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4 cyl vs. 6 cyl in 4wd truck

I notice I can get a Toyota Tacoma in 4wd with a 4 cyl. Engine. With the Ford Ranger, I have to get the 6cyl. engine. Why is that? Is the Toyota engine that much more powerful? Or is it not a good idea to have a 4cyl engine with 4wd? I don’t plan on going off road much – I mostly want it for the additional traction in the snow.



The Toyota engine is a bit more powerful, but not by much (about 10 HP). The Toyota is a physicallu larger truck, so the power to weight ratio is pretty close. Having driven a 2WD 4 cylinder Ranger before, I can say with the stick shift it’s ok, but if you were to get an automatic with 4WD , the V6 would be better. Ford seems to think the same too. Generally when purchasing a 4WD pickup, you’ve resigned yourself to acknowledging that fuel economy is not a primary concern.

Back in the early 80’s I owned a 4-cylinder Datson 4wd Pickup. It had more then enough power. There are many other factors to consider besides the number of cylinders. Like Gear ratio and weight. What really matters does the 4-cylinder have enough power for YOU. If it does then buy it. If it doesn’t then skip it or get the 6-cylinder. Test drive them and find out for yourself.

Drive both and then decide. I would confirm the performance on highway hill. The older Tacoma’s 4wd were pretty underpowered up steep inclines having to labor to keep highway speed.

In this case you might have to make sure you’re comparing the actual engine displacement. Because the Tacoma’s base engine is a 2.7 Liter engine, whereas I think the “little” V6 in the Ranger is a 3.0 Liter so the actual difference in performance may be pretty minimal.

Other than that it’s all a personal preference. The 4wd on both of these trucks will have a low-range so you don’t have to worry about the 4-cylinder not being able to go up a steep hill or anything, so it’s all a matter of how fast you want to get up to highway speeds. I also probably wouldn’t want to tow with either of the base engines on these trucks.

Consider that the gas mileage for the Tacoma is 17 city, 22 highway, average 19. The Ranger is 15/19/16, respectively. I’d have to like the Ranger a whole lot more to buy it. Or buy the Tacoma with a 6. It’s got about the same mileage as the Ranger. Drive then decide.

If you don’t plan on much mountain offroading or towing then a 4 cyl engine should get you around just fine. I would recommend a manual transmission if you opt for the 4 cyl. You will get the most out of your engine with the 5 speed compared to the 4 speed automatic.