- Tacoma is a best-seller despite fierce competition from others; Over thirty configurations possible; Available manual transmission.
- Ford Ranger has sleek looks; Off-road capable Tremor package; Multiple configurations.
2021 Toyota Tacoma
Base Price: $28,155 / Read our 2021 Toyota Tacoma Review
What we like: Reliable and highly customizable for a variety of needs; TRD package is off-road capable; Legendary Toyota build quality and excellent resale value help seal the deal.
What we would change: The styling is becoming a bit dated, even with the Anime-style grille; Due for an update.
Overview: The best-selling midsize truck on the road today, the Toyota Tacoma is still the leader of the pack. Kudos to the brand for excellent build quality. A high number of configurations can handle many buyer’s needs; By the numbers, there are 33 model combinations available with long or short beds, differing cab sizes, and more. Off-road enthusiasts can equip their TRD models with a six-speed manual transmission.
What’s new for 2021: V6 models now get dual-zone climate control standard. New Trail Edition is based on SR5 Double Cab, while the Nightshade model is based on Limited Double Cab. TRD Pro models get Lunar Rock as a new color.
Features and Technology: Tacoma receives standard power from a 2.7-liter inline-4 making 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. The available 3.5-liter V6 makes 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque gets almost the same mileage. It would be our overall choice. Tow capable up to 6,800 pounds.
What does the future hold: Rumors are worth what you pay for them, but we hear of a possible redesign for the 2024 model year. See 2021 Toyota Tacoma models for sale near you
2021 Ford Ranger
Base Price: $28,015 / Read our 2021 Ford Ranger Review
What we like: Single but powerful engine choice; Good fuel economy; 7,500-pound tow rating; Best-in-class payload.
What we would change: Add powertrain choices; Expand cab and bed options; rough ride at times.
Overview: With two cab sizes, a couple of bed lengths, and a single powertrain choice, some may think the Ford Ranger is limited in its abilities. But not so fast: The best in class payload and a hefty tow rating get to do the talking here, and when combined with high-tech infotainment and safety features add up to a well-rounded vehicle.
What’s new for 2021: New for 2021, the Tremor Off-Road package becomes available
Features and technology: The Ford Ranger returns to the midsize truck market with a highly adaptable truck that makes everyone forget the previous version. The Ranger is powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline 4-cylinder engine developing 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. That power routes through a 10-speed automatic transmission. If friends and family are along for the ride, we recommend the SuperCrew over the tighter SuperCab. The Tow-Optimized Blind Spot Monitoring system extends rear vision to whatever is being towed behind the truck. That feature, along with the Bang & Olufsen 10-speaker audio system, form a pair of our favorite options. Co-Pilot360 safety suite is standard.
What does the future hold: The Ford Tremor is new for 2021 and features real off-road capabilities. Expect the current design to undergo minor trim changes during the next two or three years. See 2021 Ford Ranger Models for sale near you
Tacoma vs. Ranger: Strengths Comparison
Toyota Tacoma benefits: Reliability; capabilities; substantial resale value.
Ford Ranger benefits: Fuel efficient, Best-in-class payload, and strong towing.
2021 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2021 Ford Ranger: Which Is Better?
The Ford Ranger is one of the latest models to hit the big time. Its new looks and vast group of options will satisfy most buyers. Conversely, the Toyota Tacoma provides a wide variety of vehicles for most users with outstanding reliability and resale value. For these reasons, the Tacoma is our pick. Find a 2021 Toyota Tacoma for sale or Find a 2021 Ford Ranger for sale
|2021 Toyota Tacoma||2021 Ford Ranger|
|Engine||2.7-liter I4||2.3-liter Turbo I4|
|Horsepower||159 hp @ 5,200 rpm||270 hp @ 5,500 rpm|
|Torque||180 lb-ft @ 3,800 rpm||310 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm|
|Transmission||6-spd automatic||10-speed automatic|
|Fuel Economy||21 mpg (20 city/23 hwy)||23 mpg (21 city/26 hwy)|
|Also Available||3.5-liter V6; 6 M/T; AWD; Cabs & Beds||AWD; Cabs and Beds; Tremor off-road package|
|Warranty||3years/36,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Safety Rating||4-star||4-star|
|Max Seating Capacity||4||5|
|Wheelbase||127.4 inches||126.8 inches|
|Overall Length||212.3 inches||210.8 inches|
|Width||75.2 inches||77.8 inches|
|Height||70.6 inches||71.1 inches|
|Turning Diameter||40.6 feet||42.0 feet|
|Headroom, Front||39.7 inches||41.0 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||34.9 inches||38.3 inches|
|Legroom, Front||42.9 inches||43.1 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||24.6 inches||34.5 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||58.3 inches||56.7 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||56.5 inches||56.3 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||100.1 cu. ft.||97.6 cu. ft.|
|Max Payload||1,620 pounds||2,128 pounds|