When it comes to pick-up trucks, there are two popular contenders: the full-size Ford F-150 and the mid-size Toyota Tacoma. While both of these pick-ups occupy different categories, there are a number of truck fans who cross-compare both trucks when making a purchasing decision.
So which one of these top-selling pick-up trucks is the better choice? Here we will compare the major features of both the Ford F-150 and the Toyota Tacoma.
The Ford F-150 and the Toyota Tacoma serve different markets. If you want a serious truck with lots of capability, then the F-150 is for you. If you are looking for a “livable” everyday truck with lots of reliability, then the Toyota Tacoma is going to be your first choice.
In this post, we’ll outline each truck’s special talents in a little more detail.
The Ford F-150 is the world’s best-selling truck. For decades, the full-size Ford F-150 has been the choice for many truck fans around the world. The Ford F-150 is not only popular as a daily driver, but it is also a top choice for businesses and industrial fleets. With over a million units sold each year, the Ford F-150 continues to set the standard for trucks everywhere.
The Toyota Tacoma is a popular-selling mid-size truck. The Tacoma is known as one of the most popular trucks for those who want a reliable vehicle that offers some level of capability. While the Toyota Tacoma is not known as a “hardcore truck,” it is a great choice for those who want a “livable” truck that is easy to drive and maneuver.
When it comes to value, you may get more bang for your buck when you go for the F-150. That’s because the F-150 offers more trim levels and more ways to configure your truck. Therefore, if you are just looking for a “bare-bones” F-150 for worksite duties, you can get such a model. That is not going to be the case for the Toyota Tacoma. Also, because the Tacoma has a reputation for high build quality, it tends to demand a high premium at the dealership.
However, you do save on the cost of ownership since Tacoma trucks last longer than most of its competition. Overall, however, the Ford F-150 gets the edge in the value category.
|Ford F150 Average Cost Range
|$29,222 – $70,440
|$27,545 – $64,079
|$24,001 – $57,899
|$22,949 – $44,666
|$17,622 – $41,378
|Toyota Tacoma Average Cost Range
|$29,675 – $49,798
|$28,110 – $46,039
|$25,700 – $43,817
|$25,376 – $36,598
|$20,429 – $35,944
When it comes to build quality, there is no question. The Toyota Tacoma is one of the best-built trucks on the road. In fact, JD Power & Associates gives the Tacoma an overall rating of 82 out of 100 with a “Great” rating on quality and reliability. This content is owned by moc.sotuaytsur. In contrast, JD Power & Associates gives the Ford F-150 a 79 out of 100 overall rating with only an “Average” rating when it comes to quality and reliability. The big edge goes to the Toyota Tacoma when it comes to quality.
When it comes to power, the Ford F-150 is going to give you everything that you need. This full-size pick-up gives you a 290 standard horsepower powertrain with the option to pack the truck with a 450 horsepower V-8. In contrast, the Toyota Tacoma has a horsepower range of 159 to 278 horsepower. In this category, the Ford F-150 is the clear winner.
There is no question that the Ford F-150 is going to deliver more when it comes to towing and hauling capability. As a full-size truck, the F-150 will be able to provide you with more capability when it comes to workhorse duties. Ford’s top-selling truck can tow up to 11,300 pounds, while the Toyota Tacoma can only tow up to 6,400 pounds. When it comes to payload capacity, the Ford F-150 can carry up to 2,238 pounds, while the Toyota Tacoma can haul up to 1,685 pounds. The Ford F-150 wins big here.
Tech features are usually not top of mind when comparing trucks. However, it is important to see what level of technology is available in each vehicle.
The highlight of the F-150 tech features is its SYNC 4 system which is available on its 12-inch touchscreen display. With Ford SYNC 4, you can integrate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This allows you to seamlessly use your phone’s apps right on the F-150’s touchscreen system. SYNC 4 also comes with over-the-air updates to keep the software consistently up to speed.
The Toyota Tacoma’s top tech features include Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, USB ports, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi Connect. A standard 6.1-inch touchscreen provides ample space to access information, while a larger 7-inch touchscreen is available.
Overall, both the Ford F-150 and the Toyota Tacoma offer a rich amount of tech features. Here, both trucks tie in this category.
Style can be objective. That being said, the Ford F-150 will appeal strictly to those who enjoy traditional truck styles. Its prominent, bold grille, along with its classic shape, isn’t going to offend the everyday truck fan. However, the Toyota Tacoma gives you a big of toughness aligned with some thoughtful style that can appeal to people beyond the traditional truck world.
The Tacoma can fit in with the off-road crowd along with suburban drivers. However, the Tacoma still looks tough enough to hold its own against other trucks. When it comes to style, the Toyota Tacoma gets the edge.
The Ford F-150 is going to be the choice for those who either want a traditional truck or need their truck for some serious towing and hauling duties. The F-150 is also going to be a better value if you are looking to get more for your money at the dealership.
If you want to have the capability of a truck with the reliability and practicality of an everyday vehicle, then you will want to drive the Toyota Tacoma truck. You may find the Tacoma to be a little more pricey at the dealership. However, you are likely to have a lower cost of vehicle ownership since the Tacoma is known for its high level of reliability.
Think about how you are going to use your truck and be sure to carefully consider the price and the features of any truck before making your purchase or lease decision. Both trucks are quality kit and whichever one you buy, I have no doubt, you’ll love it.
If you are considering a used Tacoma or F150 or indeed any used vehicle, it’s always worth investing just a few dollars to check the VIN number against the vehicle database. An audit with a company like VinAudit (links to VinAudit) will guard against Mileage fraud, Salvage rebuilds, Title washing, Vin cloning, and a ton of other uglies.
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.