Chevrolet Colorado vs. Ford Ranger vs. Honda Ridgeline vs. Toyota Tacoma: Down on a Farm

Midsize pickups—often marketed as “lifestyle” trucks—might seem like an peculiar choice to put to work when some-more means vehicles exist. But today’s midsizers are some-more means than many full-size pickups were as recently as 20 years ago. Take it from this city slicker, Middle America: Your vast trucks are overkill.

Even so, it would be ignorant to disremember that a infancy of midsize pickups spend some-more time hauling atmosphere than they do hay. So we’ll spend some time contrast how these pickups hoop lifestyle duty, with city commutes and highway slogs, too. Our leader will be both a hardest-working palm on a plantation and a healthy city slicker, too.

Out Standing in a Field

A few days before a procession to Farm Sanctuary, we were unaware a Santa Monica Bay and removing to know a trucks. At initial glance, they all seem like they’re cut from a same cloth: 4 doors, 5-foot beds, and 4 driven wheels. But on closer examination, there are some vital differences among them.

The Honda is a radical of a group; a Ridgeline Black Edition is a solitary unibody pickup in a lorry posse. Based on a Pilot platform, a Ridgeline is designed for those who wish lorry application though crossover comfort. Its 280-hp 3.5-liter V-6 is interconnected to a six-speed involuntary and an all-wheel-drive system—the customarily non-4WD complement here. Although there are compromises in regulating a unibody for a pickup—mainly towing capacity, that is a group-low 5,000 pounds—there are some wrapping advantages, too.

With knobby tires and squared-off sheetmetal, a Tacoma TRD Off-Road tester is a frigid conflicting of a Honda. Toyota has a tellurian repute for value and continuance with a midsize pickups, and from a approach it sits in a parking lot, a Taco seems adult to a task. Our tester is powered by Toyota’s discretionary 3.5-liter V-6 corroborated by a six-speed automatic.

Our Colorado Z71 is a informed beast—it won back-to-back Truck of a Year awards in 2015 and 2016. Despite a size, a Colorado is a lorry that creates few compromises. Its discretionary 3.6-liter V-6 is a many absolute here with 308 hp on tap, and it’s corresponding to an eight-speed automatic.

There’s been a Ranger-sized hole in Ford‘s lineup a past 8 years, though a tellurian Ranger is finally home with some modifications. The many endless is a powertrain—a 2.3-liter turbocharged I-4 borrowed from a Mustang. In Ranger trim, it produces 270 hp and gets a 10-speed automatic. Our Ranger XLT FX4 tester looked a part, though there was a problem—it was blank a draw hitch. We concluded to start a analysis with a Ranger XLT in city to accumulate initial expostulate impressions afterwards barter for a black Ranger Lariat with a draw package to finish a testing.

For now, we had to press on.

City Slicking

The Toyota Tacoma is a best-selling midsize pickup in a country, though from behind a wheel, it’s tough to figure out why. “Toyota wins all a character points,” facilities editor Scott Evans said. “Thank integrity for that given it has a lot of offsetting to do.” It’s tough to pinpoint customarily one smirch with a Tacoma given there are so many.

Most of us found a Taco to demeanour a best both inside and out. Its cabin, with high-quality materials and torpedo styling, is quite notable when compared to a plain Chevy and Ford. Unfortunately, even a shortest of us had difficulty wise in a Tacoma’s tighten cabin. Finding a peaceful pushing position in a rock-hard seats is finished formidable by a steering circle that hardly telescopes and a chair that doesn’t lift or lower—the latter is substantially for a best given even 5-foot-9 Scott reported his hair was brushing a Tacoma’s headliner. The behind chair is even some-more cramped—kids or dogs are a customarily creatures squeezing behind here.

It doesn’t get many improved from there. On paper, Toyota’s 278-hp V-6 should be copiousness for this truck, though a energy is customarily accessible if you’re nearby redline, that a delivery doesn’t like. It’s as if gears twin by 5 don’t exist; you’re possibly hardly waiting in sixth rigging or screaming during 6,100 rpm in first.

Also frustrating are a Tacoma’s supportive brakes and unbending ride. The Toyota bucks like an consecutive stallion during even a many peaceful limousine stops, and a cessation is oversprung. we know what you’re thinking—”The float sucks given it’s got an off-road package, idiot!” Take it from someone who daily-drives MT‘s Ram Power Wagon—off-road capability doesn’t have to meant punishing float quality.

