Is the 2023 Ford Ranger a Better Midsize Truck Than the 2023 Toyota Tacoma?

Have you ever been to a magic show? Sometimes, it feels like you’re in the audience when you see auto brands touting specific items that make one model better than another. In the midsize truck market, it’s hard to figure out which truck is performing tricks and which one is actually better. Let’s look at three categories and figure out whether the 2023 Ford Ranger is better than the 2023 Toyota Tacoma.

Does the 2023 Ford Ranger have more truck performance than the 2023 Toyota Tacoma?

Blue Ford Ranger Towing a Boat
Blue Ford Ranger Towing a Boat | Ford

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Heading into the 2023 model year, neither the Ford Ranger nor Toyota Tacoma sees many upgrades, which makes it easy to put these two trucks up against each other. If you want to know which truck offers better performance and more capability, this is what you’ll find:

2023 Ford Ranger2023 Toyota Tacoma
Engine2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder3.5-liter V6
Horsepower 270278
Torque310 lb-ft265 lb-ft
Transmission10-speed SelectShift Automatic6-speed manual or automatic
MPG Rating21 city/26 hwy18 city/22 hwy
Towing7,500 pounds6,800 pounds
Payload1905 pounds1440 pounds

Verdict: The Ranger delivers more capability and performance in the midsize truck segment. Even though the Tacoma has more horsepower, the Ranger takes the rest of the comparisons. With more towing and payload, you’ll carry and pull more with the Ford Ranger than the Toyota Tacoma. In fact, the standard Tacoma SR can only tow 3,500 pounds, which puts it miles behind the base model of the 2023 Ford Ranger.

Which midsize truck is bigger, Ford Ranger or Toyota Tacoma?

2023 Toyota Tacoma is worth buying
2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

Will you and your passengers find more interior room when riding in the 2023 Ford Ranger or the 2023 Toyota Tacoma? You’ll spend most of your time inside the cabin of the truck you choose, which means size and appearance matter. The size statistics are:

2023 Ford Ranger2023 Toyota Tacoma
Wheelbase126.8 inches127.4 inches
Length210.8 inches212.3 inches
Height70.7 inches70.6 inches
Width73.3 inches74.4 inches
Cab OptionsSuperCab, SuperCrewAccess Cab, Double Cab
Short Bed Length60 inches60.5 inches
Long Bed Length72.8 inches73.7 inches

In terms of appearance, the contest isn’t as cut and dried. If you prefer a more rugged look, you’ll lean toward the Toyota Tacoma. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more upscale feeling in the cabin, the Ford Ranger is the midsize truck for you.

Verdict: The 2023 Toyota Tacoma is slightly larger than the 2023 Ford Ranger in nearly every measurement. This advantage isn’t significant enough to impact the spaciousness of the bed or cab in either truck.

Which midsize truck is more affordable?

Price matters. If you have to pay thousands more for performance and capability, you might lean toward a more affordable truck. The price of the 2023 Ford Ranger begins at around $28,00 and ranges up to $40,000. The 2023 Toyota Tacoma starts a little higher at $30,000 but reaches a little more than $40,000 for the top model.

Should you drive the Ranger or Tacoma?

A red 2022 Ford Ranger small pickup truck is parked outdoors.
The 2022 Ford Ranger | Ford

Comparing capability, performance, size, appearance, and price, we can see the 2023 Ford Ranger is the right truck to drive. The Ranger has more capability, better performance, an upscale appearance, and a lower starting price. The only factor in favor of the 2023 Toyota Tacoma is the slightly larger size of this midsize truck.

Next, check out the new engine of the 2023 Chevy Colorado, or watch these performance-oriented midsize trucks compared in this video below:

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