Why Tacoma beats Ranger

Front-corner shot of a 2019 Tacoma TRD Sport.
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The Tacoma as we know it today was first produced in 1995. It became the newest addition to the Toyota truck family which began in 1969 with the Toyota Hilux. Meanwhile, the name "Ranger" has been given to a variety of Ford vehicles over the years. The Ford Ranger compact pickup truck debuted in North America in 1983 and was discontinued without a replacement in 2011. Now, Ford revives the Ranger for the 2019 model year.

In this head-to-head, we will compare key features of the new 2019 Ranger vs. the 2019 Tacoma, which won Kelley Blue Book's® 2019 5-Year Cost to Own Award: Best Mid-Size Pickup Truck.

Published date: 01/31/2019

Head to Head Comparison: 2019 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2019 Ford Ranger

2019 Tacoma driving down a foggy highway, with standard Star Safety System graphic on the left.

Safety: 2019 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2019 Ford Ranger

When looking at advanced active safety features, the Tacoma comes out on top. All trims of the Tacoma come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P). This system includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Sway Warning System (SWS), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), and Automatic High Beams (AHB).


There is a clear divide when we compare the standard advanced active safety features of Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) to those that come standard on the 2019 Ford Ranger.


The Ranger XL has just one of the TSS-P comparable driver assistance features, while the XLT and Lariat trims have three. To include more comparable driver assistance features on the base-model 2019 Ranger XL, drivers must add on the Technology Package, which includes Adaptive Cruise Control but comes at an additional cost.


No trim level of the 2019 Ford Ranger has a standard safety feature comparable to TSS-P's Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Sunrise camping shot of 2019 Tacoma TRD Off-Road with a couple in a nearby tent.

Reliability: 2019 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2019 Ford Ranger

When you purchase a 2019 Toyota Tacoma, you can rest assured that your investment is backed by 50 years of truck heritage. Toyota was named the Kelley Blue Book® Best Resale Value Brand for 2018, and the Tacoma won Kelley Blue Book's® 2019 5-Year Cost to Own Awards: Best Mid-Size Pickup Truck.


Naturally, this reputation extends to the 2019 Toyota Tacoma. That's why the 2019 Tacoma is covered by a three-year, 36,000-mile basic warranty, a 60-month, 60,000-mile Powertrain and Restraint Systems warranty, and a 60-month, unlimited miles Corrosion Perforation warranty. See Toyota dealer for details.


Plus, with advantageous ToyotaCare no-cost factory scheduled maintenance plan for two years/25,000 miles and complimentary 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or unlimited miles on every 2019 Toyota Tacoma, new drivers can feel at ease knowing that they have a plan in place. See a Toyota dealer for details and exclusions.


2019 Ford Ranger drivers will get a standard three-year, 36,000-mile Bumper to Bumper warranty and Roadside Service Assistance.


Tacoma drivers need not worry as this compact pickup provides peace of mind and legendary reliability. It's no surprise that the legendary Toyota Tacoma has been the best-selling compact pickup truck for the last 14 years based on manufacturer estimates of CY 2005-2018 sales.


2019 will be the Ford Ranger's first year after the line was discontinued in 2011.

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Interior side-shot of the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro in black with man in driver's seat.

Interior: 2019 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2019 Ford Ranger

A top-notch interior and multi-information display system can help you make the most out of your driving experience. Both the 2019 Toyota Tacoma and the 2019 Ford Ranger come with a multitude of interior features for your comfort and convenience. Yet, only the Tacoma has a cockpit-inspired, driver-centric interior layout that matches the aggressive external styling so many enjoy. Let's take a look at how they compare.


The base grade of the Toyota Tacoma comes with a variety of interior touches that make Toyota's compact pickup truck stand out from its competitors. Every 2019 Tacoma comes standard with a touch-screen multimedia display and three USB ports. To compare, the top Lariat trim is the only Ranger trim that comes with a touch-screen, and the Lariat only comes with two smart-charging USB ports. Plus, the Tacoma's touch-screen is larger with a 4.2-in. Multi-Information Display (MID) vs. the Ranger's 2.3-in. Productivity Screen.


If we look at the equivalent grades of both truck models, the Tacoma is the clear winner. The 2019 Toyota Tacoma SR5 comes with Entune Audio including a 6.1-in touch-screen display, six speakers, and three USB ports. The comparable Ford model, the Ford Ranger XL, comes with just one USB port, AM/FM stereo, and four speakers. The Ranger XL must be upgraded with Ford's SYNC® system at an additional cost of $1,135 to include a touch-screen and hands-free capabilities.

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Couple riding their mountain bikes off-road near 2019 Tacoma.

Conclusion: 2019 Toyota Tacoma vs. 2019 Ford Ranger Head to Head

Drivers looking for a reliable and functional compact pickup truck need to look no further than the 2019 Toyota Tacoma. The Tacoma offers a multitude of high-tech features in safety, infotainment, and reliability both on and off the road. It's no wonder why the Toyota Tacoma has been the best-selling compact pickup truck on the market for the last 14 years based on manufacturer estimates of CY 2005-2018 sales -- a stark contrast to the Ford Ranger, which has not been built for the North American market since 2011.


With 50 years in the truck industry, Toyota trucks come with legendary reliability. Built with quality, dependability, and reliability in mind, the Toyota Tacoma won Kelley Blue Book's® 2019 5-Year Cost to Own Awards: Best Mid-Size Pickup Truck. In comparison, the 2019 Ford Ranger comes to the North American market brand new for this year.


When it comes down to it, the Tacoma has more of what compact truck owners are looking for: manual or automatic transmissions, engine options, legendary resale value, active safety features standard, and over 50 years of Toyota truck heritage. These advantages, plus the reliability of the Toyota name, make the 2019 Toyota Tacoma the right choice in this mid-size truck comparison.

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