Pickup Truck Face-Off: Ford Ranger vs. Toyota Tacoma

    These workhorses deliver full-sized truck capability without the bulk

    Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma
    Ford Ranger vs. Toyota Tacoma
    Photos: John Powers/Consumer Reports

    Many compact pickup truck buyers want the ability to do serious towing and hauling but in a package that’s maneuverable and easy to handle in daily driving. Both the Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma compact pickups provide some of the same capabilities as larger full-sized trucks but at a lower price. They’re available in a few configurations with rear- or four-wheel drive and seating for up to five passengers.

    An all-new Ranger arrived for the 2019 model year, with standard advanced safety and driver assist systems as well as modern comfort and convenience features. It bears no resemblance to the small, outdated version last sold in 2011. The current Tacoma is older than the Ranger, having arrived as an updated model for 2016. Still, even the redesigned version isn’t very different from the truck it replaced.

    Both trucks face challenges from a growing selection of car-based pickup trucks, such as the new Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz, as well as the established Honda Ridgeline. These lighter-duty trucks lack the off-road, towing, and work capabilities of the Ranger and Tacoma, but have a far better ride and handling characteristics, are quieter, and require owners to make fewer sacrifices.

    More On Pickup Trucks

    While both trucks have a number of similarities, there are key differences that consumers should consider. Read below to see how these compact pickup trucks fare in a face-off. At the end, we’ll crown a winner.

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