Our off-road-packaged Ranger XLT had cessation issues, too; a float is so soothing that a lorry is always bouncing. Every peaceful turn, strike hit, or doorway closure creates a Ford stone like a inexpensive motel’s moving bed. It was so bad that we crawled underneath a lorry to see if any partial of a cessation was loose. It wasn’t.

As we found out after when we doubled behind with a Ranger Lariat replacement, a awful float can mostly be attributed to a $1,295 FX4 off-road package, that a Lariat didn’t have. Without it, a Ranger rides somewhat better, though it’s still undersprung. “The float and physique movements are still busy, though it’s excusable now. Instead of being thrown around, I’m customarily removing consistent jostles and kidney shots,” Evans said.

Although a Ranger had lots in common with a Tacoma in a float department, a powertrain thankfully saves a day. The Ford has a misfortune weight-to-power ratio of a bunch, though it doesn’t feel it. Its turbocharged engine is responsive, and a parsimonious ratio widespread of a 10-speed automobile helps safeguard that energy is never an issue, even if a gearbox is spasmodic clunky in difficult traffic.

The Ranger’s sheetmetal creates a good initial impression, though a cabin (of both testers) betrays a genuine age of this rig. Sure, it’s been gussied adult with some digital displays, though there’s no stealing that tiny has altered given this developing-world pickup debuted in 2012. Ergonomics aren’t great, and a cabin is tight, with pinched head- and shoulder room (especially in back). Utility is singular given a behind chair behind merely flips brazen though not flat.

After a frustrating singular functionality of a Ford and Toyota, a crossoverlike Honda tender us. Up front, there’s a vast core cubby and peaceful bucket seats. In back, occupants are treated to their possess USB ports and HVAC vents. When they aren’t in use, a Ridgeline’s behind seats flip adult and out of a way, providing cumulative storage for products that don’t fit in a segment-exclusive dark case in a bed.

The expostulate knowledge is some-more crossover than truck, too. “This feels buttoned down, alert, and modern; a float is really carlike,” highway exam editor Chris Walton said. Associate highway exam editor Erick Ayapana agreed, adding, “Relative to a body-on-frame competitors, a Ridgeline is well-spoken and predictable.” Honda’s V-6 is generally a strength, with a six-speed creation adult for a miss of torque.

The Colorado is a Goldilocks of a group. “I had no thought a Colorado was still so distant brazen in terms of excellence and ride,” Walton said. The Chevy is trucklike though behaved good both by bends and on badly confirmed roads. Its powertrain won praise, too. “It feels peppy, and a delivery is responsive, generally compared to a Toyota’s,” Ayapana said.

Although Chevy has polished a Colorado’s powertrain given it won a Truck of a Year awards, it hasn’t spent many time on a interior. With a disproportion of a infotainment system, a ample cabin has a Playskool peculiarity to it, with oversized knobs and buttons for those who expostulate wearing their work gloves. It’s organic though not aesthetically pleasing.

After vital with a trucks for a few days in a city, we packaged adult and headed to a corner of a county to try a hands (and trucks) farming.

Farm Aid

It was early. The roosters weren’t even adult yet. The customarily sound was a trucks ticking in a cold behind us.

It might have been a initial time operative on a farm, though for Farm Sanctuary plan partner Caleb Bachara (who would be running a efforts), it was customarily another day during a office.

Because Farm Sanctuary is a nonprofit, a tiny staff is never truly means to finish a day’s work of progressing a 26 acres and 100-plus animals on site. But we’d aim to hit out as many as probable with a support trucks during a time there.

First up, we were going to transparent some tree stumps and brush. With a lethal 153,000-acre Camp Fire in new memory, brush clearing was a high priority.

We saddled adult in a trucks, stopped by a strew to bucket adult with chains, hooks, shovels, and a reliable Sawzall, and finished a approach opposite a plantation to a tiny underbrush of trees customarily off a pasture.

Scott donned his well-traveled though still pointy cowboy shawl and we got to work—pruning initial in an bid to strengthen a paint of a really borrowed pickups. When a trees were prepared to come down, we ran some bondage around their trunks.

I corroborated a Ranger adult to a initial tree. we kindly pulpy a gas. The Ford surged brazen undaunted. That seemed too easy; we must’ve lost to offshoot adult a chain. we took a swill of coffee and hopped out, prepared to try again.

