The Ford Ranger is back in the U.S. after a seven-year hiatus in time for the 2019 model year. The Ranger proves that power can come in fun size. This compact pickup truck directly competes with the likes of the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado. In this comparison guide, we've selected the Tacoma to go up against the Ranger. Will the returning champion prevail? Read on to find out.
Towing and Hauling: 2019 Ford Ranger
A compact truck is still a truck, right? And you expect a truck to work for its supper. Well, the scrappy Ranger is happy to oblige. With its powerful engine, the Ranger can tow up to 7,500 pounds, when properly equipped. And its payload capacity is extraordinarily capable as well, weighing in at 1,860 pounds. That's the kind of work potential we'd expect from a truck. Good boy.
By comparison, the Toyota Tacoma tows and hauls less. Properly equipped, the Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 pounds. If you're throwing the load in the back, you've got about 1,620 pounds of payload capacity. Numbers don't lie. The Ford Ranger does better what trucks do best.
Performance: 2019 Ford Ranger
The Lone Ranger had only Tonto, and the Ford Ranger's lone engine option is a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost, delivering 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Because it's the only engine available, this one is great for a base engine. Then again, the standard 10-speed automatic transmission is quite good, shifting with precision and confidence, no matter the condition of the road.
The Toyota Tacoma offers two engine options, but the base engine is weak and the V6 is on equal footing with the Ranger's. The base 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine generates 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, whereas the available 3.5-liter V6 makes 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard, though a six-speed manual is available. Even though the Tacoma's V6 engine does 8 extra horses over the Ranger's turbocharged engine, that's its only advantage. The Ranger has more torque and a better transmission. We're calling this category for the Ranger.
If you don't care what your truck looks like, just what it can do, you already have your answer. But we just wanted to pause and take a long look at the Ranger. Trucks looked different back when the Ranger went away. Upon its return, Ford could have easily just made a miniaturized F-150. But they gave the Ranger a look all its own. A hexagonal grille, LED lowbeam lamps, and an LED accent strip at the bottom contribute to that unique look. While the rear looks like a functional F-150, inside the cabin the Ranger eschews the blocky look of its bigger siblings for a sleek appearance.
The Toyota Tacoma has its own bold look, with angled headlights and a grille that dominates its front. Its two-tone color scheme is a breath of fresh air. One thing is for certain, as great as the Tacoma looks, the Ranger returns on par with its rivals.