Ford’s new Ranger generation brings a fresh competitive edge the the compact truck class. Long time favorite Toyota Tacoma is a fantastic functional machine. They are both designed to be workhorse trucks with modern amenities and upgrades, but which one is better?
The Tacoma comes standard with the Toyota safety suite, and comes in some really cool year-specific colors like quicksand and army green. The Toyota Tacoma is in its third generation, which debuted with a 2016 model, while Ford Ranger’s fourth generation just came on the scene with a total redesign for 2019.
Each current generation for these trucks offers more than enough to keep up with competitors like the Nissan Frontier or Chevy Colorado. Both are a good option for a utility truck that doubles as a daily driver, but there are some things that make the Ranger really stand out.
The engine delivers more power
Sorry Taco fans, the Ford Ranger’s engine is superior. If you skip to right around minute 10 of the video below, you can watch the two face-off in a drag race. Spoiler alert –– the Toyota Tacoma gets smoked by the Ford Ranger.
The 2.3 liter 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine beats even the Tacoma’s V6 upgrade without incident. The EcoBoost technology is known for its increased horsepower, torque, and fuel economy. The Tacoma does offer more engine options, but the Ford Ranger doesn’t really have to.
The Ranger pulls a heavier load
The Ford Ranger wins this one hands down. The Toyota Tacoma SR can tow a modest 3,500 pounds. Upgrade to the TRD off-road Taco and your towing capacity increases to 6,400 pounds.
The Ford Ranger, on the other hand, harnesses the same tow capacity across all of its trim options –– and it’s even better than the more robust Tacoma trims. The Ranger in its base trim can pull more than twice the standard trim Tacoma with a max capacity of 7,500 pounds.
It’s more efficient
The Ford Ranger reigns supreme again. Though this isn’t shocking considering the EcoBoost engine, it might be a determining factor for someone trying to choose between these two trucks. When you’re choosing a new work truck, fuel economy can have a huge impact on your decision.
In the rear-wheel drive format, the Ford Ranger gets 21 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway. Adding four-wheel drive doesn’t reduce it significantly, either. The 4WD model boasts 20 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. This is a huge
Yes, the Toyota Tacoma’s six-cylinder gets better mileage than it’s four-cylinder. But it falls short of the Rangers fuel economy. The Tacoma’s V6 engine gets 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The four-wheel drive version suffers more, too, with a drop to 18 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
The Ford Ranger
Throw in the nicer interior and lower starting price under 25 grand and we’re beginning to see why people are choosing the Ranger over the Tacoma.
While the Tacoma probably won’t ever lose the die hard fans that choose it for its utilitarian off-roading prowess, the Ford Ranger is actually a worthy opponent that beats the Toyota truck in some key areas. While each truck is a great work truck, one or the other may appeal more to certain people based on what it has to offer.