Ford Ranger vs Toyota Tacoma vs Chevy Colorado: 2019 Truck Comparison Test | Edmunds

With the Ford Ranger's return, the midsize truck segment grows more interesting. The time is right for a midsize pickup truck comparison test. We've pitted the new 2019 Ford Ranger against the established segment leaders: the Chevrolet Colorado and the Toyota Tacoma. All three have four-wheel drive and a crew cab because that's the most popular configuration. The examples here are equipped with their popular entry-level off-road equipment: the Chevrolet Colorado Z71, the Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road and the Ford Ranger FX4. Why no Honda Ridgeline? We like it, but the Ridgeline doesn't have the basic off-road gear. It lacks a low-range transfer case, underbody clearance is marginal, and it's not offered with an off-road equipment package. About the 2019 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 The Colorado is a solid all-around truck, and it has excellent road manners. Power comes from a 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine, and it is bolted to a smooth-shifting eight-speed transmission. The Z71 comes with different tires and suspension tuning ― that's it. A low-hanging front airdam hampers the approach clearance, but it can be removed. The interior is functional and logical, though the controls are a bit small. The touchscreen audio and navigation interface is easy to use, and it supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's plenty of interior space up front, and the rear accommodations are about average. The simple back seat's folding strategy doesn't reveal much in the way of storage. Chevrolet Colorado Review: https://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/col... About the 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road The Tacoma is a popular truck among those who actually do go off-road. (We used a 2018, but it's largely the same as the 2019.) Its chassis reflects the priority that Toyota places on off-road performance. Its suspension has the most articulation, its underbody clearance is far superior, and its off-road package has the most gear: a locking rear differential, a sophisticated terrain management system and more. The 3.5-liter V6 and six-speed automatic can be frustrating because the engine is peaky and the transmission is reluctant to downshift. The combination offers fine throttle control off-road, but that nuance may be lost on daily drivers. Its off-road stance also makes for an odd legs-out driving position. The interior is nicely made, and some of the controls are chunky and inviting. Toyota's own in-house Entune system leaves something to be desired. Toyota Tacoma Review: https://www.edmunds.com/toyota/tacoma... About the 2019 Ford Ranger FX4 The Ranger dates back to 2011 in Australia and other parts of the world. The U.S. version has been modified by the addition of a turbo 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine and a 10-speed transmission. The combination generates the most torque in the segment. It also boasts class-leading fuel economy that is 2 mpg better than the other two. Ford advertises class-leading payload, but that's not true for the crew-cab 4x4, which is mid-pack. The interior looks and feels dated, and the back seat is a one-piece affair that can't be rigged to hold cargo on one side and a person on the other. As for driving, the ride is much springier and bouncier than we ever expected. It has the off-road gear to match the Tacoma, but it doesn't work out that way. The truck's suspension articulation is atrocious, and the traction control system can't cope with simple scenarios. We had to lock the rear differential in places where it should not have been necessary. Ford Ranger Review: https://www.edmunds.com/ford/ranger/2... Ford Ranger Video Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8VXw... Test Results We expected the Ranger to do better. The bones of this truck feel older, and it appears Ford spent all of its development dollars on the engine and transmission ― which do perform well. Both its on-road ride and off-road flexibility were the worst of the bunch. The Tacoma? It's really great for weekend warriors who will venture out into the dirt, but you'd better be willing to put up with some on-road compromises. What we weren't prepared for is how the Colorado rose to the top. It's the best daily driver because its powertrain and its suspension are easy to live with. Its interior is functional and effective, and we like its comfortable driving position. The surprise came off-road. Removing the airdam is annoying, but once we did we found good suspension articulation and a willing traction control system. This truck is the one to get for a balanced mix of on-road civility and off-highway capability. Make sure to subscribe to Edmunds to get all of the latest videos on car reviews, automotive news, car comparisons and shopping advice. Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/user/Edmundsv... Edmunds – we help you find your perfect car with unbiased and useful reviews, advice, pricing and tools. Visit us at https://www.edmunds.com/.

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