Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Ford Ranger Is a Stronger Alternative to the 2021 Toyota Tacoma

If you’re shopping for a compact pickup and want one that’s capable of towing a considerable amount of weight, you’ve got a few options worth considering. Among those options are the 2021 Ford Ranger and the 2021 Toyota Tacoma. But when it comes to which pickup will have you towing more? This year’s Ranger makes for a stronger alternative to the Toyota Tacoma.

How much can the 2021 Toyota Tacoma tow?

A white Toyota Tacoma pictured at an auto show.
Toyota Tacoma | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Now, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma can tow a decent amount of weight. It comes driven by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, can be had with a six-speed manual transmission, and, when properly equipped, will have you towing a maximum of 6,800-pounds. It can also carry a payload of up to 1,440-pounds.

According to Four Wheel Trends, that makes this year’s new Tacoma strong enough to tow a boat. But if the Toyota Tacoma’s 6,800-pound max towing capacity isn’t quite enough for you? Then you might want to consider the 2021 Ford Ranger as a stronger alternative to the Toyota Tacoma.

The 2021 Ford Ranger can tow more than the Toyota Tacoma

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For a pickup that can tow more than the 2021 Toyota Tacoma, consider this year’s new Ford Ranger. Equipped with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission, this year’s Ranger is brawny enough to tow up to 7,500-pounds. 

What’s even more enticing about the Ford Ranger is that it also boasts a best-in-class payload capacity of 1,860-pounds. Between its maximum towing capacity and its best-in-class payload rating, that makes the 2021 Ford Ranger a much stronger alternative to the Toyota Tacoma.

This year’s Ranger will also have you spending less

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Here’s the thing about the 2021 Ford Ranger. It’s not just a stronger alternative to the 2021 Toyota Tacoma. As it turns out, this year’s Ranger will also have you spending less than you would if you opted for a new Tacoma. 

A base model Tacoma will run you approximately $26,250 before delivery, process, and handling fees. Upgrade to the Tacoma SR5, and you can expect to spend just over $28,000. At its most expensive, the range-topping Tacoma TRD Pro will cost you about $44,175.

The 2021 Ford Ranger, on the other hand, is available in three affordable trim levels. The base model XL will have you spending $24,820, while the Ranger XLT will run you just under $29,000. At its most expensive, the 2021 Ford Ranger Lariat costs $32,910. That means you can treat yourself to a more well-equipped Ford Ranger and still be spending less than you would if you opted for a range-topping Tacoma instead.

Is the 2021 Ford Ranger a reliable truck?

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Sure, the 2021 Ford Ranger is both a stronger and cheaper alternative to the 2021 Toyota Tacoma. But does that mean it’s a good truck? After all, towing numbers and price tags aren’t everything. You’re also going to want to consider how reliable the Ford Ranger is.

Fortunately, J.D. Power gave the 2021 model a ‘Great’ overall quality and reliability rating. Meanwhile, RepairPal gave it an ‘Above Average’ reliability rating. RepairPal added that the compact pickup has average ownership costs. Major repairs are uncommon for the Ford Ranger too.

Which is better, the 2021 Ford Ranger or the Toyota Tacoma?

There’s no denying that the 2021 Ford Ranger is a stronger and cheaper alternative to the Toyota Tacoma. But does that make it better than the Toyota Tacoma? Not necessarily.

In fact, the Toyota Tacoma earned a similar reliability rating from RepairPal. J.D. Power did give it a slightly lower rating, but all in all? You really can’t go wrong with either of these compact pickups.