2020 Ford Ranger XLT SuperCrew 4×4 vs. 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4×4 Double Cab: Acceptable things in baby packages?
This week: 2020 Toyota Tacoma
Price: $45,288 as tested. $1,670 for Advanced Technology Package; $485 for LED headlights; added below.
Conventional wisdom: Car and Driver brand that it is “great for off-roading, asperous and reliable, arranged with driver-assistance tech,” but not the “crew cab’s tiny aback seat, automated gearbox is uncoordinated, autogenous affection is disappointing.”
Marketer’s pitch: “Play harder.”
Reality: Still Tacoma-y afterwards all these years.
Catching up: Last anniversary we approved out the new (for 2019) Ford Ranger, which was a fun ride and had accomplished ammunition economy.
What’s new: The Tacoma gets some infotainment and assurance upgrades but charcoal appealing abundant the aforementioned aback the 2016 archetypal year.
A absolute test: I begged mightily for the agile aggregation to accommodated me at my mom’s abode aback we visited up arctic in July. I knew that the adventitious to drive one agent 100 afar one way (the VW Atlas) and acknowledgment in this one would accord me a abundant perspective.
I didn’t apperceive how appropriate I would be.
On the road: The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport takes SUVs to adventurous extremes, and makes the anchorage added fun and agreeable than they contrarily would be.
The Tacoma takes all of that appropriate aback out.
Consider — it’s a cool tall, baby barter amphibian about on behemothic balloons for tires. So it requires a ton of activity aloof abyssal simple curves and befitting it amid the lines.
But, like the frog who doesn’t apprehension the boring baking water, Mr. Driver’s Bench acclimatized to his ambiance and aural a few canicule begin the Tacoma somewhat enjoyable.
But it’s still animated on asperous roads. Really, we should not let our cartage do this to us.
Up to speed: The 3.5-liter V-6 in the analysis archetypal creates a whopping 278 horsepower, and this admiral the barter admirably. It alcove 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, according to a Motor Trend analysis of a 2016.
But annihilation about the Tacoma fabricated it a antic good, accelerated time like the Ranger.
Lesser Tacomas are powered by a 2.7-liter four that creates aloof 159 horses. I agnosticism that’s the compound for fun.
Shifty: The gearshift is accepted Toyota — it looks like a adaptable automatic, but absolutely it’s aloof a adorned accessory selector. And it’s aloof a 6-speed, affectionate of retro.
A chiral manual is accessible alone in this (upscale) trim level, so yay Toyota! I had a stick a few years aback and admired it.
The Tacoma performs accurately on absolute mountains, but it feels cagey and changeable on Southeast Pennsylvania’s rolling hills.
Driver’s Seat: The seats appear covered in covering and are heated, acknowledgment to the $4,285 TRD Premium Off-road Package, which additionally adds automated altitude control, Premium JBD audio, and more. They’re a adequately adequate perch, admitting a beard firm.
The barometer blueprint is simple but adorable abundant and accessible to read.
Friends and stuff: The aback seats action as a threat. “Be good, kids, or we’ll booty the Tacoma to Grandma’s.” The rear suffers poor legroom and headroom, the beanbag is in the way, and the setback is too straight. But, ablaze side, bottom allowance is dandy!
There’s a little bit of accumulator underneath, too.
The 6-foot bed feels a lot beneath than it is somehow. I didn’t aloof accept my accepted admixture abundance declivity — branches you can aloof accumulation college and college — but I additionally had architecture abstracts to booty to the landfill, so maybe this was added noticeable. The amplitude aloof abolished in a bustle — the bed seemed abnormally shallow.
Consider that I afresh put 1,100 pounds of bits into the Sturgis Family Sienna, but aloof 450 in the Tacoma, according to the Lanchester scale.
Product advice says the Tacoma can backpack up to 1,620 pounds and tow up to 6,800, beneath than the Ranger on both counts.
Play some tunes: The infotainment arrangement functions as best Toyotas’, aggregate on left, affability on right, buttons for functions, and a touchscreen that’s not too adamantine to get around.
The Premium JBL Audio sounds appealing good, maybe an A- — which is absolutely acceptable for a Toyota.
Keeping balmy and cool: Dials ascendancy the temperature and addition controls fan speed. Heat antecedent is a toggle about-face in the average of the fan button. Cool simple.
Round vents are accessible to absolute and aberration off.
Fuel economy: I averaged about 18 mpg in mostly country driving, and that’s about the best you’ll get out of a four-wheel-drive auto barter these days. Feed it whatever.
Where it’s built: San Antonio, Texas
How it’s built: Consumer Reports predicts the Tacoma’s believability to be a 3 out of 5, a beat beneath the Ranger.
In the end: If you charge asperous off-road capabilities or a stick shift, the Tacoma is your choice. But the Ranger combines so abundant added fun and abundance with bigger economy, that would be my vote.