With the debut of the 2023 Colorado lineup on Thursday, Chevrolet is reigniting the midsize pickup wars. These trucks are more popular than ever, and the Colorado brings the heat with a new engine, improved technology and an overall classier look.
That in mind, let’s take a look at how the new Colorado compares to its chief rivals: the Ford Ranger, Honda Ridgeline, Jeep Gladiator, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma. There are lots of different configurations of each truck, so we’ll try to keep things as evenly matched as possible in each of the sections. But as you’ll see, some trucks have clear advantages over others.
While Ford, Nissan and Toyota offer their trucks with different cab and bed lengths, Chevy only offers the Colorado in a single, Crew Cab, short-bed configuration. And since Honda and Jeep only sell their trucks in a similar style, that’s what we’ll use for this look at overall exterior and interior dimensions.
Also, something to note: Chevy only publishes the Colorado’s width including mirrors, while the standard measurement of vehicle width excludes them. That’s why Chevy’s numbers are the highest.
Exterior measurements (inches)
Interior measurements (inches)
|Front headroom||Front legroom||Rear headroom||Rear legroom|
This is where things get a little tricky. Chevy offers a single engine and transmission in the 2023 Colorado, with three different power levels depending on trim. Other trucks have a choice of engines and only the Gladiator and Tacoma can be bought with a manual transmission.
To make things as fair as possible, we’ll line up the engines that most closely match on paper. Bonus points go to Jeep for including a diesel option, but we’re going to have to exclude that engine for now.
|Colorado||2.7L turbo I4||310 hp||390 lb-ft||8-speed|
|Frontier||3.8L V6||310 hp||281 lb-ft||9-speed|
|Gladiator||3.6L V6||285 hp||260 lb-ft||8-speed|
|Ranger||2.3L turbo I4||270 hp||310 lb-ft||10-speed|
|Ridgeline||3.5L V6||280 hp||262 lb-ft||9-speed|
|Tacoma||3.5L V6||278 hp||265 lb-ft||6-speed|
Some trucks are more capable than others when it comes to off-roading, so this one is actually pretty tricky. We’re going to let each truck put its best foot forward, listing the measurements for its most capable trim level. It’s a bit of an advantage for trucks like the new Colorado ZR2, Gladiator Rubicon and Tacoma TRD Pro, which don’t totally compare to the Ranger Tremor and Frontier Pro-4X. Oh, and if you’re wondering why the Ridgeline isn’t listed here, it’s because there isn’t really any kind of off-road version, so best to just have Honda sit this one out.
|Colorado||38.3 deg||25.1 deg||24.6 deg||10.7 in|
|Frontier||32.3 deg||23.0 deg||19.6 deg||9.5 in|
|Gladiator||43.4 deg||26.0 deg||20.3 deg||11.1 in|
|Ranger||30.9 deg||27.1 deg||24.2 deg||9.7 in|
|Tacoma||35.0 deg||23.9 deg||23.9 deg||9.4 in|
It wouldn’t be a truck comparison without discussing towing and hauling. And to make it as fair as possible, we’ll use the maximum specs that correspond to the aforementioned engine choices.
Payload and towing
|Colorado||1,587 lbs||7,700 lbs|
|Frontier||1,480 lbs||6,570 lbs|
|Gladiator||1,535 lbs||7,650 lbs|
|Ranger||1,770 lbs||7,500 lbs|
|Ridgeline||1,583 lbs||5,000 lbs|
|Tacoma||1,395 lbs||6,700 lbs|
All of these trucks offer full suites of driver-assistance technologies, including things like blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control. Some trucks come with more standard equipment than others, and no midsize truck offers any sort of advanced Level 2 driver-assistance system like General Motors’ Super Cruise.
On the multimedia front, every truck except the Ford Ranger has a full-size touchscreen infotainment system standard. (The base Ranger has a dinky 3.5-inch LCD display in the center stack.) Chevy totally wins here, however, with its standard 8-inch digital gauge cluster and 11.3-inch central touchscreen.
Chevrolet has yet to release Colorado pricing, so we’ll leave that off for now. As for the rest, these are the base MSRPs including destination charges, as listed on the manufacturer’s consumer sites. If you’re wondering why the Gladiator and Ridgeline are so much more expensive than the others, it’s because they come with a higher level of standard equipment.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism