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2019 Ford Ranger 4 x 4 or Toyota Tacoma 4 x 4

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Greg Hartman

I recently decided to buy a new truck.  Decided on a "compact" truck (really, they are more like the size full-sized pick-ups used to be than the older compact trucks), because I didn't want to deal with the gas consumption, bulk and weight of the massive behemoths that are today's full-sized trucks when towing it behind the MH and for everyday driving.  Plus, a mid-size truck is much better for real-world off-road work. 

 

After studying the all of the available options, I went with the Ranger.  Tacos can't be flat-towed without considerable modification; and I must be able to tow my off-road vehicle behind the MH.  A new Ranger is a rolling computer, so all you need to do is go to "settings" on the dash and, in about 15 seconds, you can flat-tow.  You can go back to regular driving in even less time.

 

Also, in a direct comparison on the same day, Tacos felt very dated, slow, primitive and uncomfortable to me.  They do have a good record of reliability, however.

 

As between the Colorado/Canyon (which are also nice trucks) and the Ranger, the Ranger is the newer design and it has more power and torque, better 0-60 time and gets much better real world gas mileage with its 2.3 liter 4 banger turbo.  Frankly, power was my biggest concern in buying a mid-sized truck, because every truck I've owned in the past has been a V8.  After a couple months of Ranger ownership, I am very pleased with the Ranger's drivetrain.  Rather to my surprise, it is VERY peppy - plenty of both acceleration and low-end torque.  At the same time, I am getting a real-world average of about 20+ mpg in daily diving (mostly on winding mountain roads and traffic); and 25+ on the highway.  The ten-speed auto tranny is seamless and always seems to be in the perfect gear to balance power and economy. 

 

The Ranger has by far the best in class towing, as well - 7,500 lbs.  Though I agree that bigger is much better for towing in general, I'd think 3,500 lbs. wouldn't be any kind of problem.

 

The Ranger is NOT a new truck.  It is a well sorted-out design that has been sold in Europe and Australia for some years - it's only new to the US market.

 

I need really good off-road (and bad weather) capability.  I haven't tested this very much yet, but will soon when we go to MT for two months to hunt.  The Ranger has all sorts of computerized off-road settings and assistance - more than any of the others as far as I could tell; and is very well reviewed for serious off-road.

 

I think it looks cool and the gadgetry of the Lariat is nothing less than amazing to someone who has not had a new vehicle for a long time.  I spent a whole afternoon in the driveway with the manual after I brought it home, learning all of the things it can do - and I'm still learning.  The nice leather seats are very comfortable front and back and the B&O sound system is superb.  I really enjoy driving it.

 

 

6-8-19 - New Truck - 3

 

6-8-19 - New Truck - 2

 

Downsides? 

 

1.  Well, the biggest one to me was the cost.  A fully trimmed out truck (I wanted all the goodies - Lariat, towing package, off-road package, etc - because this will probably be my last new vehicle) is horribly expensive - I think the MRSP on mine was over $44k.  I didn't pay that much, of course, but still....  F150's with the same trim levels were listing at $60k or so, FWIW.  Then, after paying for the truck, I needed a good bed liner; a cap; a tow plate and remote braking system for towing behind the MH; good Weather Tech floor mats, etc - yet more bux.

 

2.  For the cost of the truck, there's a lot of hard plastic stuff inside, but that is true of all trucks.

 

3.  Getting in and out of the bed is a bit of a climb due to the height of the off-road set-up; and Fords don't have the handy step-upon bumper that the Chevys have.  I will be installing a folding step on each side when they become available.  Still need mud flaps, too.

 

4.  It rides like a truck.  My older mid-size Tundra crew cab rode like a limo.  Every mid-size truck I tested rode like a truck, so this isn't unique to the Ford, but a nicer ride would be better.  Not sure why they can't accomplish that.

 

The final benefit of Rangers is that they make great patterning boards when hidden behind bushes.  ☹️

 

7-30-19 - I shot my new truck

 

It's all fixed now.  🙂

 

 

8-8-19 - Ranger - 2

 

I'm just sharing what I've discovered in doing lots of research on this subject; and then in owning a Ranger for a couple months.  Obviously, your results may vary. 

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Flush

Not to say the Ranger will be un-reliable but the safer money on reliability is with the Toyota.

The Toyota will have better resale.

 

Some people don't like the seats and how they fit in the Toyota, others love them, only you can decide that.

