Toyota and Ford have pioneered many aspects of the car industry, perhaps none more so than the mid-size truck category.
In production since 1995, the Tacoma was built on over 50 years of truck heritage and excelled as a simple yet reliable pickup truck. Over the years, it has flourished into an advanced and rugged design. Fast forward to 2020, the new 2020 Tacoma comes refreshed with a redesigned front grille, available LED headlights, and restyled tail lights.
The Ranger is another pickup truck that led the way for the future. The name “Ranger” has been given to multiple Ford vehicles over the years, but the Ford Ranger compact pickup truck debuted in North America in 1983 and was discontinued without a replacement in 2011. Currently, 2020 marks just the second year of this new generation of Rangers.
While the Ranger took a hiatus, the Tacoma continued to see improvements and has become one of Toyota's biggest successes.
Besides obvious exterior upgrades, both the Tacoma and Ranger entered the 2020 market with new advancements. See who comes out ahead in categories like reliability, safety, and interior in this head-to-head match up.
One characteristic that is key for mid-size truck drivers is reliability. As you continually use it every day, you want to know that you're getting what you paid for.
For the 2020 Tacoma, ToyotaCare comes as a major advantage. ToyotaCare is a maintenance program that comes standard on all new leases and purchases of Toyota vehicles lasting for 25,000 miles or two years. ToyotaCare also includes roadside assistance that lasts for two years and unlimited miles.
Ford also has a similar offering called Ford Protect Premium Maintenance Plan, but it costs extra. Plans are available in 5,000, 7,500, and 10,000 mile intervals for up to 8 years and 150,000 miles. The cost and how long this maintenance plan lasts depends on the number of months you buy.
Another factor to keep in mind is the gap from 2011 to 2019 when Ford stopped the production of the Ranger completely. Currently, the Ranger is only in its second year for this new generation of vehicles. With 50 years in truck experience and 25 years of perfecting the Tacoma, Toyota has been making influential improvements to keep their trucks running better and longer.
Toyota is also a KBB® Best Resale Value Brand for 2017, 2018, and 2019. The 2018 and 2019 Toyota Tacoma also won the Best Resale Value: Midsize Pickup Truck award. Also landing the number one spot for the Kelley Blue Book® 2019 5-Year Cost to Own Award: Best Mid-Size Pickup Truck, the Tacoma has a trophy case full of awards. The Ford Ranger has yet to receive any awards for the 2020 model year.
Advanced safety features come standard on all trims of the 2020 Tacoma. Comparable driver-assistance safety features will cost extra on the 2020 Ranger.
With a full suite of active safety features, the 2020 Tacoma comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense® P (TSS-P). This includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). Similar standard features are also available for the Ranger.
Ford offers Ford Co-Pilot360™ which includes Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane-Keep Assist, and a Rear View Camera. However, these comparable TSS-P features will cost extra. Ford drivers will have to get the XLT or Lariat trims for these to be included as standard safety features.
To include more driver assistance features on the Ranger like Adaptive Cruise Control, drivers must add the Technology Package (MSRP $2,165). Ford only offers this as an available feature on higher-grade trims, like the XLT, which has a starting MSRP of $28,460. Comparatively, the entire TSS-P safety suite is standard on even the base model 2020 Tacoma.
The 2020 Tacoma SR 4x2 Access Cab has a starting MSRP of $26,050 which includes more than the Ranger for less when it comes to safety. Toyota drivers can also take advantage of the Star Safety System™ which offers Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop Technology® (SST).
If you're looking for convenience while driving, hands-free technology is important to help keep you safe while on the go.
The 2020 Tacoma has Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. All Tacomas also come with a sleek touchscreen display. The base model Tacoma SR has a 7.0-in. touchscreen while the higher grades have 8.0-in. touchscreens.
In comparison, the 2020 Ranger XL has the option of coming with SYNC® 3, a voice-activated entertainment system. This interior feature includes Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and Amazon Alexa capabilities; but it comes at an added cost. The Ranger XLT trim has an 8.0-in. touchscreen. Ford customers will have to spend $28,460 to get similar interior features to the base trim Tacoma which starts at $26,050.
You also get more of a variety with the 2020 Tacoma. Offering six trim levels you can choose the truck for your driving needs. The TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro are specifically designed with off-roading capabilities in mind. Ford does offer the FX4 Off-Road Package (MSRP $1,295) as an available upgrade on any 4X4 Ranger.
With a new year comes the refreshed 2020 Tacoma bringing even more capability, more tech, and more style to this iconic off-road legend.
New features include a redesigned front grille, available LED headlights, and restyled tail lights. The 2020 Ranger is mostly unchanged from 2019 aside from a newly added available option electronic-locking rear differential, off-road suspension, and an off-road dedicated cluster screen in the cabin.
The Tacoma beats the competition with the TSS-P suite of advanced active safety features and ToyotaCare which includes a factory-scheduled maintenance plan and roadside assistance. Plus, every 2020 Tacoma has a functional interior with plenty of advantageous standard tech features like Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and Amazon Alexa compatibility.
Not only that, Toyota also comes out ahead in terms of price point as well. The price of the 2020 Ford Ranger XLT has a starting MSRP of $28,460. This is more expensive than the comparable 2020 Toyota Tacoma SR5 which starts at $27,825.
Whether you're looking for more reliability awards, more safety features, or more options, the Toyota Tacoma delivers. Get more of what you want in the 2020 Tacoma.