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Toyota Tacoma vs. Ford Ranger, Part XII



  • At this point I don't even know why I'm wasting my time with you. Honestly.

    Toyota's 3.4 has been around since 1995. This engine is 7 years old and produces 190 horses and 220 lb/ft torque. Before Ford updated their 4.0, this engine made 160 horses and 220 lb/ft torque (SAME AS TACOMA) as well - pretty pitiful considering its .6 litre displacement advantage. So for the past 6 years, before Ford's updated 4.0, the Tacoma's engine was the stronger of the two.

    Of course, you're going to say, "well, that's in the past, let's look at the present." As you well know, the HP war is always raging on, and competitors continually update their engines, as Ford has just done. And so will Toyota with its 3.7. But the fact remains that for 6 out of the past 7 years, the Tacoma's engine was stronger than the Ranger's, and since about 1998 a supercharger was offered to boot.

    At any rate, you really put your foot in your mouth when you said Toyota needs superchargers to remain competitive due to their lack of cubic inches. They've been more than competitive, and all the supercharger did was make a top-notch super-reliable engine all that much better.

    Of course, I could post a link saying how comparisons between the Tacoma and Ranger resulted in the Tacoma winning EVERY PERFORMACE CATERGORY - acceleration, braking, skidpan/turning, suspension, etc. But you would whine about something else...
  • Tacoma. It was competing against the Ranger:


    Although the compact Tacoma XtraCab itself is not completely new, the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) suspension and locking rear differential package is. The TRD Off-Road Package offers oversized fender flares, alloy wheels, 31-inch tires, Bilstein shocks, slightly softer spring rates, and an electromechanical, button-actuated rear locking differential, all for $1,690.

    Our Surfside Green test unit came with the 3.4-liter, dual-overhead cam, 24-valve engine and five-speed manual transmission. The Tacoma came factory-equipped with the lowest axle gears of the test: 4.10:1. It was this combination of excellent gearing (First gear for the factory five-speed is 3.83:1) that made testers comment about how readily the Tacoma jumped off the line. In fact, during track testing, the Tacoma was substantially faster than the others, both loaded and unloaded (see page 30). Tract ion came courtesy of a more aggressive tread in the 31x10.50 Goodyear Wrangler three-stage GSA. We found it supplied surprisingly good cornering power on pavement, with plenty of potential for aired-down trail running. As well as the Tacoma performed on the track, it was on the trail where the premium import seemed most comfortable. Best-in-class ground clearance, the most aggressive tread of the bunch, and a crawl ratio of better than 40:1 made the Tacoma everyone' s choice for hill climbs and steep backside descents. Even our resident auto-tranny diehards had to admit that the lively throttle response, sure-grip clutch, and built-to-work gearing meshed together as well as any championship-caliber team. In each perf ormance-related category of our test, the Toyota won.

    It's not often that our collection of testers agree on anything (in fact, never), but this year's Pickup Truck of the Year was a unanimous decision. Praises relating to the TRD suspension mentioned its ability to control rutted, seriously choppy terra in better than any other vehicle we'd driven. One tester went so far as to note that during a few moments of an effortless dry-wash run, it seemed the spirit of Ivan Stewart had taken over his body. This is a truck that can go slow or go fast, on pavement or off.

    Ultimately, in addition to a strong engine, good tires, and supremely tuned suspension, the clutch defeat switch (the only one in a truck sold in the US.), lever-operated transfer case, and pushbutton locking rear differential were the icing on a toug h-truck cake. Although you have to pay a premium for a premium package, the TRD Tacoma, dollar for dollar, is the best on- and off-highway compact package (maybe of any truck) we've seen. This truck has features the others just don't offer, and they all w ork. And that's why it's our 1998 Pickup Truck of the Year.

    Copyright © 1999 Petersen Publishing L.L.C. All rights reserved.