The tree lay prone, a roots unprotected to a breeze.

“Well, that was easy.”

I spoke too soon. After we’d yanked down a integrate some-more trees and hauled them opposite a plantation to dump them, we set a sights on a quite vast branch that was pinching entrance to one of Farm Sanctuary’s sheds. Stump pulling is genuine lorry work—perfect for a Honda Ridgeline to infer it’s a real truck.

Chris bending adult a Honda to a stump. The bondage clinked as he took in a slack, and a Honda’s V-6 roared, though zero was happening. Chris gave it another go, though a many he could awaken out of a Honda was a spirit of wheelspin. That tree wasn’t going anywhere.

A “real” lorry would be means to hoop that stump, we reasoned, so Erick and a Tacoma took a Ridgeline’s place. He forsaken a Tacoma into four-low and started tugging. The Toyota grunted brazen as partial of a branch snapped. He corroborated adult and attempted again for a rest, customarily to start digging himself into a soothing soil. (So maybe a Ridgeline isn’t a finish wimp.)

Time to mangle out some tools.

We alternated between digging and hacking during a stump. After any feet or so of mud we privileged from a stump, we bending adult a Colorado to a stays of a branch and attempted again. After a third try and a damaged chain, we doubled behind to raid a toolshed for reinforcements: a cleaver and a examine bar. After another 20 mins or so of chopping—not to discuss untangling some roots from a H2O line—we finally got a sonofabitch giveaway with another yank from a Tacoma.

It was hardly 8 a.m. and we were already exhausted, though there were 8 bales of grain with a names on them. On paper, all 4 trucks’ beds are about a same length, though as we’d shortly learn while manhandling 100-pound bales, there’s a poignant disproportion in width. The Ford, Honda, and Chevy simply took twin bales of grain laid flat, longways in their beds, while a narrower Toyota bed compulsory us to force one scoop on a side, bouncing annoyingly behind and onward opposite a bed rail.

There were also some vital differences in how easy it was to unpack during a grain feeder. The Ridgeline’s twin tailgate swings possibly down or out, and in a latter position it was unusually easy to strech into a bed and lift out a hay. The Colorado’s customary bumper-mounted bed step is also ingenious, creation it significantly easier to bound into a bed and unload.

Errand Run

Job done, we were sent into city for Farm Sanctuary’s weekly feed run: 26 100-pound bales of hay, and 8 50-pound bags of feed. Given a stubby tiny beds on a trucks, we hitched a borrowed trailer to a Colorado to speed adult a job.

It was hypnotizing examination how fast a Colorado’s trailer piled adult with hay. With grain hooks glinting in a object as they sliced into any bale, a trailer had been installed with 14 bales before we satisfied we indispensable to route a loading bid to a beds of a other 3 trucks. The Honda finished adult orderly wise 5 bales in a bed, a Tacoma squeezed 4 with some Tetris-ing, and a Ranger simply swallowed a final 3 bales along with a feed bags.

The before heroic Honda was feeling any one of those 500 pounds on a approach back. Most frustrating was a miss of a dedicated tow-haul mode; low rigging helped some, though a delivery nonetheless insisted on early upshifts. Ride peculiarity also suffered some. Body-on-frame pickups typically float improved with some weight in a bed—and indeed, Scott reported a slight float alleviation from a Ranger—but a Ridgeline was reduction stoical than before.

The Colorado, on a other hand, couldn’t have been some-more impressive. “The Chevy never felt out of exhale on a circuitous roads heading to a farm,” Erick said. “Good backup camera, too,” he combined after expertly subsidy a trailer adult a slight trail between pens so we could unload. Showoff. Safran seemed impressed, too, rewarding anyone dauntless adequate to get tighten with a slurpy kiss.

Our 26 bales unloaded, we took a discerning breather to give swell rubs to some asleep pigs and accommodate Honky Tonk a dickey before removing behind to work. Throughout a rest of a day, we hustled—hauling loads of fencing opposite a plantation and repositioning equine trailers. As a object finally began to drop over a San Gabriel Mountains, we led Safran and his buds to dinner.

It had been a prolonged though a successful day. Our tiny trucks had helped accomplish about a week’s value of busywork on a farm—allowing refuge staffers to concentration on their animals—and we schooled adequate to climax a winner.

