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2019 Ford Ranger vs. 2019 Toyota Tacoma

John Coyle | July 24, 2019

In this corner, we have the 2019 Ford Ranger. It's been nearly a decade since the Ranger was available on our shores, and the Ranger is all new for 2019.   

Next, we have the 2019 Toyota Tacoma. The Tacoma's rugged construction and great resale value have long made it a favorite, and it's unchanged for the model year.


Powertrain

First, let’s look at the powertrains. The Ranger comes with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder, which pumps out 270 horsepower and 310 lb-feet of torque, and it’s mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and four-wheel drive is optional. In two wheel drive form, the Ranger delivers an EPA-estimate of 21 miles-per-gallon city, and 26 highway. A properly configured Ranger can tow up to 7,500 pounds, and handle over 1,800 pounds of cargo.

In comparison, there are two engines available for the Tacoma. Base models come with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder good for 159 horsepower and 180 lb-feet of torque. Upgrading to the V6 means 278 horsepower and 265 lb-feet of torque. Most models feature a six speed automatic transmission, though higher-end TRD trims offer the option of a six-speed manual. In EPA testing, the four-cylinder achieved up to 20 miles per-gallon city, and 23 highway, while V6 hit 19 city, and 24 city. Depending on how you configure a Tacoma, you can tow up to 6,800 pounds, and haul over 1,600 pounds of cargo.

While the Toyota does offer a V6, since the Ranger’s turbocharged four-cylinder outperforms it for power, fuel economy, and towing, we’re going to give the win to the Ford here.

Shop Ford Ranger Inventory

Cabin Interiors

Now, let’s look at the cabs. Ford offers two cab choices, the SuperCab, which offers small rear-hinged doors to access the two rear seats, or the SuperCrew, which has larger doors, and seating for three in the back. While the SuperCrew offers more rear-legroom, its bed is five feet long, as opposed to SuperCab’s six. Overall the Ranger’s interior design is relatively utilitarian, though creature comforts like leather seats are available on upper trims.

As with the Ford, the Tacoma has two cab choices. The Access Cab is the smaller of the two, while the Double Cab provides more space for rear passengers. In both configurations, the corresponding beds are almost identical to the Ranger’s with the Access Cab getting a six foot one inch-bed, and the Double Cab getting a five-foot bed. Interior quality is typical Toyota — meaning materials are high quality, and build quality is excellent.

That said, given how similar the available options are, we’re going to call this a draw.

Shop Toyota Tacoma Inventory

Infotainment System

Workhorse roots aside, a modern pickup has to have solid infotainment options, and both the Ford and Toyota deliver. Base model Rangers come with a 4.2-inch display, voice control, and a WiFi hotspot. Upgrading to Ford’s Sync3 system means an eight-inch touchscreen, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, along with support for navigation, and satellite radio.

In comparison, the Tacoma comes standard with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, and three USB ports. And while a seven-inch touchscreen, navigation, HD radio, and wireless charging are available, one thing absent from the options is support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

While we think both trucks offer plenty of functionality, we think not offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is an oversight on Toyota’s part, so we’re going to give the win to Ford here.

Shop Ford Ranger Inventory

Safety

Now, let’s talk safety. Since the Ranger is an all-new model, it hasn’t been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But it does come standard with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, and features like blind spot monitoring and lane keep assist are available.

In NHTSA testing, the Tacoma earned four of five stars, and the IIHS gave the truck its highest rating after evaluating it. The Tacoma also comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense, which includes cutting edge features like automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise.

It’s close here, but we’re going to give the safety edge to the Tacoma, given its solid test results and impressive list of standard features.

Shop Toyota Tacoma Inventory

Value and Price

So let’s talk price. The base model Ranger starts at $24,300, and the top-of-the-line Lariat trim will command $32,390.

In comparison, the base Tacoma starts at $25,700, with the range-topping TRD Pro coming in at $42,810.

Like most trucks, there are loads of different ways to configure these vehicles, so pricing will vary widely. But we think the Ford’s lower cost of entry gives it the win here.

Shop Ford Ranger Inventory

Verdict

Overall, while we're impressed by the Toyota's safety features, we think the Ranger's better engine, infotainment options, and more affordable base price give it the win.

The power of a test drive

Of course, you shouldn't buy a car without a thorough test drive. So if you're looking to check out one of more of these all-wheel drive corner carvers, find an AutoNation dealership near you!


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