 

FYI, The Ranger does not fair well in most comparison tests for mid-sized trucks, this is a little surprising considering it is new. The Chevy Colorado on the other hand does very well in these tests. I'm not a huge believer in those tests as they tend to put a lot of emphasis on things I don't care a lot about, but it was surprising to me the Ranger did not do well in a number of them. This is not the case with the F150.

 

Like most others have said, I would not want to tow 3500lbs with any frequency over distance with any mid-sized truck, especially if it's 3500lbs with a lot of frontal area like a TT or large boat. Occasionally would be ok, but if towing that weight would be a common thing I personally would much prefer to do it in a half-ton.

 

 

 

 

 

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CptSydor

I'm just going to throw out the opposite.

 

I currently have a 3500lb travel trailer (RPOD) which I pull with an F150, which is complete overkill in my opinion. I'm quite the proponent of having too much truck as well, and I've lugged various travel trailers extensively around Canada and the US, east to west coast.

 

These modern midsize trucks are the full size of old (probably better). Properly outfitted with tow packages, well adjusted trailer brakes, WDH/Sway etc are perfect combinations to tow 3500lbs for the average user. My F150 has another few years in our life span with it, but I'll be replacing it with a midsize with the intention of pulling our RPOD.

 

Ranger, Taco and Colorado with the proper equipment are rated to tow 6000-7000 and have 1500+ payload. My f150 is 7800 and 1800 payload with the 5.0

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Brad Eden
58 minutes ago, CptSydor said:

...

 

These modern midsize trucks are the full size of old (probably better). Properly outfitted with tow packages, well adjusted trailer brakes, WDH/Sway etc are perfect combinations to tow 3500lbs for the average user. My F150 has another few years in our life span with it, but I'll be replacing it with a midsize with the intention of pulling our RPOD.

 

Ranger, Taco and Colorado with the proper equipment are rated to tow 6000-7000 and have 1500+ payload. My f150 is 7800 and 1800 payload with the 5.0

 

Good point. The Tacoma was upped in size to almost a half ton pickup size in 2007, the same year they upped the size of the Tundra to the current huge dimensions. Although the Tacoma isn't nearly the truck that the first Gen Tundras are, when driving down the highway side by side you need to make a double take to see which is which. They are close in overall size.

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Wirehair
2 hours ago, Greg Hartman said:

 

 

The final benefit of Rangers is that they make great patterning boards when hidden behind bushes.  ☹️

 

7-30-19 - I shot my new truck

 

 

 

 

 

Looks like you might want to try some pheasants loads for better penetration!.............

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Brad Eden
2 minutes ago, Wirehair said:

 

 

Looks like you might want to try some pheasants loads for better penetration!.............

I also heard there are some Tungsten .410 Wild Turkey loads that would have provided additional ventilation.

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Flush
2 hours ago, Greg Hartman said:

 

 

As between the Colorado/Canyon (which are also nice trucks) and the Ranger, the Ranger is the newer design and it has more power and torque, better 0-60 time and gets much better real world gas mileage with its 2.3 liter 4 banger turbo.  Frankly, power was my biggest concern in buying a mid-sized truck, because every truck I've owned in the past has been a V8.  After a couple months of Ranger ownership, I am very pleased with the Ranger's drivetrain.  Rather to my surprise, it is VERY peppy - plenty of both acceleration and low-end torque.  At the same time, I am getting a real-world average of about 20+ mpg in daily diving (mostly on winding mountain roads and traffic); and 25+ on the highway.  The ten-speed auto tranny is seamless and always seems to be in the perfect gear to balance power and economy. 

 

The Ranger has by far the best in class towing, as well - 7,500 lbs.  Though I agree that bigger is much better for towing in general, I'd think 3,500 lbs. wouldn't be any kind of problem.

 

 

Not to be argumentative but there are some things stated here that are...... well....they are not correct.

I'm not a GM homer, in fact all things being equal I tend to prefer Ford and I currently own both a Ford and Chevy truck.

 

The V6 Chevy has more horsepower than the Ranger. The Chevy V6 has 308hp while the Ford turbo4 has 270hp. The Ford does have more torque 310ft-lbs vs 275ft-lbs.

 

In 0-60 tests the results vary but they are very very similar between the two trucks. I haven't seen a direct head to head comparison but in published numbers by reputable organizations the Chevy has been as fast at 6.1 to as slow as 6.9 seconds (versus 6.5-6.9 seconds for the Ranger). It's basically a wash.

