Trucks & SUVs

The Toyota Tacoma Packs More Value Than The Ford Ranger

We’re scaling things down from a typical full-size truck battle to evaluate two midsize options. The Toyota Tacoma and Ford Ranger will duke it out to determine the better buy. While the Toyota Tacoma has been a trusted midsize option for years, the Ford Ranger is just returning to the game. 

The Ford Ranger VS The Toyota Tacoma 

The Toyota Tacoma has a starting price of around $26k, which is reasonable. However, the Ford Ranger comes in cheaper at $24k. So, what makes the Toyota Tacoma worth paying an extra $2k for? 

Two 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road trucks parked in a field
2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road | Toyota

Also, the Ford Ranger comes in with a slightly better fuel economy. It gets up to 21 mpg in the city and up to 26 mpg on the highway. The Toyota Tacoma rings in with 20 mpg on city streets and 23 mpg on the highway. 

Ford Ranger And Toyota Tacoma Power 

The Toyota Tacoma comes with two engine options. The base model comes with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps out 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. You can also upgrade to the 3.5-liter V6 engine for 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. Depending on the build you choose, the Toyota Tacoma can tow between 3,500 to 6,800 lb. 

2019 Ford Ranger FX2 driving down country road
2019 Ford Ranger FX2 | Ford

The Ford Ranger only comes with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps out 280 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Depending on what build you go with, the Ford Ranger can tow between 3,500 to 7,700 lb. Plus, the Ranger has the best in class payload of 1,860 lb. 

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For off-roading, the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro sports fox shocks and a smoother suspension. The Ford Ranger has been noted for having a stiff and bumpier ride. The Tacoma also has trailer sway control and a payload capability of 1,440 lb. 

Both trucks feature driving modes for sand, snow, dirt, and mud, but the Tacoma takes it a bit further with a rock-crawling mode and panoramic view camera to allow you to see exactly where your tires will land. Both trucks have an electronically locking rear differential included in the off-roading package. But the Tacoma already has a durable skid plate included in the base model. 

Toyota Tacoma And Ford Ranger Features 

The base model Ford Ranger XL doesn’t come with much. You will have to spend $4k to add on 4×4, and it has a standard radio instead of an infotainment center. Adding a larger cab can cost between $1,100 to $2,400. In the base model of the Toyota Tacoma, you will find a 7” touch screen infotainment center that can connect to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

The 2019 Ford Ranger on display at auto show
The 2019 Ford Ranger midsize truck

Safety-wise, the Ford Ranger comes with pre-collision automatic braking on the base model. You’ll have to upgrade for more safety features. Meanwhile, the Toyota Tacoma comes with pre collins detection, pedestrian detection, vehicle stability control, dynamic cruise control, and more. 

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD parked in sand on a mountain top
2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD | Toyota

So, even though the Toyota Tacoma costs a little more, it comes with much more value. It comes with more tech and safety features, more comfort, and more space. The Tacoma also incorporates a lot more off-roading features and ToyotaCare. ToyotaCare provides 24/7 roadside assistance and covers regular factory maintenance for two years or your first 25,000 miles. It’s the clear winner here.