Hay King (Finishing Order)

I’m gonna let we in on a tiny secret: At MT, we don’t always determine with any other. Although we always collect a leader for any comparison test, there’s customarily some dissent. However, this was a singular arise when all 4 editors ranked a margin identically.

In last place is a magnificently unsatisfactory Toyota Tacoma. The Tacoma is all shawl and no cattle; it looks fantastic, though either we transport atmosphere or hay, it’s let down by a tighten cabin, slight bed, grabby brakes, and an engine and delivery that work in tandem about as good as a container of cats and dogs.

In third place, in a warn to us, is a Ford Ranger. As we saw on a farm, a Ranger is capable. Its stellar powertrain has some-more than adequate energy to draw and haul, a height handles weight well, and a extra-wide bed valid to be impossibly useful. But on a road, a Ranger doesn’t magnitude adult to a tip twin finishers. Its cessation tuning is (at best) compromised toward a avocation cycle this lorry will frequency see in America, and a cabin is tighten and dated. “The Ranger, being a newest lorry here, somehow manages to feel a oldest and slightest refined,” Walton said.

The second-place Honda Ridgeline is slavishly designed around a thought of a lifestyle truck, where it excels. But it’s comparatively (and surprisingly) capable, too. Its pickup box is unusually vast for a size, and a dual-use tailgate is a many some-more superb resolution to a problem of unloading a pickup bed than a overly difficult multiposition tailgates on some full-size pickups. There’s still room for improvement, though; we’d like to see a dedicated tow-haul mode and something finished to urge float peculiarity when hauling.

Our unanimous winner for best midsize pickup lorry is a Chevrolet Colorado. The Colorado so facilely walks a excellent line between being a lifestyle pickup and a work truck. It has copiousness of energy for work or play, a buttoned-down float that doesn’t kick we adult on your daily commute, a good back-seat package, and an impossibly organic bed. It’s a uncompromised pickup—the one that drives like a compress though hauls like a heavy-duty. “It’s like these guys are truck-building experts or something,” Evans deadpanned. “Not tough to remember given this is a two-time Truck of a Year.” No, it’s not. As for how it measures adult to a (Jeep) Gladiator in a arena? We’re as fervent as we are to find out.