 

Chevy actually has best in class towing with 7700lbs (for the diesel) and the V6 is 7000lbs

 

The EPA mileage ratings are indeed better for the Ford 20city/24hwy vs Chevy 17city/24hwy. The real world mileage is all over the placed for Ford eco-boost (turbo) truck owners. Some do very well in real world, others do terrible, presumably because they are "on the turbo" a lot. I watched a head to head test by an online "magazine" and surpisingly the V6 Chevy got 21.2 mpg vs 19.4mpg for the Ford so I think real-world mileage comes down to a matter of how you use them.

 

I've read or watched at least a dozen comparison tests between the Colorado and Ranger and I have to say not a single one has placed the Ford over the Chevy.

Again my personal inclination is Ford over Chevy as far as brands go, but I think in this truck segment there is a really strong argument to be made to at least consider the Chevy. 

 

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salmontogue
3 minutes ago, Flush said:

 

Not to be argumentative but there are some things stated here that are...... well....they are not correct.

I'm not a GM homer, in fact all things being equal I tend to prefer Ford and I currently own both a Ford and Chevy truck.

 

The V6 Chevy has more horsepower than the Ranger. The Chevy V6 has 308hp while the Ford turbo4 has 270hp. The Ford does have more torque 310ft-lbs vs 275ft-lbs.

 

In 0-60 tests the results vary but they are very very similar between the two trucks. I haven't seen a direct head to head comparison but in published numbers by reputable organizations the Chevy has been as fast at 6.1 to as slow as 6.9 seconds (versus 6.5-6.9 seconds for the Ranger). It's basically a wash.

 

Chevy actually has best in class towing with 7700lbs (for the diesel) and the V6 is 7000lbs

 

The EPA mileage ratings are indeed better for the Ford 20city/24hwy vs Chevy 17city/24hwy. The real world mileage is all over the placed for Ford eco-boost (turbo) truck owners. Some do very well in real world, others do terrible, presumably because they are "on the turbo" a lot. I watched a head to head test by an online "magazine" and surpisingly the V6 Chevy got 21.2 mpg vs 19.4mpg for the Ford so I think real-world mileage comes down to a matter of how you use them.

 

I've read or watched at least a dozen comparison tests between the Colorado and Ranger and I have to say not a single one has place the Ford over the Chevy.

Again my personal inclination is Ford over Chevy as far as brands go, but I think in this truck segment there is a really strong argument to be made to at least consider the Chevy. 

 

How about full-size Ram?

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bobman

Almost every other week I rent a full size truck from enterprise, my employer wants it done this way, chevys, fords and  Rams.

 

i usually drive at least 500 miles one way each week

 

Ive been doing this for the last two and a half years

 

When I first started doing this I was thinking I’d like the F150 and was surprised to find out that the Ram is without question a much better truck. 

 

Better real world mileage, better power, better comfort, better everything IMO

 

I liked them so much I bought one for my wife

 

Ram has passed the other ones up IMO

 

these trucks are all 1500 or 150 size four door crew cabs

 

Id rank them Ram, ford, Chevy in that order

 

 

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Flush
18 minutes ago, salmontogue said:

How about full-size Ram?

 

Not sure why you would compare full-size Ram to mid-size Ford and Chevy?

 

I tend to agree full-size trucks make a lot of sense for the majority of people. There is a reason full-size sales dwarf mid-size sales, but for some people mid-size trucks make the most sense. If you are going to bring full-size Ram into it, you might as well bring full-size Ford and Chevy too.

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salmontogue
1 minute ago, Flush said:

 

Not sure why you would compare full-size Ram to mid-size Ford and Chevy?

 

I tend to agree full-size trucks make a lot of sense for the majority of people. There is a reason full-size sales dwarf mid-size sales, but for some people mid-size trucks make the most sense. If you are going to bring full-size Ram into it, you might as well bring full-size Ford and Chevy too.

I was not making a comparison to mid-size pickups but was asking about your thoughts on comparisons of the full-sized pickups.  It is obvious that you have put a lot of thought into your observations.

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salmontogue
13 minutes ago, bobman said:

Almost every other week I rent a full size truck from enterprise, my employer wants it done this way, chevys, fords and  Rams.

 

i usually drive at least 500 miles one way each week

 

Ive been doing this for the last two and a half years

 

When I first started doing this I was thinking I’d like the F150 and was surprised to find out that the Ram is without question a much better truck. 

 

Better real world mileage, better power, better comfort, better everything IMO

 

I liked them so much I bought one for my wife

 

Ram has passed the other ones up IMO

 

these trucks are all 1500 or 150 size four door crew cabs

 

Id rank them Ram, ford, Chevy in that order

 

 

I wonder if the pecking order would be the same in 3/4 and 1 ton gas pickups and also in the diesels.  This comes at a time when I am contemplating a new truck purchase.

