The already hot midsize pickup competition goes into off-road meltdown with this battle of the midsize rivals, the 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor and the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. Here’s how they compare.
2021 Ford Ranger Tremor
Above Average: Electronic differential lock; suspension tune; Trail Control System.
Below Average: Only one engine/body/bed choice.
Consensus: The 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor is a capable and value-priced new competitor in the fiercely contentious midsize pickup segment.
2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
Above Average: Excellent off-road feature set and capability; durability and reliability; proven resale value.
Below Average: Not the comfiest cabin; feels outdated, due for an overhaul.
Consensus: The Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro may be a bit long in the tooth, but its high-tech gloss and strong off-road chops mean it’s still a contender for the top spot in the segment.
Ranger Tremor vs. Tacoma TRD Pro: Rugged Choice
Ford Ranger Tremor
The new $4,290 Tremor off-road package is available for 2021 on XLT and Lariat trim Rangers and includes all the basic off-road equipment in the FX4 such as Trail Control, a locking differential, and various drive modes.
The Tremor adds to that more sophisticated Fox reservoir shocks, specific spring tuning, and a new 6-toggle auxiliary switch pack integrated at the top of the dash center.
Off-road, we found the Tremor quite capable. We liked the electronic differential lock, and the Trail Control system (sort of an off-road cruise control) allows the vehicle to travel at low speeds and can be adjusted in increments of 0.5 mph. The shocks, with their ample travel, do a good job of handling washboard, moguls, and steep climbs.
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
If you need a truck that can get the job done — in the dirt, on the worksite, or on the trail — the Tacoma is ready for just about anything. You probably aren’t eyeing a run in the Baja 1000, but the Tacoma has proven its toughness there for over 30 years. This truck is also capable of towing up to 6,800 pounds.
Its three TRD models offer different levels of off-road capability, with innovative off-road tech. The Tacoma offers a 2-speed transfer case, Crawl Control, and Multi-Terrain Select. The top-spec TRD Pro model adds Fox internal bypass shocks, a TRD-specific cat-back exhaust, a TRD Pro front skid plate, and a number of unique appearance and comfort/convenience items.
In addition to a strong reputation for dependability, Tacoma’s long-running (though recently refreshed) status also lends it the best resale value in the segment after 5 years of ownership.
Highly capable off-road machines; large tires; lots of ground clearance; advanced suspensions.
2021 Ford Ranger Tremor Advantages
Lower price; good off-road capability; built-in auxiliary switches.
2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Advantages
Good off-road capability; strong resale value.
Which One is Right for Me?
The 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor is the top pick of the Ranger line for off-road ability, with all of the best equipment at an affordable price.
The 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is the fully loaded king of the TRD off-road hill, with all of the off-road equipment Toyota has to offer.
Ready to buy a Ford Ranger Tremor or Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro? Shop for one on sale now near you.
|2021 Ford Ranger||2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro|
|Engine||2.3-liter turbo I4||3.5-liter V6|
|Horsepower||270 hp @ 5,500 rpm||278 hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|Torque||310 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm||265 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm|
|Transmission||10-spd automatic||6-spd automatic|
|Fuel Economy||23 mpg (21 city/26 hwy)||20 mpg (18 city/22 hwy)|
|Also Available||AWD||6-spd manual|
|Warranty||3 years/36,000 miles||3years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Safety Rating||4 stars||4 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||126.8 inches||127.4 inches|
|Overall Length||210.8 inches||212.3 inches|
|Width||77.8 inches||75.2 inches|
|Height||71.5 inches||71.6 inches|
|Turning Diameter||42.0 feet||40.6 feet|
|Headroom, Front||39.8 inches||39.7 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||38.3 inches||38.3 inches|
|Legroom, Front||43.1 inches||42.9 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||34.5 inches||32.6 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||56.7 inches||58.3 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||56.3 inches||58.9 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||97.6 cu. ft.||n/a|
|Max payload||1,430 lbs.||1,155 lbs.|