    Oh, and by the way, this wasn't a supercharger equipped Tacoma; rather, it was one of those non-competitive small-displacement lacking cubic inch engines you keep talking about.
  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    I know I've said this before, but do we really need much more power than these already good engines provide? I mean, really - compact trucks aren't built for towing big loads so a huge HP engine won't matter in that respect. I'd rather they spent their money making these engines more fuel efficient. If I want/need a big block, I'll get a full size truck. Maybe I'm just getting old....
  • But the article did state that loaded and unloaded, the smaller 3.4 outperformed the 4.0.
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    Great article but did you count the Toyota ads within 6.5 pages of the article. I think you wil realize what's up with this one. JEES. LOL, I really enjoyed that article. I'm sure the Ranger guys won't, but I put alot of stock in the Petersen magazines. The feel of these trucks really is magical, like they said. I think they backed up alot of what I have been wanting to convey these last few months. YOTA 4 LIFE. Take it EZ, man!!
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    can't you guys talk about something else? isn't it getting a little old? you all can say what you want. repeat things as often as you like.
    but the facts remain- ranger has more power than tacoma. ranger sells more than tacoma (always has). ranger is a better value than tacoma. i think the tacoma is a nice truck. but really pluto, dont you think your precious trd article is getting a little old? that article is 4 years old. these days, the best a trd truck can muster is 3rd place. there are new trucks with new engines with new features like mp3 players and such. joking on that last part. im sure your truck is nice and capable, but come on, its getting a little old to say that it is still #1. it is now down on power, towing capacity, and interior features. lets just hope toyota offers something new for '03, like a new more powerful engine, because the ranger is going to be all new with a V8 and boatloads of torque, not to mention the new chevy colorado with its 275 horse engine. a supercharger isn't going to cut it for the toy in '03.
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    If new Chevy cars of the past are any indication, then 275 hp engine won't help Colorado at all when it gets recalled in the first 6 month.

    You are also repeating yourself with the "we just got a new engine that makes more power than yours", "our truck is a #1 seller". We are all repeating ourselves, since there arent any new facts that will be popping up anytime soon.
    This should very well wait until September when new Toys with 3.7L are out, then we'll see. What I don't understand is why Ford is jumping the gun again and giving Ranger yet another engine? New 4.0L went into Ranger when? Either this year or last, I don't remember correctly, and already they give it yet another engine. And honestly, how is V8 going to help Ranger? They'd probably have to drop it so people can make a hotrod out of them. S-Ranger, anyone?
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    I would tend to think that a v8 would send the ranger and colorado out of their current compact class. Who compares dakotas with compacts? I mean will it seriously be classified as a compact after emissions and all that? I would kinda be afraid about how well the Ranger will stand up to that added weight and power. They will surely have to beef up the tranny, rear end, in order to maintain the same quality standards. Then it will really be with the dakota, alone (a comparison I know it will win). I can still think of about $2000 worth of work on the 3.4 that would run that v8 in the ground (it WILL cut it), I know how much you discount that and thats not the point of this post. The v8 will give the Ranger name something to boast about, but I think it would be like comparing the tundra to the raner now (I still think the tundra is NOT a fullsize). Oh, and I can't wait to see how many dozens of weeks it will take b4 GM has buttloads of recalls on their newest truck. Haha, they are constantly getting themselves in too deep. Just something to think about...
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    ranger will be totally re-designed for '03. rumors are the F150 will be too. ranger will jump to mid-size, along with the new colorado. as far as recalls, id assume gm would have stuff figured out on the new engine.

    as far as the new SOHC 4.0 going in the ranger as late as '01, is beyond me. i think space was an issue. plus, they probably had millions of older 4.0 blocks cast and since it was selling no matter the engine, they didn't really care. i wished they would have put that engine in as early as '97, when the 5spd auto came out. the ranger SOHC i have is downright a fast truck. especially when it is floored at about 60. very torquey as well. i wish it had 4 real doors. stupid ford people. later dudes, time for three's company.
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    You think those redesigned Fords will come out like later on this year or in 2003? I love it when redesigned trucks come out for the first time. Don't know why. Maybe, here b5 too long, Toyota will make the Taco a little bigger for the midsize class. Or maybe Tundras already there - OMG did I say that? Take it EZ!
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    i don't know when they'll be out. no word yet. i wouldn't be surprised if they weren't out by september though. i think ford is just living day by day. there is also word that there is going to be a 2-door suv built off the new ranger chassis. and i read some time ago that it will be as capable off-road as the wrangler, or at least in that segment. ford needs something new to the ranger crowd. '03 should be interesting for small trucks.
  • kbtoyskbtoys Posts: 62
    You keep talking about how the ranger is a better value but did you think about resale value? The Tacoma will most of the time have a higher resale value than a ranger. If you want I can get proof. Most everybody knows imports have a higher resale value than domestics
  • I thought you were not supposed to post copyrighted material... but that is nickpicking.

