2021 Ford Ranger vs 2021 Toyota Tacoma for Sale in Cincinnati, OH

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  • 2021 Ford Ranger

    An orange 2021 Ford Ranger is angled left.

    Starting at

    $26,015 (est.)

    2021 Toyota Tacoma

    A white 2021 Toyota Tacoma is angled right.

    Starting at


    1,860Max Payload (lbs)1,685
    310Torque (lb-ft)180-265
    7,500Max Towing (lbs)6,800

    Midsize truck enthusiasts could barely curb their enthusiasm when Ford announced that it was bringing back the popular Ranger pickup truck in time for the 2019 model year. The new Ford Ranger featured many updates, including an improved powertrain, more aggressive and aerodynamic looks, and many great options, including the Ford Sync infotainment system. One of Ford’s biggest competitors, Toyota, made sure that its Tacoma midsize pickup truck didn’t get left in the dust. Now we have the honor of reaping the rewards of the battle between these two competitors with the 2021 Ford Ranger vs 2021 Toyota Tacoma

    In comparing the 2021 Ford Ranger and 2021 Toyota Tacoma, we see several key similarities. Both are offered with a choice of either a cab with two full-size and two half-size doors with room for four passengers (called a SuperCab by Ford and an Access Cab by Toyota) and one with four full-size doors and room for five passengers (called a SuperCrew by Ford and a Double Cab by Toyota). 

    Also, both the 2021 Ranger and the 2021 Tacoma standard safety features are part of a company standard safety system - the Ford Co-Pilot360 technology for the Ranger and the Toyota Safety Sense system for the Tacoma. Both manufacturers are to be commended by not putting a premium on the safety of their customers. Both trucks are also offered with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drivetrains. 

    However, even with these similarities, there are some key differences between the two trucks that set them apart from one another. These trucks are both great deals from price to towing and payload capacity, but one is definitely a little more powerful. See for yourself which of these trucks will come out on top in the battle for the top truck of 2021. 

  • Trims

    A blue 2021 Ford Ranger is driving on a road through snowy mountains.

    Both the 2021 Ford Ranger and the 2021 Toyota Tacoma have a very similar base price. The MSRP for a 2021 Ranger is estimated at $26,015, one hundred dollars less than the base MSRP on the 2021 Tacoma. Ford offers three different trim levels on the Ranger as compared to six on the 2021 Tacoma. However, this can be misleading when you factor in the two special editions offered by Ford.

    The Ranger Trims

    The base model 2021 Ford Ranger is the XL, with an estimated MSRP of $26,015. This model comes with your choice of a SuperCab or SuperCrew as well as rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. It also features the Ford PassConnect with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The Ranger XLT has an estimated MSRP of $30,065 and adds the Sync 3 infotainment features as well as additional body styling. The top-of-the-line Lariat trim adds heated leather seats for an estimated MSRP of $34,105.

    Ford also offers two special editions of the 2021 Ranger. The first is called the STX Special Edition and is available on the XLT trim platform. It features 18-inch black wheels and upgraded interior finishes for an estimated extra MSRP of $995. The other special edition is the Tremor, which is available on the XLT and Lariat trim levels. The Ranger Tremor is a fully loaded off-road vehicle with improved approach and departure angles, FOX 2.0 monotube dampers and rear piggyback reservoirs, rear recovery hooks, hoop-style steps, larger all-terrain tires, and a lifted suspension. This will add an estimated MSRP of $4,290 to the base MSRP of the trim you select for your 2021 Ranger.

    The Tacoma Trims

    In comparison, Toyota offers the 2021 Tacoma in six different trim levels. The base trim is the SR with an MSRP of $26,150. The SR5 trim adds integrated fog lights and a power-adjustable driver’s seat while bumping up the MSRP to $27,940. The TRD Sport has an MSRP of $33,060 and includes larger 17-inch wheels and a remote starter system. 

    The TRD Off-Road is designed for off-road enthusiasts and features a locking rear differential and a Multi-Terrain Select system with Crawl Control. This trim has a starting MSRP of $34,315. The Limited is the top trim when it comes to creature features with a premium JBL audio system, navigation, 18-inch wheels, and a panoramic view camera. The Tacoma Limited has a base MSRP of $38,905. Finally, the top off-road trim in the Tacoma lineup is the TRD Pro, with an MSRP of $44,075.

    While Toyota offers the Tacoma with six different trims as compared to three on the Ford, it has a higher overall price point than the Ford Ranger. Also, you can easily make up any of the differences in the trims by choosing one of the two special editions on the Ford Ranger. The STX Special Edition will only raise the MSRP on the Ranger XLT to about $31,000, which is still less than all but two of the trim levels on the Toyota Tacoma. If you want to make your Ranger a dedicated off-road vehicle, you can outfit either the XLT or Lariat with the Tremor special edition and still end up with a lower overall MSRP than the comparable Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road or TRD Pro.