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Flush
14 minutes ago, salmontogue said:

I was not making a comparison to mid-size pickups but was asking about your thoughts on comparisons of the full-sized pickups.  It is obvious that you have put a lot of thought into your observations.

 

Oh gotcha. Thanks. To be honest I've paid more attention to the mid-size market as of late especially with the Ranger Introduction. With that said for me I've decided I would not purchase a newer mid-size. The cost and fuel economy savings don't make sense vs a full size half ton.

 

Personally I put a LOT of emphasis on long term reliability and dependability. I'm not particularly concerned with lots of features and "niceties". I very often own and drive my vehicles for well over 200,000 miles. For this reason I almost don't seriously consider any Chrysler product. 

 

I think the Rams are very very nice. I think like Bobman noted above they probably have the "nicest" full size half-ton truck on the market today. If you were going to buy new and only keep the vehicle for a few years or even up to 100,000 miles they would be a great truck to consider.

I don't necessarily think RAM reliability is "bad" but by any measurable metric you can find as well as anectodal evidence, RAM is behind Ford and GM (and they are all behind Toyota)

 

 

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bobman

No idea about the bigger trucks

 

I just got rid of my f-350 crew cab dually and that’s a truck I won’t miss lots of continual small issues, while my f150 has been very good.

 

The f350 really pulled trailers well.

 

 I won’t buy the current diesels, with modern gassers making good power and 8-10 speed transmissions I think that’s the way to go if you’re not pulling something heavy every day

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Greg Hartman

 

Quote

 

The V6 Chevy has more horsepower than the Ranger. The Chevy V6 has 308hp while the Ford turbo4 has 270hp. The Ford does have more torque 310ft-lbs vs 275ft-lbs.

 

Correct.  I don't think I said the Ford has more horsepower.  The Ford "felt" (yeah, subjective, I know)  a bit more powerful when I drove them side-by-side, maybe due to the torque.

 

Quote

 

In 0-60 tests the results vary but they are very very similar between the two trucks. I haven't seen a direct head to head comparison but in published numbers by reputable organizations the Chevy has been as fast at 6.1 to as slow as 6.9 seconds (versus 6.5-6.9 seconds for the Ranger). It's basically a wash.

 

At a practical level, I agree.  But, once again, the Ford "felt" a bit more powerful/responsive/whatever when I drove them side-by-side.

 

Quote

 

Chevy actually has best in class towing with 7700lbs (for the diesel) and the V6 is 7000lbs

 

I wasn't considering diesels - was only referring to gas vehicles.  How much more costly are those?  Also, I'm not sure I'd want a diesel engine in a daily driver.  They are great for hard, heavy duty use, like in my big MH, but a bit of a hassle, with the DEF and expensive maintenance, for every day drivers.

 

Quote

 

The EPA mileage ratings are indeed better for the Ford 20city/24hwy vs Chevy 17city/24hwy. The real world mileage is all over the placed for Ford eco-boost (turbo) truck owners. Some do very well in real world, others do terrible, presumably because they are "on the turbo" a lot. I watched a head to head test by an online "magazine" and surpisingly the V6 Chevy got 21.2 mpg vs 19.4mpg for the Ford so I think real-world mileage comes down to a matter of how you use them.

 

Can't argue with that - just citing my experience.  I also know that some of my buddies with new Chevy/GMC's are not happy with the mileage.  Maybe it's all about how you drive?  When driving a truck or the big diesel MH, I tend to be keenly aware of mileage and try to accelerate slowly, keep up monentum, etc.  When driving my two-seater, not so much.  🤪

 

Quote

 

I've read or watched at least a dozen comparison tests between the Colorado and Ranger and I have to say not a single one has placed the Ford over the Chevy.

Again my personal inclination is Ford over Chevy as far as brands go, but I think in this truck segment there is a really strong argument to be made to at least consider the Chevy. 

 

 

The Chevy's are nice mid-size trucks for sure, but most of the on-line reviews I've seen (obviously different than what you have seen) go the other way.  Regardless, I agree that the Chevy/GMC is worthy of a close look for any mid-size buyer.  The Taco less so, IMO, despite the likely well-deserved rep for reliability. I know this is a tired old saw and that vehicles are sourced from all over the place these days, but I still do like to buy American when I can get what I want from an American company.  GM (Government Motors) still sticks a bit in my craw.

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