Colorado Diesel Wins MT Truck of the Year: Why Ford Should Diesel the Ranger

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While many of you don’t really care about the Chevrolet Colorado, it’s important to note that it did win a pretty prestigious award for the second year in a row. The latest Motor Trend Truck of the Year is the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Diesel. This is a compelling case for Ford to diesel the new Ranger.

I’ve talked at great length how I want the new Ranger to have diesel power. Obviously, there’ll be some sort of EcoBoost in it for the normal versions. EcoBoost engines deliver good power and decent fuel economy. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for diesel.

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss Knibbe Ranch - _DSC0439

First off, making a diesel version of the Ranger means Ford will be directly competing with Chevrolet for control of that segment. It’ll give midsize truck buyers an option if they want diesel, instead of limiting their choices.

Secondly, offering a diesel Ranger would make Ford again a candidate for the most fuel-efficient truck on sale. With the Colorado Diesel, Chevrolet has stolen that crown. Turbo gas engines are efficient, but they’re not diesel efficient. It’d be great marketing to offer the most fuel-efficient pickup on sale to fleet buyers; many who would buy a Ford if they could.

While you might not think much about Motor Trend and their vehicle of the year awards, manufacturers spend boat loads of money promoting the award. With the average consumer, it is an award that carries weight. Being able to put the calipers next your vehicle helps you sell even more vehicles.


Ford didn’t win last year with the new 2015 Ford F-150, even though it did win the sister publication (Truck Trend)’s truck of the year. The Colorado won, mainly due to the inexpensive entry-level version being a decent truck for not a lot of cash.

This pattern shows that Motor Trend likes things like fuel economy and value for the dollar. Diesel engines cost more than gasoline engines, but they return better fuel economy. Putting a diesel engine in the Ranger virtually guarantees that Ford will win the title.

Plus, if the new Ranger goes the aluminum route (which we aren’t sure of, but think there’s a chance it might), then the Ranger has several competitive advantages over the competition, and also make it a stronger contender for winning the various truck of the year trophies, including Motor Trend‘s.

2017 Ford Super Duty Stock Photos - IMG_3237_MR

Next year is going to be a big year for Ford with the launch of the new Super Duty. Obviously, that truck will hit the streets long before we get any more information about the Ford Ranger. It would be quite something for Ford to pick up the various truck of the year trophies with the new Super Duty, and then follow it up the next year with the all-new Ford Ranger.

But even if Ford doesn’t win, they’re still the sales kings. I know people who would give up a trophy to have the volume that Ford does. At the end of the day, the real winners are the ones that consumers buy.

What do you think? Let us know over in the forums!

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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