    Further nickpicking would also say that the 1998 vehicles didn't include the Ranger's rew(er) 4.0l.

    And pluto and his dime a dozen reviews. I wonder when he realizes that you can find a review by some group contrary to a review by another. Save the web-searches pluto, all they do is prove you can use a search engine.

    tbunder--->Do you know if the new model is due for 2003, or will be introduced in 2003(as a '04 model)?
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    you're right. tacoma may be a better resale value. but imo, id rather save thousands at initial purchase, and get a ton more options than lose a couple thousand when i sell it. when i sell, i just make sure i at least get my payoff on the loan. if you can do that, i don't see how anyone can complain. you can't expect to drive a vehicle for free. now if someone would put a huge down payment down on the initial purchase, then one may try and get what they have into the truck. but if you check, the resale values from nissan, toyota, chevy, ranger are all real close. to be honest, the nissan has the highest i believe. regards

    stang- i believe i read that the ranger will be out in '03 model year. so it should be out this fall. ill check into this more in depth later.
  • eharri3eharri3 Posts: 645
    Your time is wasted with me and my time is wasted with you. I think the main difference between us is I've always been aware of that
  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    I've heard the tacoma will be resdesigned in '03 as well - possibly becoming larger too. I wonder why the auto companies wan't to make the compacts bigger? Is that really the direction the market is going? It seems to me that if you make it much bigger you start to lose the differentiation between full-size and compact. personally, I like the size they are now.
  • kbtoyskbtoys Posts: 62
    Where did you hear the info about the Tacoma being redesign in 03? I am thinking about trading in my Tacoma for a double cab Tacoma but if they are changeing in 03 than I will wait to see the new design. I was at the Detroit auto show and asked about anything new coming out in 03 for the taco and he no, but he did say the 4runner is being redesign so that would make me think the taco would too. Oh-well I really don't think they really know what is going on anyway?
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    a page i dug up. dont know where it's source is. but here it is:
  • eharri3's words:

    "Your time is wasted with me and my time is wasted with you. I think the main difference between us is I've always been aware of that"

    I know better than to try and convice truck loyalists to believe something other than what they own might be better. I'm here for the sport of it. I like a good debate.

    I've never said the Ranger was a bad truck. Yes, it's a good value. It's definitely one of Ford's better vehicles, especially lately. But I don't think it's the BEST. And for the BEST, yes, you will have to pay more for it, just like Petersens' article stated: "Although you have to pay a premium for a premium package, the TRD Tacoma, dollar for dollar, is the best on- and off-highway compact package (maybe of any truck) we've seen."

    I'm sorry, but there is multitude of media sources available out there which, when considered collectively, definitely shows the Tacoma as being more reliable, more capable (especially off-road) and better able to hold its resale value than the Ranger. I find it amusing the Ranger folks discredit each and every media source supporting these statements by claiming they're biased because such sources inevitably have awarded non-Toyota products with honors, and carry advertisements for Toyota competitors as well.

    Is the Ranger a good truck for the money? Yes. Is it the best compact truck out there? No. The Tacoma is, but it will cost you a little more. That's like everything in life. The best will cost you more.
  • kg11kg11 Posts: 530
    Why does there need to be a "best"other than best suits your particular purpose?My '95 Taco 4X4 is the best motorized toolbox I've ever had ! If I had bought a ranger instead,it would have been the most comfortable motorized tool box,at the of off-road capability.It's ALL good!
This discussion has been closed.