2021 Honda Ridgeline vs. 2021 Chevy Colorado

2021 Honda Ridgeline vs Chevy Colorado

Let’s face it: You want a small truck that does big-truck things. It’s got to have a bed big enough for all your camping equipment, all your tailgating gear, all your landscaping materials. It’s got to haul what you want, when you want. And because we’re living in the modern age, it’s got to be safer than your pop’s old pickup.

That should leave you with a few options, two of which are the new Honda Ridgeline and Chevrolet Colorado. Yet while the new Colorado is certainly up for most tasks, it lacks the capability, versatility and downright refinement that runs rampant in the 2021 Ridgeline. Here’s why Ridgeline’s the right choice.

2021 Ridgeline - Out Truck The Competition

King of All Truck Beds

The Colorado and Ridgeline both clean up well, but the 2021 Honda Ridgeline is more than just a ruggedly handsome pickup truck. In its bed, Ridgeline’s peppered with segment-exclusive and convenient features, while the Chevy Colorado just has a truck bed.

To each their own, but if you prefer your truck to be more of a Swiss Army Knife than simply a haul-and-tow machine, Ridgeline’s got your name written all over it.

2021 Ridgeline - Dual-Action Tailgate

Dual-Action Tailgate

Introducing the industry’s first dual-action tailgate. Utilizing an ingeniously engineered double-hinge system, Ridgeline’s tailgate lowers down or swings out to the side. When down, the liftgate door extends cargo length to up to 74 inches and can hold up to 300 pounds. When swung to the left, the liftgate allows you to access more of the bed without having to balance on your toes.

2021 Ridgeline - Lay-Flat Truck Bed

Lay-Flat Truck Bed

Ridgeline’s Lay-Flat Bed is equally ingenious. You get a total of 50.0 inches of space between wheel wells, and up to 60 inches between bed walls, allowing you to lay 4-by-8-foot plywood sheets flat -- just as the Lay-Flat Bed name implies.

Colorado’s truck bed can’t compete with that level of convenience. Inside width between wheel housings is just 44.4 inches, and total width between bed walls is only 57.8 inches.

2021 Ridgeline - In-Bed Trunk

Lockable In-Bed Trunk

The only truck with a trunk is the Honda Ridgeline. With it, you gain 7.3 cubic feet of additional, lockable storage space underneath the bed floor. Best of all, Ridgeline’s trunk also includes a drain plug, so you can utilize it as an ice cooler anytime you need one.

2021 Ridgeline - Truck Bed Audio System

Truck Bed Audio System

The segment’s first built-in bed sound system is exclusive to the Ridgeline, as well. Listen to your favorite tunes, podcasts, or audio books while you work or play. It can be activated and used via the truck’s touchscreen or a Bluetooth device, giving you ultimate control.

2021 Ridgeline - Truck Bed Outlet

Truck Bed Outlet

You’ll also find an available 150W/400W power outlet incorporated in the wall of Ridgeline’s truck bed. Easily plug in and use your power tools, blow up an air mattress, or set up a television for a tailgate party. You have the world at your fingertips.

Safety Guaranteed

Historically speaking, pickup trucks are known for their rough, do-anything demeanor, not for safeguarding riders. That’s the case with the 2021 Colorado, whose biggest pitfall could be its lack of standard safety features. GM’s entry-level work truck, the Chevy Colorado WT, essentially gets just the bare minimum per America’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The new Colorado WT delivers a Rear Vision Camera, airbags, and Chevy’s Teen Driver tech.

Raise your budget to receive actual protection in the form of Chevy Colorado’s Safety Package, which includes Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning. But where’s the adaptive cruise control? The blind-spot warning? The automatic high-beam headlights? They’re nowhere to be found on Chevy’s small truck.

The Honda Ridgeline has set the standard for standard safety. Every Ridgeline trim, from the Sport to the Black Edition, is equipped with Honda Sensing, the brand’s driver-assist and advanced safety suite. Included with Honda Sensing are the following features:

  • Collision Mitigation Braking System
  • Road Departure Mitigation System
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane Keeping Assist System
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Lane Departure Warning

Additionally, Ridgeline RTL trims and up also receive Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Monitor. Move into the RTL-E and Black Edition Ridgeline, and you’ll even get Auto High-Beam Headlights. (And yes, Ridgeline comes standard with a rear-view camera -- a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Dynamic Guidelines, to be exact.)

2021 Ridgeline RTL-E 2021 Colorado LT
Forward Collision Warning Standard Available
Lane Departure Warning Standard Available
Adaptive Cruise Control Standard Not Available
Road Departure Mitigation Standard Not Available
Collision Mitigation Braking Standard Not Available
Lane Keeping Assist Standard Not Available
Blind Spot Warning Standard Not Available
Cross Traffic Monitor Standard Not Available
Auto High-Beams Standard Not Available

Phenomenal Performance

Situated under the hood of the base Colorado WT is a 2.5L I4 engine that makes 200 horsepower and 191 lb-ft of torque. That output, along with standard 2WD and a 6-speed automatic, allows the Colorado to tow just 3,500 pounds.

2021 Ridgeline - Performance

Straight out of the proverbial box, the Ridgeline is far better than the Colorado at being a truck. With its 3.5L V6, Ridgeline plows out 262 lb-ft of torque and 280 horsepower. That V6 is paired with a standard 9-speed transmission, and everything is married to a standard AWD system for top-tier performance. Honda Ridgeline also incorporates an Intelligent Traction Management System to enhance traction control on a variety of surfaces.

The result is a standard trailering rating of 5,000* pounds and about 150 pounds of additional payload capacity.

2021 Ridgeline Sport 2021 Colorado WT Crew Cab
Engine 3.5L V6 2.5L I4
Horsepower 280 hp 200 hp
Torque 262 lb-ft 191 lb-ft
Transmission 9-Speed 6-Speed
Drive System iVTM4 AWD 2WD
Towing Capacity 5,000 lbs* 3,500 lbs
Payload Capacity 1,583 lbs 1,435 lbs
2021 Ridgeline - Interior

A Superior Interior

Way back when, truck owners rarely paid a thought to passenger comfort. In this day and age, however, shoppers not only desire a spacious, comfy truck cabin -- they require one.

With the Ridgeline Sport, you get seating for up to 5 and 109.7 cubic feet of passenger volume. That’s better than the base Colorado WT Extended Cab, which offers “seats” for 4 riders and passenger volume of just about 97.6 cu ft. (Colorado’s flip-up rear seats are hard, small and perfectly adequate for mannequins, just not human beings with salvageable souls.)

Ridgeline also comes standard with tri-zone climate control with humidity control and air filtration. The 2021 Colorado is equipped with a manual A/C system, and the only upgrade is a single-zone climate control system.

What about Ridgeline vs. Colorado specs? Ridgeline offers more rear space for riders, full stop. Anyone in the back seat will savor the extra headroom, legroom, hiproom, and shoulder room provided by the Honda Ridgeline.

2021 Ridgeline Sport 2021 Colorado WT Extended Cab 2021 Colorado WT Crew Cab
Headroom (rear) 38.8 in 36.7 in 38.3 in
Legroom (rear) 36.7 in 28.6 in 35.8 in
Shoulder Room (front/rear) 62.0 in / 61.5 in 57.5 in / 57.3 in 57.5 in / 56.2 in
Hiproom (front/rear) 59.1 in / 56.6 in 55.0 in / 52.2 in 55.0 in / 53.3 in


Maximum towing capacity is 5,000 lbs. Towing requires accessory towing equipment. Please see your Honda dealer for details.