2019 Chevrolet Colorado V6 Z71
2019 Ford Ranger Lariat 4×4 Ecoboost
2019 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition
2018 Toyota Tacoma V6 TRD 4×4 Off Road
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT
Front-engine, 4WD
Front-engine, 4WD
Front-engine, AWD
Front-engine, 4WD
ENGINE TYPE
60-deg V-6, alum block/heads
Turbocharged I-4, alum block/head
60-deg V-6, alum block/heads
Atkinson cycle 60-deg V-6, alum block/heads
VALVETRAIN
DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
SOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT
217.5 cu in/3,564 cc
138.0 cu in/2,261 cc
211.8 cu in/3,471 cc
210.9 cu in/3,456 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO
11.5:1
10.0:1
11.5:1
11.8:1
POWER (SAE NET)
308 hp @ 6,800 rpm*
270 hp @ 5,500 rpm
280 hp @ 6,000 rpm
278 hp @ 6,000 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET)
275 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm*
310 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
262 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm
265 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm
REDLINE
N/A (fuel cut-off @ 7,100 rpm)
6,500 rpm
6,750 rpm
6,100 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER
14.6 lb/hp
16.9 lb/hp
16.0 lb/hp
16.5 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION
8-speed automatic
10-speed automatic
6-speed automatic
6-speed automatic
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE/LOW RATIO
3.42:1/2.26:1/2.62:1
3.73:1/2.37:1/2.72:1
4.25:1/2.36:1/NA
3.91:1/2.27:1/2.57:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR
Control arms, curl springs, anti-roll bar; live axle, root springs
Control arms, curl springs, anti-roll bar; live axle, root springs
Struts, curl springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, curl springs, anti-roll bar
Control arms, curl springs, anti-roll bar; live axle, root springs
STEERING RATIO
16.8:1
17.7:1
15.6:1
17.3:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK
3.2
3.1
3.0
3.5
BRAKES, F; R
12.2-in vented disc; 12.8-in disc, ABS
12.2-in vented disc; 12.1-in vented disc, ABS
12.6-in vented disc; 13.0-in disc, ABS
10.8-in vented disc; 10.0-in drum, ABS
WHEELS
8.0 x 17-in expel aluminum
8.0 x 18-in expel aluminum
8.0 x 18-in expel aluminum
7.0 x 16-in expel aluminum
TIRES
255/65R17 110T (M+S) Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure
265/60R18 110T (M+S) Hankook Dynapro ATM
245/60R18 105H (M+S) Firestone Destination LE2
265/70R16 112T (M+S) Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE
128.3 in
126.8 in
125.2 in
127.4 in
TRACK, F/R
62.4/62.4 in
61.4/61.4 in
66.1/66.0 in
63.0/63.2 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT
212.7 x 74.3 x 70.6 in
210.8 x 73.3 x 71.5 in
210.0 x 78.6 x 70.8 in
212.3 x 75.2 x 70.6 in
TURNING CIRCLE
41.3 ft
42.0 ft
44.4 ft
40.6 ft
CURB WEIGHT
4,486 lb
4,551 lb
4,475 lb
4,575 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R
57/43%
57/43%
58/42%
56/44%
SEATING CAPACITY
5
5
5
5
HEADROOM, F/R
41.4/38.3 in
39.8/38.3 in
39.5/38.8 in
39.7/38.3 in
LEGROOM, F/R
45.0/35.8 in
43.1/34.5 in
40.9/36.7 in
42.9/32.6 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R
57.5/56.2 in
56.7/56.3 in
62.0/61.5 in
58.3/56.3 in
PICKUP BOX L x W x H
61.7 x 57.8 x 20.9 in
61.0 x 61.4 x 20.8 in
64.0 x 60.0 x 16.0 in
60.5 x 56.7 x 19.1 in
WIDTH BET WHEELHOUSES
44.4 in
44.8 in
50.0 in
41.5 in
PAYLOAD CAPACITY
1,487 lb
1,560 lb
1,499 lb
1,175 lb
TOWING CAPACITY
7,000 lb
7,500 lb
5,000 lb
6,400 lb
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30
2.3 sec
2.5 sec
2.5 sec
2.8 sec
0-40
3.4
3.6
3.7
4.1
0-50
4.7
5.1
5.3
5.9
0-60
6.4
6.8
7.2
7.6
0-70
8.4
8.9
9.5
9.9
0-80
10.7
11.4
12.3
12.7
0-90
13.7
14.8
16.2
16.0
0-100

18.8
20.6
22.1
PASSING, 45-65 MPH
3.2
3.4
3.8
3.6
QUARTER MILE
14.9 sec @ 93.1 mph
15.2 sec @ 91.3 mph
15.6 sec @ 88.3 mph
15.9 sec @ 89.7 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH
128 ft
127 ft
128 ft
133 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION
0.78 g (avg)
0.75 g (avg)
0.79 g (avg)
0.71 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT
27.6 sec @ 0.63 g (avg)
27.7 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)
27.7 sec @ 0.62 g (avg)
28.6 sec @ 0.58 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH
1,500 rpm
1,600 rpm
1,750 rpm
1,800 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE
$37,895
$39,480
$44,415
$37,360
PRICE AS TESTED
$38,280
$43,695
$44,415
$41,517
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL
Yes/Yes
Yes/Yes
Yes/Yes
Yes/Yes
AIRBAGS
6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain
6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain
6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain
6: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain
BASIC WARRANTY
3 yrs/36,000 miles
3 yrs/36,000 miles
3 yrs/36,000 miles
3 yrs/36,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY
5 yrs/60,000 miles
5 yrs/60,000 miles
5 yrs/60,000 miles
5 yrs/60,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE
5 yrs/60,000 miles
5 yrs/60,000 miles
3 yrs/36,000 miles
2 yrs/25,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY
21.0 gal
18.0 gal
19.5 gal
21.1 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON
17/24/19 mpg
21/26/23 mpg (mfr est)
18/25/21 mpg
18/22/20 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY
198/140 kW-hrs/100 miles
160/130 kW-hrs/100 miles
187/135 kW-hrs/100 miles
187/153 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB
0.99 lb/mile
0.84 lb/mile
0.94 lb/mile
0.99 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL
Unleaded regular
Unleaded regular
Unleaded regular
Unleaded regular
*SAE Certified

Posted in
Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
short link autoz.info/?p=20948.