In the last few years, the mid-size pickup truck market has expanded significantly, both in the number of models being offered as well as the physical size of the offerings. The Ford Ranger is back, the Jeep Gladiator is FCA’s rough-and-tough return to a segment it left in 1992, and the Honda Ridgeline is a sensible pickup truck option for those wanting some utility without the commitment to the pickup truck lifestyle. Then there’s the Chevrolet Colorado, first introduced in 2003, with the second generation making a U.S. return in 2015 after a brief hiatus. Now, Car and Driver has pitted the four models against one another to see which mid-size pickup truck is best, and the winner of the comparison is none other than the Chevy Colorado.
The publication called the second-place 2019 Honda Ridgeline “boring,” while saying the last-place 2019 Ford Ranger had a “half-finished feel.” The 2020 Jeep Gladiator was the test favorite, but it placed third in the shootout due to its sub-par suspension response and sluggish steering. This left the first place position to the 2019 Chevy Colorado, which Car and Driver technical director Eric Tingwall called “the best-driving body-on-frame vehicle on sale today.”
That’s not to say the publication found the Chevy Colorado to be perfect. The publication wasn’t particularly fond of the truck’s 3.6L LGZ V6 engine nor its eight-speed automatic gearbox, both of which it found to be anything but “couth.” However, “The Colorado is a well-balanced package for tool and toy duties.”
It performed well off road even though it had the group’s second-lowest ground clearance. Car and Driver said the Chevrolet Colorado had “most of the virtues of the other trucks all rolled into one.”
In recent months, the Chevrolet Colorado has won a slew of comparison tests. Edmunds recently crowned Colorado Z71 the winner over the Ranger FX4 and Tacoma TRD Off-Road, while Motor Trend also bestowed the Colorado the winner in its mid-size farm truck comparison test. While the Colorado is still winning against its competitors, it is getting old. Car and Driver noted the cheap-feeling interior compared to other models in the segment, which is something the all-new, third-generation Colorado should address.
C&D’s full shootout can be found here.