  • Performance

    A white 2021 Ford Ranger is kicking up sand after winning the 2021 Ford Ranger vs 2021 Toyota Tacoma comparison.

    Engine Choices

    All of the 2021 Ford Rangers will come equipped with the 2.3-liter turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4 gas engine. This engine features direct fuel injection and produces 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. The 2021 Ranger takes all of the guesswork out of which engine will give you the best performance by only offering one engine choice that can do it all. 

    Toyota offers the 2021 Tacoma with a choice of two engines. The base engine is a 2.7-liter DOHC 16-valve I-4 gas engine. It features variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) to improve engine efficiency and produces 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque. The 2.7-liter is the standard engine on the Tacoma SR and SR5 trims. 

    The other engine is a 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6 gas engine. It features VVT-i and a direct-injection Atkinson cycle system. This engine can produce up to 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. It is standard on the Tacoma TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, and TRD Pro models and available as an option on the SR and SR5. 


    Ford has paired a 10-speed automatic transmission with the 2.3-liter turbo on the 2021 Ranger for a smooth ride. On the other hand, Toyota has opted for a 6-speed automatic transmission standard on both engines for the 2021 Tacoma. A 6-speed manual transmission is also available to those who opt for the 3.5-liter engine in the TRD Pro, TRD Off-Road, and TDR Sport trims. The added gear speeds on the Ranger’s engine will give you greater control and better engine efficiency than either of the Tacoma's transmissions. 

    Fuel Economy

    While the EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings for the 2021 Ranger have not been released, we know that both of these trucks have given excellent fuel economy in the past. We expect that the fuel economy rating for the 2021 Ranger will be about the same as the 2020 model year. The previous model of the Ranger provided 21 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway when equipped with rear-wheel drive, and 20 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway with four-wheel drive. We think the new model will be at least as good, if not better, in fuel economy. 

    These numbers drop with whichever engine you choose for the Toyota Tacoma. The rear-wheel drive Tacoma with the 2.7-liter engine provides 20 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway, while the four-wheel drive model gives an estimated 19 MPG in the city and 22 MPG on the highway. The fuel economy on the Tacoma with the larger 3.5-liter engine drops further. The rear-wheel drive model is estimated to provide 19 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway, and the four-wheel drive gets 18 MPG in the city and 22 MPG on the highway.

  • Capacities

    The interior and rows of seats are shown from the side inside an orange 2021 Ford Ranger extended cab.

    Towing Capacity

    If you need to get some towing done, either of these trucks will be able to do the job. The 2021 Ford Ranger has a maximum towing capacity of 7,500 pounds. Interestingly, the Tremor special edition has been designed to provide the same towing capacity even with the additional off-road equipment. Usually, off-road vehicles with the four-wheel drivetrain will provide a diminished towing capacity. 

    The 2021 Toyota Tacoma is a little bit weaker than the new Ranger. The Tacoma has a maximum towing capacity of 6,800 pounds. This is still a good amount of strength; however, you will need to choose the V-6 engine with a rear-wheel drivetrain to achieve this figure on the Tacoma. If you are in need of that little bit of extra power, then the Ranger is gonna be the best choice for you. 

    Payload capacity

    Similarly, the maximum payload capacity is greater for the Ford Ranger than it is for the Toyota Tacoma. The maximum payload capacity on the 2021 Ford Ranger is 1,860 pounds. This is almost 200 pounds more than the 1,685-pound payload capacity on the 2021 Toyota Tacoma.

    Passenger Space

    Both the 2021 Ford Ranger and the 2021 Toyota Tacoma come in two different cab types. The Ranger SuperCab features two full-size doors and two half-doors, with room for up to four passengers. The Ranger SuperCrew has four full-size doors and can accommodate up to five passengers. The Toyota Access Cab is the version of the SuperCab on the Tacoma, while the Toyota Double Cab is the same configuration as the SuperCrew.

    How Much Room is There?

    The Ford Ranger offers more legroom than the Toyota Tacoma. The first row of the Ranger has 43.1 inches of legroom as compared to 42.9 inches on the Tacoma. This becomes more pronounced in the rear seats. If you choose a Ranger SuperCrew, your backseat passengers will have 34.5 inches of legroom. There is only 32.6 inches of legroom in the Tacoma Double Cab’s backseat. This is even more pronounced if you opt for a SuperCab on your 2021 Ranger, which has 30.4 inches of legroom. The 2021 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab only has a very tight 24.6 inches of legroom.

Kings Ford 39.2953897, -84.3073983.