The 2019 Ford Ranger is back. Bring on the competition! When the Ranger went away earlier this decade, no one was sure when or if it would return to the USA. For those who love compact trucks, this is big news. The Ranger immediately leaps into a trio of compact pickup options, the other two being the Chevy Colorado and the Toyota Tacoma. In this comparison guide, we pit the Ranger against the Colorado and see which one climbs to the top of the mountain of accolades. Stay tuned while we offer an in-depth look at these two compact trucks.
Styling: 2019 Ford Ranger
The Ford Ranger is a beauty. The promotional material mostly depicts the Ranger in its Saber color, which certainly makes a statement. Hot Pepper Red and Lightning Blue are also head-turners. But it's more than paint that makes the Ford Ranger attractive. Distinct from the larger Ford F-150, the Ranger has a prominent hexagonal grille and plenty of LED lights that give this compact a modern, bold look. The interior is unique among trucks too, having more in common with Ford SUVs than their F-series trucks.
On the other hand, the Chevy Colorado has a very conservative front. The gold Chevy logo is emblazoned on the grille, but nothing really stands out otherwise. The rear is almost exactly the same story. The Colorado screams functional, not beautiful. And maybe looks don't matter. We certainly wouldn't buy a truck based only on looks. So let's keep going.
Towing and Hauling Capacity: Tie
A truck's towing and payload capacities are the main indicators of its work potential. It's the best way to test their mettle. The 2019 Ford Ranger offers a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds and a payload of 1,860 pounds. The Chevy Colorado is almost exactly the same, doing slightly better in towing capacity, at 7,700 pounds, when properly equipped, and doing slightly worse at payload to the sum of 1,580 pounds. These numbers don't lie, and the story they're telling is that the Ranger and Colorado are pretty evenly matched. That's quite an achievement for the returning Ranger.
Seating: 2019 Ford Ranger
You might be wondering why the base 2019 Ford Ranger costs thousands more than the standard Chevy Colorado. The answer lies in the seating. The 2019 Chevy Colorado, which starts at just $21,300. But at that price, the Colorado only seats two people. One step up in trim levels gives you dual-folding rear seats. You have to spring for the Crew Cab model to seat up to five and have large rear doors for easy access. Meanwhile, the Ford Ranger, starting at $24,000, seats four people right off the bat, or you can upgrade to the SuperCrew configuration to make adult-friendly room for five. Once you start getting comparable seating, the price difference evens out.
If you don't mind having only two seats, the base Chevy Colorado might make sense to you. But if you ever want to take more than one passengers along for the ride, the Ford Ranger turns out to be the more affordable option.