Type to search

Head-to-Head: 2022 Chevrolet Colorado vs Ford Ranger

Two of the best mid-size pickups on the market go head-to-head, it’s the 2022 Chevrolet Colorado vs the Ford Ranger.

Cowboy Light

chevrolet.com | ford.com
chevrolet.com | ford.com

If dually pickups and factory Baja machines like the TRX and Raptor reside at the extreme end of the truck spectrum, the more modest Ford Ranger and Chevy Colorado represent a paired down, more realistic form of truck-dom. With good towing capacities, generous bed sizes, and efficient engines, these two trucks offer more than enough utility for most truck buyers. (Don’t believe me? Consider the return of the compact truck to the market and the successes of the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz.)

If you’re one of these practically minded truck shoppers, you’ll still need to narrow down your choices. We dive into all the details below so you can make an informed decision of which is the better mid-size truck, the 2022 Ford Ranger or the 2022 Chevy Colorado.

Chevrolet Colorado vs Ford Ranger Specs

2022 Chevrolet Colorado 3.6L V6 - Ben Hardy on youtube.com
2022 Chevrolet Colorado 3.6L V6 - Ben Hardy on youtube.com

The Chevrolet Colorado offers three distinct powertrain options. The base engine is a 2.5L inline-four making 200 horsepower and 191 lb ft of torque. Fuel economy comes in at 19 city / 25 highway MPG in rear-wheel drive and 19/24 MPG with four-wheel drive. Towing with the four-cylinder maxes out at 3,500-lbs. Next is a 3.6L V6 which up things to a stout 308 horsepower and 275 lb ft of torque. Efficiency takes only a slight dip to 18/25 MPG in two-wheel drive, 17/24 MPG in four-wheel drive, and the ZR2 package down to 16/18 MPG. Towing doubles with the V6 to 7,000-lbs.

The final option is a 2.8L turbodiesel inline-four with 186 horsepower and the Colorado’s best torque rating at 369 lb ft. This allows the turbodiesel version to tow up to 7,700-lbs. Fuel economy improves to 20/30 MPG in two-wheel drive, 19/28 MPG in four-wheel drive, and 18/22 MPG in the ZR2 version. For transmissions, the turbodiesel and base engines both get a six-speed automatic and the V6 has an eight-speed automatic. Ground clearance runs from 8.1 inches to 10.0 inches.

2022 Ford Ranger 2.3L I4 - carsforsale.com
2022 Ford Ranger 2.3L I4 - carsforsale.com

Things are decidedly simpler with the Ford Ranger which offers just one engine option. That’s a turbocharged 2.3L inline-four making 270 horsepower and 310 lb ft of torque. A ten-speed automatic is the sole transmission and fuel economy is 21 city and 26 highway MPG for the two-wheel drive, 20/24 MPG for the four-wheel drive, and 19/19 MPG for the off-road Tremor package. When equipped with the Trailer Tow Package, the Ford Ranger can tow up to 7,500-lbs. Clearance for the Ranger ranges from 8.1 inches (RWD) to 8.9 inches (4WD).

Driving & Performance

2022 Ford Ranger - ford.com
2022 Ford Ranger - ford.com

The Ford Ranger is something of a mixed bag when it comes to driving, with a lot to like and a bit that’s less endearing. First, the positives. The Ranger makes do with a single engine option but the 2.3L EcoBoost turbo offers plenty of power and a good amount of towing capacity for a mid-size truck. The turbocharging does produce occasional lag, but that’s a minor gripe. The ten-speed automatic is enigmatic. Some iterations of this transmission can be finicky, constantly hunting for the right gear, while others are smoother and more decisive. We can’t promise which you’ll find in your truck, so make sure to pay attention to the transmission shifts on your test drive. Overall, the Ranger benefits greatly from its smaller stature. It behaves much more like a crossover than a truck on the road. The suspension, however, can still remind you of its rugged pretension. The optional Fox shocks in the Tremor off-road package end up helping not only on rugged trails but on the pavement as well, deftly smoothing out potholes and road imperfections.

2022 Chevrolet Colorado - chevrolet.com
2022 Chevrolet Colorado - chevrolet.com

The Chevy Colorado likewise benefits from a crossover-like driving experience. Steering is evenly weighted and accurate. Body roll is well controlled in cornering. The Colorado’s Z71 is a good start at an off-road truck, as good as most truck buyers will ever need. The more dedicated ZR2 is even more impressive, with front and rear locking differentials and a two-speed transfer case. Of the three engine options, we liked the turbodiesel best by far. The four-cylinder is decently powered but renders itself obsolete by being about as efficient as the larger V6. Meanwhile, the turbodiesel offer’s the Colorado’s best torque numbers, and therefore the highest towing capacity, along with the best fuel economy.

