2024 Ford Ranger Reveal: How Does It Compare to the Chevrolet Colorado?
The midsize pickup wars have swung back into full-scale chaos. The Colorado stuck first with its new design and powerful turbo 4-cylinder under the hood, Toyota is teasing their next generation Tacoma (to be revealed on the 19th) and now Ford is giving us the next generation of their Ranger pickup. Oh, and the Nissan Frontier was updated a couple of years ago and Jeep introduced a topless truck into the fray as well. Yes, it is a good time to be in the market for a midsize pickup truck.
Ford invited us out to their Ranger School to show off all the new trims of their latest midsize pickup truck. The Ranger is what they call their “global F-150” because it is such a strong seller worldwide. In fact, it is the second best-selling midsize pickup globally with sales increasing by 112% over the last decade. To that end, the Ranger is produced in 5 different facilities across the globe for a wide range of customers.
While the outgoing Ranger was designed for foreign markets first and brought over to the States late in its lifecycle, the 2024 Ranger was designed for US customers first and foremost. The design of the new Ranger is unmistakably Ford, with a modern chiseled look that slots it above the new breakout star of the Ford truck lineup in the Maverick. Riding on a new frame that is larger, both longer and wider than its predecessor, the new Ranger should hit the sweet spot for many customers the world over.
What stood out to me in my very brief time checking out these trucks for myself was just how similar the moves were for Ford and Chevy alike when redesigning their midsize offerings. Many of the same tactics were taken by both manufacturers and while the Ranger is already available overseas, its late arrival in the US will have many customers thinking Ford copied Chevy since the Colorado is already on dealer lots, while Ford customers will have to wait until the end of the month to even order their Wayne, Michigan-assembled Ranger.
The first thing that sounded familiar to Chevy was the moving of the front axle forward to improve maneuverability and off-road approach angles. Both brands have elected to go simple and only offer one cab/bed configuration, while the leader Toyota Tacoma teases multiple options. Both brands moved the rear shock mounts to the outside of the frame for better performance and less low-hanging mechanics under the vehicle to snag on off-road obstacles. Inside, gone are the old-school gauges in favor of one of two different size digital clusters in both Ford and Chevy models. Lastly, both offer two large infotainment screen sizes. I am not saying there were spies in both camps, but it is clear each manufacturer has the same set of research notes.
Powertrains are a point of differentiation, with the base engine in the Ranger a 2.3-liter EcoBoost® I-4 making 270 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. Optional is a 2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 (late availability) that makes 315 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. Go for the Raptor off-road version of the Ranger, and Ford will supply you with the same engine in the Bronco Raptor, 3.0-liter EcoBoost® V6 with class-leading 405 horsepower and 430 lb.-ft. of torque. That is 95 more horsepower than the Chevy Colorado ZR2 and the exact same torque figure. 🤔
While Chevy modified their older 8-speed transmission for the Colorado, Ford gives its customers 10 gears to play with in their automatic transmission. The Raptor model even gets paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.
Inside, I cannot tell if I prefer the Ford Ranger or the Chevy Colorado more. Chevy has confirmed their trucks will continue to use wide displays, while Ford and Ram seem to prefer the tall displays that feel like a large smartphone in the middle of the dash. Ford did say they worked to integrate the entire screen into the dash to alleviate that tacked-on tablet look that started with Tesla’s large screens. The top trims of the Ranger get lots of storage with dual gloveboxes, a nice touch from the F-150, and all trims get a little French fry holder just ahead of the gear selector. Take a look for yourself, there is a French fry emoji in that storage spot; tell me again how this was designed for the US market first and foremost.
One of the loudest comments on my luggage loading videos from the new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon is how GM decided to do away with the fold-flat rear seatback. Ford worked hard to ensure they gave customers this option in the 2024 Ranger, making it easy to fold down and slide in large items like dog crates or moving boxes.
The bed has been widened too, now with enough room between the wheels to lay 4-foot wide items down flat. While you cannot carry 4x8 sheets of plywood in the back of the short bed, you can leave the tailgate down and secure such items that way. Ford even gives customers the same c-clamp pockets on the top of the Ranger tailgate that can be found on the bigger F-150.
We have not driven the Colorado or Ranger yet so we can only go by the specs, and in that regard, it looks like we have quite a battle raging between the two main American pickup truck manufacturers. We look forward to comparing these two pickups more in the coming future.
2024 Ford Ranger Specs:
3 Engine Choices:
Base 2.3-liter EcoBoost® I-4 with Auto Start-Stop
310 lb.-ft. of Torque
Optional 2.7-liter EcoBoost® V6 (late availability)
400 lb.-ft. of Torque
Raptor-only 3.0-liter EcoBoost® V6
430 lb.-ft. of Torque
10-speed Automatic Transmission
Standard - Rear-wheel drive with an open differential
Optional - Rear-wheel drive with electronic locking differential
4x4 front open differential, rear-drive with an open differential
Raptor: 4x4 front locking differential and rear electronic locking differential
Electronic Transfer Case
Short- and long-arm independent front suspension and tubular stabilizer bar
Raptor: Forged aluminum double A-arm suspension with 2.5-inch Fox® Live Valve shocks
Hotchkiss-type nonindependent live rear suspension with leaf springs and outboard shock absorbers
Raptor: Watts-link rear suspension with trailing arms and Fox® Live Valve shocks
Four Wheel Disc Brakes
AdcanceTrac Electronic Stability Control
17 or 18-inch Wheels
Raptor: 17-inch Aluminum Wheels, Optional Headlock Capable
33-inch Tall BFG K02 All-Terrain 285/70R17 Tires
Bash Plates and Underbody Protection
Dual-zone Climate Control
8 or 12.4-inch Driver Information Digital Cluster Display
10 or 12-inch Touchscreen Infotainment
Optional Proximity Key with Push Button Start
Standard Switchblade-style Key
EPA Fuel Economy TBD (city/hwy/cmb)
Starting Price: $34,160
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