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The 2023 Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular trucks in America, and it’s also the best-selling midsize pickup truck in the American car market right now. The segment is growing though, and one of the Tacoma’s newest and most potent rivals in the segment is the 2023 Ford Ranger. Here’s a look at the 2023 Tacoma and Ranger and which truck may be the more affordable option in the long term. 

Here’s how the base 2023 Toyota Tacoma compares to the 2023 Ford Ranger

Since trucks have so many trim options, it’s a good idea to compare the base trims of the Tacoma and the Ranger. According to Edmunds, the two midsize trucks are very similar with their base trims. The Tacoma has a starting price tag that’s a hair over $29,000, while the Ranger costs a bit more at about $29,600. That cheaper price tag doesn’t tell the whole story though.

In terms of their powertrains, the standard Ranger has a big advantage over the Tacoma. The Ranger’s standard engine is a 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder that gets 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.

The Tacoma, meanwhile, comes with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder that gets 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. Despite the extra power, the Ford is more efficient as it gets 23 mpg combined, while the Toyota gets 21 mpg combined.

The five-year ownership costs of the 2023 Toyota Tacoma and the 2023 Ford Ranger

As far as five-year ownership costs go, it’s not surprising that fuel costs are going to be the Tacoma and the Ranger’s largest expense. Since the Ranger is more efficient, it only costs $17,412 over five years for fuel. That’s compared to the Tacoma’s $19,066. However, the Tacoma is cheaper to own in most other ways. Tacoma owners spend about $9,627 on depreciation, while Ranger owners spend $10,709.

The Tacoma also has lower financing costs as this costs owners $6,821 compared to the Ranger’s $7,493. It’s a similar for how much taxes & fees owners have to pay. For Tacoma owners, taxes & fees costs about $3,983, while Ranger owners have to pay about $4,323. 

Insurance is another category where Toyota fans win as they spend about $6,098 insuring their Tacoma. In comparison, Ranger owners have to cough up $7,786 for their insurance premiums.

Repairs are also cheaper for Toyotas, as this costs $773 compared to the Ford’s $1,071. That said, the Ranger wins in one last category, and that’s maintenance. Ranger owners spend about $4,334 on maintenance, compared to the Tacoma’s $5,673.

When all of those ownership costs are added up, the Tacoma has a slight lead over the Ranger. The Toyota costs $52,041 over five years to own, while the Ranger costs $53,128. 

These are just estimates and they shouldn’t be taken as gospel

Due to how complex ownership cost estimates are, these numbers should not be taken as gospel, and the real-world numbers can be very different depending on many factors. One of the most important factors is simply who’s owning the truck and what they’re doing to it. This is especially true in terms of maintenance costs. 

Trucks need routine maintenance like any other car does, and owners who don’t provide that to their truck can ultimately spend more money down the road fixing the truck’s issues. As a result, the Ranger could end up being cheaper to own over five years if the Ranger owner takes good care of their truck while the Tacoma owner doesn’t. The reverse is true as well, and that’s why this comparison is so difficult to do.


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