Comfort & Interior

Being the middle children of their respective truck lineups, the Ranger and Colorado seem to have been lost in the shuffle when it comes to their interiors. The current Ford Ranger has only been around since the 2019 model year, but it has been offered overseas going back to the 2010s. And this is why the Ranger looks older than it is. Materials are also on the cheaper side as cost-saving hard plastics abound. And yet, the overall layout is straightforward and user-friendly, dials and buttons are all easily at hand. The Crew Cab provides ample room for adults front and back. In all, the Ranger is comfortable enough. Just don’t expect the innovations and style of either the Maverick or the F-150 here.

The interior of the Chevy Colorado could have been a liability were it being compared to another mid-size truck (as the Colorado’s GM twin, the Canyon), but put up against the Ranger, the Colorado’s ho-hum interior seems perfectly serviceable in comparison. Here too, the interior errs on the side of simple functionality and looks about ten years behind today’s best designs. The Crew Cab in the Colorado doesn’t offer as much space in the back seat as the Ranger does. The seats themselves, at least up front, are that balance of firm and supportive that’s perfect for long highway drives.

Trims & Features

2022 Ford Ranger Lariat - ford.com
2022 Ford Ranger Lariat - ford.com

The Ford Ranger comes in three trim levels: the XL, XLT, and Lariat. There are also two cab sizes, the Extended Cab and the four-door Crew Cab, and two bed sizes, either 5 or 6 feet. The base XL trim starts at $25,285 ($27,685 for the Crew Cab) and comes spartanly appointed with a 3.5-inch digital display, Wi-Fi hotspot, cloth seats, and a four-speaker stereo. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, forward automatic emergency braking, and forward collision warnings. Optional and higher trim safety features cover blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and front and rear parking sensors.

Next is the XLT at $29,335/$31,510. Features here include an 8-inch touchscreen, 17-inch wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, fog lights, cruise control and keyless entry. Options include heated front seats, remote start, adaptive cruise control, and front and rear parking sensors. The top Lariat trim ($33,375/$35,550) gets 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, push-button start, a 120-volt outlet, heated and powered front seats, and ambient lighting.

2022 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 - chevrolet.com
2022 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 - chevrolet.com

The Chevy Colorado offers four trim levels: the WT, LT, Z71 and ZR2. The WT starts at $25,200 for the Extended Cab with the long bed, $27,100 for the Crew Cab with the short bed, and $29,400 for the Crew Cab with the long bed. The WT is the more generous base model as it offers a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, a six-speaker stereo, and two USB ports. Standard safety is limited to a rearview camera and a Teen Driver suite that allows owners to set maximums for stereo volume and speed, along with driver monitoring.

The LT ($27,700/$29,700/$31,900) offers an eight-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fit hotspot, keyless entry, cruise control, and an additional USB port. The Z71 ($35,500/$33,800/$37,600) get you access to the V6 engine and off-road items like an upgraded suspension and an automatic locking rear differential. You’ll also find synthetic leather upholstery, and heated front seats and steering wheel. The top trim ZR2 ($41,600/$43,200 [no Crew Cab with long bed]) has standard four-wheel drive, leather upholstery, a to-speed transfer case, and locking front and rear differentials.

Chevrolet Colorado vs Ford Ranger Conclusions

2022 Chevrolet Colorado - chevrolet.com
2022 Chevrolet Colorado - chevrolet.com

These two right-size pickups offer a lot to like: good power and towing, a likeable on-road character, and off-road options. The Chevrolet Colorado vs Ford Ranger split, however, on two key metrics. The Ranger is the cheaper of the two, especially as you begin to add features and climb the trim ladder. Yet the Colorado’s base trim is better equipped for nearly the same money as the Ranger. The Colorado wins again when it comes to powertrains. While its base engine is mediocre, the Colorado’s turbodiesel is torquy, efficient, and easily surpasses the Ranger’s EcoBoost 2.3L. Neither truck offers much in the way of advanced safety features, making both feel out of step with the rest of the market (truck and otherwise).

The Chevrolet Colorado nudges out the Ford Ranger as the superior mid-size pickup thanks to its generous features and superior powertrain options.

Related Comparison Articles

Head-to-Head: 2022 Nissan Armada vs Toyota Sequoia

Longest Range Cars on the Market

Critics’ Choice: Best 5th Wheel Towing for $20,000

Tags:
Chris Kaiser

With two decades of writing experience and five years of creating advertising materials for car dealerships across the U.S., Chris Kaiser explores and documents the car world’s latest innovations, unique subcultures, and era-defining classics. Armed with a Master's Degree in English from the University of South Dakota, Chris left an academic career to return to writing full-time. He is passionate about covering all aspects of the continuing evolution of personal transportation, but he specializes in automotive history, industry news, and car buying advice.

  • 1

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
Share
Tweet
Pin