Behind the Wheel: Ford Ranger Tremor vs. Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
For the Tacoma vs. Ranger comparison, we tackled a variety of off-road obstacles, from trails with rutted hills and uneven descents to an impromptu articulation test with some boulders. The Ranger's additional power and gears were immediately obvious — it's simply a quicker truck. It should also have an advantage when crawling over rocks, at least if you go by the spec sheet. But the Tacoma had no problems covering the same terrain, more than once without the need for the locking rear differential in places where the Ranger needed the assistance. The Tacoma's performance with regard to traction was impressive considering not only its torque and gearing deficits but also its slightly smaller and visibly less chunky Goodyear Wrangler Adventure tires compared to the Ranger's General Grabbers.
Without needing to deploy its traction-aiding low-range drive modes, the Tacoma was also able to crawl up our articulation boulder slightly farther. There its advantages in approach and breakover clearances and wheel articulation were plainly visible. The Tacoma's departure angle is slightly less than the Ranger's, which is worth noting since both trucks have plenty of plastic on their bumpers and proximity sensors that are likely costly to replace should they make contact with earth.
Both trucks come with underbody protection. The Tacoma proudly displays a bright aluminum front skid plate with "TRD" painted red, where the Ranger's steel front plate is stealth black. You might assume it's plastic until you tap your knuckles on it.
Neither truck struggled at any part of our test. The Ford Ranger Tremor impressed with its power and the smoothness of its electronic driving aids, while the Tacoma continued to exceed the expectations set by its specs. Sure, it was a bit clunkier and more crude. But, hey, to some that means more rugged.
Ranger Tremor vs. Tacoma TRD Pro driving winner? Debatable.