Comparing the Toyota Tacoma to Other Trucks Isn’t Fair

The Toyota Tacoma literally can’t be caught. As much as we enjoy rivals such as the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator, they seem to be out of their league. No other mid-size truck is coming close to matching the Toyota Tacoma’s performance

The Toyota Tacoma is the favorite truck 

A dark green 2021 Toyota Tacoma sitting on top of a brown rocky terrain with a cloud covered background.
2021 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

We initially went to the Ford Authority article to read about how the Ford Ranger is outselling the Jeep Gladiator. But then, we learned something that completely sidetracked us. The Toyota Tacoma has more than double the sales compared to other trucks. 

In the second quarter of 2021, Tacoma sales increased by 42.66 percent compared to the second quarter of 2020. In Q2, the Tacoma sold 72,847 units while the Ford Ranger sold 34,205 units, and the Jeep Gladiator sold 29,962 units. 

It feels like 34,205 and 29,962 are fair numbers to compare, but 72,847 blows the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator out of the water. When this report was published, the Toyota Tacoma has 139,296 sales under its belt for 2021, while the Ford Ranger sold 58,371 units, and the Jeep Gladiator sold 48,784 units. Again, the Tacoma’s number seems too big to compare fairly. 

How does the Tacoma compare to other trucks? 

Even if the Toyota Tacoma is weaker in some areas compared to other trucks, that’s not slowing down sales. For example, the Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 lbs. The Ford Ranger can tow up to 7,500 lbs. 

That’s only a 700 lb difference. The Tacoma can still pull boats and campers. It can also carry a payload of 1,609 lbs, while the Ranger can carry up to 2,128 lbs in its truck bed. This creates a 519 lb difference which is a little more sizable. 

The base engine in the Tacoma is a 2.7-liter four-cylinder unit with 159 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the 3.5-liter V6 engine for 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.7 seconds

With the Ford Ranger, you get the 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbo-four engine with 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. This is an impressive base engine, but it’s also the only option. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.8 seconds.

The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is supposed to be setting the new standard for off-roading. However, it has a wider stance and a longer wheelbase than the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. This can make it more challenging to navigate on narrow trails. 

What features does the Tacoma offer? 

A silver 2021 Toyota Tacoma midsize truck in a desert mountainous area.
2021 Toyota Tacoma | 2021 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

The Toyota Tacoma was recently updated with thicker side-window glass to cut down on interior noise. The ride is also smoother than before. The Ford Ranger is known for having a bumpy ride, but wind noise is nicely controlled. 

In the Tacoma, you’ll find comfortable seats and a convenient layout for the tech controls. The Ranger provides supportive seats too, but they’re hard to properly adjust for the right amount of visibility. The infotainment system lacks hard controls. The Jeep Gladiator has the largest backseat, but the Tacoma is still pretty spacious. It also has better storage options compared to the Ford Ranger.  

We could continue to discuss truck stats all day and it doesn’t change the outcome. The Toyota Tacoma is still the most popular truck. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and global semiconductor shortage may have impacted inventory and sales, but the Tacoma is still pretty far ahead of the competition.

RELATED: Your Toyota Tacoma Should Last a Long Time – But How Long?