2020 Ford Ranger vs. 2020 Toyota Tacoma

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/24

Both the Ranger and the Tacoma have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available four-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

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There are over 2 times as many Ford dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Ranger’s warranty.

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Ranger’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Tacoma’s camshafts. If the Tacoma’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Ranger has a standard 720-amp battery. The Tacoma’s 582-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Ranger’s reliability 31 points higher than the Tacoma.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Ranger first among midsize pickups in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Tacoma was rated third.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Engine

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The Ranger’s 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. produces 111 more horsepower (270 vs. 159) and 130 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 180) than the Tacoma’s standard 2.7 DOHC 4 cyl. The Ranger’s 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. produces 45 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 265) than the Tacoma’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford Ranger is faster than the Toyota Tacoma V6 (automatics tested):

Ranger

Tacoma

Zero to 30 MPH

2.4 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

8.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.1 sec

8.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.6 sec

4.1 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.6 sec

4.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

91 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/24

On the EPA test cycle the Ranger gets better fuel mileage than the Tacoma:

Ranger

Tacoma

4x2

n/a

20 city/23 hwy

2.7 4 cyl./Auto

2.3 turbo 4 cyl./10-spd. Auto

21 city/26 hwy

19 city/24 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

4x4

n/a

19 city/22 hwy

2.7 4 cyl./Auto

2.3 turbo 4 cyl./10-spd. Auto

20 city/24 hwy

18 city/22 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Ranger’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Tacoma doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Ranger has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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A ten-speed automatic is standard on the Ford Ranger, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Tacoma.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Ranger’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Tacoma:

Ranger

Tacoma

Front Rotors

12.2 inches

10.75 inches

Rear Rotors

12.1 inches

10” drums

The Ford Ranger has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Tacoma. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Ranger stops shorter than the Tacoma:

Ranger

Tacoma

70 to 0 MPH

190 feet

195 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

127 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

150 feet

158 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Ranger has larger standard tires than the Tacoma (255/70R16 vs. 245/75R16).

The Ranger’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 70 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Tacoma’s standard 75 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Ranger XLT SuperCrew 4x4 handles at .78 G’s, while the Tacoma Short Bed TRD Off-Road Double Cab 4x4 pulls only .64 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Ranger Lariat SuperCrew 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the Tacoma Short Bed TRD Pro Double Cab 4x4 (27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 29.3 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Ranger XLT SuperCrew 4x4 is quieter than the Tacoma Short Bed TRD Off-Road Double Cab 4x4:

Ranger

Tacoma

At idle

39 dB

42 dB

Full-Throttle

76 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

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The Ranger SuperCab has 3.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Tacoma Access Cab (89.2 vs. 85.6).

The Ranger SuperCab has .1 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more rear headroom, 5.8 inches more rear legroom and 3.6 inches more rear hip room than the Tacoma Access Cab.

The Ranger SuperCrew has .1 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom and 1.9 inches more rear legroom than the Tacoma Double Cab.

Cargo Capacity

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The Ranger SuperCab has a much larger cargo box than the Tacoma Access Cab shortbed (51.8 vs. 42.6 cubic feet).

The Ranger SuperCrew has a much larger cargo box than the Tacoma Double Cab shortbed (43.3 vs. 34.8 cubic feet). The Ranger SuperCrew has a much larger cargo box than the Tacoma Double Cab longbed (43.3 vs. 42.6 cubic feet).

The Ranger’s cargo box is larger than the Tacoma’s in almost every dimension:

Ranger SuperCrew

Ranger SuperCab

Tacoma Access Cab

Tacoma Double Cab

Length (short/long)

61”

72.8”

73.7”

60.5”/73.7”

Max Width

61.4”

61.4”

56.7”

56.7”

Min Width

44.8”

44.8”

41.5”

41.5”

Height

20.8”

20.8”

19.1”

19.1”

Payload and Towing

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/24

The Ranger’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Tacoma’s (7500 vs. 3500 pounds).

The Ranger can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Ranger can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Tacoma can’t be towed flat on the ground.

The Ranger has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Tacoma:

Ranger

Tacoma

Extended Cab

1860 lbs.

1685 lbs.

Crew Cab

1770 lbs.

1560 lbs.

Extended Cab 4x4

1650 lbs.

1445 lbs.

Crew Cab 4x4

1560 lbs.

1155 lbs.

The Ranger has a higher maximum payload capacity than the Tacoma (1860 vs. 1685 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

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The Ranger uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Tacoma uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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The Ranger has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Ranger’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Tacoma’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Ranger’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Tacoma doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Ranger’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Tacoma doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Ranger Lariat’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Tacoma’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Ranger SuperCrew has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Tacoma doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Ranger owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Ranger with a number “5” insurance rate while the Tacoma is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Ranger is less expensive to operate than the Tacoma because typical repairs cost much less on the Ranger than the Tacoma, including $8 less for a water pump, $40 less for a muffler, $91 less for a starter, $76 less for fuel injection, $24 less for a fuel pump and $879 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/24

Consumer Reports® recommends the Ford Ranger, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Toyota Tacoma isn't recommended.

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its May 2018 issue and they ranked the Ford Ranger Lariat SuperCrew 4x4 higher than the Toyota Tacoma Short Bed TRD Off-Road Double Cab 4x4.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Ranger first among midsize pickups in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Tacoma isn’t in the top three.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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