding over to the 2021 Ford Ranger, it is likely that every model comes standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and a rearview camera. A tire pressure monitoring system, as well as electronic stability/traction control, are also standard. Additional safety features that you can add include adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, and blindspot monitoring.
How Much Are They?
The price points for each vehicle will vary depending on a few different things. Pricing is based on choices like trim level, body style, and bed lengths. The selected engine and drivetrain may also have an effect on how much the vehicle costs. Not to mention, any additional packages, editions, and features you want to add are also going to bring the price up.
Available in four trim levels, the 2021 Chevy Colorado starts at $25,200 for the base Work Truck (WT) trim. Moving up, you can get the LT trim starting at $27,700, which will also get you a few more features than the base trim. The Z71 trim starts at $35,500, and the top-tier ZR2 trim starts at $41,600.
While pricing for the 2021 Ford Ranger has not been officially announced, we estimate the starting price to be around $26,015. We also expect the Ranger will have three trim options like the 2020 Model, with each trim costing a few thousand more than the previous one. Either way, it looks like the base Ford Ranger is going to be more expensive than the base Chevy Colorado.
Finding a Mid-Size Truck
If you’ve been considering purchasing a new mid-size pickup truck, we hope our comparison of the 2021 Chevy Colorado vs 2021 Ford Ranger has helped. When looking at these two vehicles, we have to lean towards the 2021 Chevy Colorado as the best of the best in the mid-size pickup competition. The Chevy Colorado has more options across the board, and that means you have more chances to create the perfect truck for your lifestyle. While the Ford Ranger may have some exciting information revealed in the coming month, it is looking like the Chevy Colorado may still come out on top.