Does the Colorado Make a Compelling Case for a Ranger Revival?

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When talking to Ford enthusiasts, I often hear two similar comments. First off, lots of people want the Triton V8 to make a return. But more of you want to see the Ford Ranger to be sold once again in the United States. I postulated that a Ranger would help curb the rising costs of pickup trucks.

I recently spent a week in the current midsize truck darling, the Chevrolet Colorado, and it has made me think a lot about if we really do want the Ranger back in the fight.

Does the Colorado make a compelling case for a Ranger revival? Read on and decide for yourself!

Chevrolet Colorado

The Motor Trend Truck of the Year arrived on my doorstep wearing the LT trim, crew cab, long box, and four-wheel drive. It was my runabout to the Chicago Auto Show. It was powered by a 305 horsepower V6 engine. It was also red.

One of the selling points of a midsize truck is the size. But the Colorado really isn’t as tiny as the S10s of old. The overall length of the truck is 224.90″ long. In comparison, a 6.5′ bed, SuperCrew F-150 is 243.70″ long. The F-150 only has a 5.5′ and a 6.5′ bed option on the crew cab, whereas the long box Colorado is a 6′ 2″ bed.

Despite the metrics, the Colorado does feel smaller than it is while driving. I found it easy to maneuver and to park.

Chevrolet Colorado

Another selling point is the fuel economy. During my week of testing, according to the on-board computer, I achieved 19.2 miles-per-gallon.

The EPA rating on the truck is 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, or 20 mpg combined. Considering that we’re in the middle of an Arctic Hammer, my numbers fell in line with what I’d expect based on the EPA rating.

For some perspective, I was averaging in the 19-20 mpg range when I was on the media launch for the 2015 F-150 with the 2.7L EcoBoost, SuperCrew 4×4.

The last selling point is price. My LT Colorado had a great number of options, including MyLink with navigation and 4G LTE. It rings the cash register at $38,870. Yes, that seems like a lot of money, but let’s take a look at Ford’s online F-150 configuration utility.

To get as close as possible to the same trim and spec as the Colorado, we need a F-150 XLT with a 5.5′ box and the 2.7L EcoBoost. Once checking the similar option boxes, the F-150 rings in at $45,895. That F-150 also won’t have lane departure warning or an “oh my gosh you’re going to crash” alarm.

Chevrolet Colorado

Since the Colorado is designed to be a more entry-level alternative to a full-sized Silverado, it doesn’t necessarily have anything innovative about it (though the diesel coming will be an exception).

The fuel economy is average, and the features aren’t anything you can’t get on other GM products, but it allows them to bring it in at a lower price.

If we were to see a Ranger again in the United States, it would be similar. Some of the most popular features from the F-150 would trickle down into the truck, and the truck would offer an alternative to buying a car like the Fusion if the owner wants more utility.

Chevrolet Colorado

When you first tell someone how much the truck costs, their jaws often drop. But keep in mind the Colorado starts at $20,120. While $38k is a lot of money, it’s important to remember that with truck transaction prices soaring over $50,000, $38k can almost be considered inexpensive.

I’m sure Ford is watching closely on how the Colorado sells. But after having a taste of the sweet nectar of a midsize truck, I’d really like to see Ford bring some competition to the table.

Tell us what you think in the forum.>>

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

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