|Max. Towing (lbs)
|Max. Payload (lbs)
|Base Bed Length (in)
The F-150 has been the best-selling full-size truck in America for decades, often stealing the spotlight from smaller siblings like the Ranger. There's a mentality in the truck segment that bigger is always better; however, Ranger fans know that isn't always the case, recognizing the Ranger's incredible versatility and agility as a midsize marvel. Those characteristics lay the foundation for the Ranger's showmanship, which takes center stage when you slate the 2024 Ford Ranger vs 2024 Toyota Tacoma in a match with a major plot twist.
The Tacoma has long been a favorite in the midsize truck segment, garnering acclaim for its reliability, versatility, and longevity. It's even known affectionately as the "Taco" and is a staple on trails around the country as off-roaders swear by its agility and appreciate its endless options for customization. However, the Tacoma has several disadvantages, especially when you compare the beloved Toyota with rivals like the Ford Ranger.
One of the biggest complaints about the Tacoma is that Toyota has done very little to upgrade the truck over the years; the 2024 Tacoma tries to remedy this, introducing the truck's fourth generation and a host of long overdue updates. The timing is critical because the Ranger is also all-new for 2024. Still, it hasn't been as long between generations because Ford frequently updates its models to improve the user experience and give drivers everything they need and more behind the wheel. It's a notable difference that puts the 2024 Ranger legions ahead of the Tacoma.
But how else do the models differ? How does the 2024 Ranger gain an advantage over the 2024 Tacoma? From performance and capability to tech-savvy features, here's everything you need to know about the race between the 2024 Ford Ranger and the 2024 Toyota Tacoma.
Toyota introduces the fourth-generation Tacoma on the TNGA-F truck platform, which is also used on the Sequoia and Tundra. The 2024 Tacoma promises more capability than ever, boasting a new high-strength boxed steel-ladder frame, a redesigned multi-link coil rear suspension, and an updated powertrain. However, the question is whether the Tacoma can fulfill its promise with only a turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine.
The 2024 Tacoma's standard powerplant is a 2.4L i-FORCE turbocharged four-cylinder mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This engine produces 228 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque, which is impressive until you look at the 2024 Ranger. Ford doesn't shy away from giving the Ranger incredible power right out of the gate, equipping it with a standard 2.3L EcoBoost turbocharged inline-four that produces 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The difference is substantial, especially considering the Ranger has a smooth-shifting ten-speed automatic transmission.
To be fair, Toyota tunes the Tacoma's standard powerplant to deliver more power beyond the entry-level Tacoma SR. However, this requires spending more money for only slightly more power, with top-tier trims producing 278 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque with the eight-speed automatic transmission or 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque with the six-speed manual transmission. Once again, the Ranger outshines the Tacoma, with Ford offering its midsize marvel with a V6 powerhouse that delivers 315 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.
The Ranger roars to life in 2024, leaving the Tacoma in the dust by offering an engaging and dynamic experience in the driver's seat. Ford guarantees as much by outfitting the truck with a fully-boxed high-strength steel frame, a longer wheelbase for improved stability and better ground clearance, and all the components needed to tackle your weekday commute and weekend adventures. The combination is incredible, especially with the Ranger's 2.7L EcoBoost V6 engine, class-exclusive ten-speed automatic transmission, and Ford's electronic shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive system for on-demand traction and power.
Toyota and Ford take two distinct approaches with their lineups in 2024. The Tacoma's 2024 lineup is extensive, starting with the entry-level SR and progressing to the SR5, TRD Pre-Runner, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, TRD Pro, and Trailhunter. While there's the idea that more is always better, that isn't the case here because the Tacoma's lineup is watered down and convoluted. The TRD Pro is the ultimate Tacoma trail warrior, but where does that leave the TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and Trailhunter? It's confusing—but Ford shows us it doesn't have to be.
Instead of watering down the Ranger family, Ford gives the midsize marvel the spotlight it deserves. The 2024 Ranger is available in the XL, XLT, and Lariat. The Ranger's not-so-hidden powerhouse is the Raptor, which transforms the Ranger into a warrior on and off the pavement. For 2024, the Ranger Raptor takes its title as the most powerful, high-performance Ranger in history, destined for the most technical terrain, from sand dunes to forested slopes and every trail between.
The secret to the Raptor's capability is its 3.0L EcoBoost turbocharged V6 engine, an option you won't find in the Tacoma's powertrain lineup for 2024. The EcoBoost pushes the Ranger Raptor to best-in-class 405 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque, far exceeding the Tacoma TRD Pro and its 315-hp inline-four cylinder engine. Ford heightens the Ranger Raptor's performance by adding an electronically controlled on-demand two-speed transfer case, front and rear-locking differentials, and class-exclusive 2.5-inch FOX Live Valve shocks that ensure the Raptor is ready for every adventure ahead.
Like the Ranger, the 2024 Tacoma TRD Pro also comes with FOX shocks but boasts the QS3 three-way adjustable internal bypass shocks and the FOX Internal Floating Piston rear bump stops. The FOX shocks level the playing field in terms of agility and maneuverability, but Ford does more to enhance your control over the Raptor's performance. The Tacoma's Multi-Terrain Select includes Mud, Dirt, and Sand modes, but the Raptor lineup is more expansive and includes Normal, Tow/Haul, Sport, Slippery, Baja, Off-Road, and Rock Crawl. With more drive modes, Ford makes the Ranger Raptor more versatile, ensuring it can seamlessly shift from your weekday drive to adventure mode with the touch of a button.
While many people assume that a midsize truck can't pull its weight as a reliable work partner, that isn't the case with a truck like the 2024 Ford Ranger. Ford trucks are "Built Ford Tough," and the 2024 Ranger is no exception; its toughness and brute strength are incredible, especially when you look at rivals like the 2024 Tacoma.
The midsize Tacoma has an obvious disadvantage because it relies on an inline four-cylinder engine. Even with the powertrain tuned for a higher output on top-tier trims, the Tacoma struggles to keep up and can only support a 1,709-lb payload or tow a trailer up to 6,500 lbs. That leaves a lot to be desired and gives the Ranger a critical opportunity to outshine the competition. Fortunately, it isn't difficult with a V6 in its wheelhouse that boosts the truck's maximum payload to 1,805 lbs and its trailering capacity to 7,500 lbs.
Since both trucks can pull moderate-sized loads, the 2024 Ranger and 2024 Tacoma have integrated trailer brake controllers and 360-degree cameras to enhance your view when towing, navigating your weekday commute, or venturing across technical terrain. The trucks also offer backup assistance tools that level the learning curve and help you navigate your trailer in reverse like a seasoned pro. However, the intuitiveness of these features is dramatically different, with the 2024 Ranger proving far more user-friendly.
When towing a trailer with the 2024 Ranger, you can engage Pro Trailer Backup Assist and use the 360-degree camera via the standard 10.1-inch or 12.0-inch touchscreen display. The class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist works with Trailer Reverse Guidance, using the Ranger's extensive camera system to show you the perfect angle and your surroundings. Once engaged, all you have to do is turn a knob to maneuver the Ranger and accompanying trailer into the ideal position. Alternatively, the Tacoma's Trailer Back Up Guidance isn't as seamless or straightforward and, instead, coaches you through the movements with the Straight Path Assist Feature that requires you to position your rig in a straight line before maneuvering. It's a few extra steps that Ford skips, making the 2024 Ranger far more agile, efficient, and effective.