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Older Toyota Tacoma VS Ford Ranger

Hey y’all

I owned a 2003 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner for a number of years and loved the truck. I sold it last year before I moved to NYC. I’m moving back out to the west coast and have been looking to get another truck. I’m kinda of just looking for a beater/something cheaper this time around.

I have a family friend who is selling their 1995 Tacoma with 170k miles (single owner) for $2800. The husband of the family is a mechanic and I feel pretty confident they’ve maintained the truck well.

At the same time I see a lot of Ford Rangers that are 5 years newer or with 50K less milage for around the same price. My only experience with Rangers is a friend that owned one in that milage/year range and he had a lot of issues with it.

I’ve done some research about the topic and it seems that the debate comes down to a few issues. Fords are cheaper to repair, Toyotas usually hold to high of a resale value, and the individual upkeep history of each vehicle.

I feel like that the Tacoma is pretty fairly priced, and am leaning towards purchasing it at the moment. But I’d like to get some input on the issue.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Just FYI, last year of production for Ranger was 2012. There are no “Five years old or newer” Rangers in America. All-new 2019 debuts in January. Any Tacoma forum would advise you to look closely for frame rot/rust. The group here will recommend a mechanic do an inspection. At this price point, I think you are splitting hairs, but the older Tacomas hold their value for a reason.

The easiest way to lose a friend is to either buy from or sell to the friend a vehicle.

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I’d go with a Tacoma, myself. Main reason being you know the history on it, or at least have an idea of the maintenance history. Any Ranger you get, at this point, you won’t know the history on, and that’s a big deal with used, higher mileage vehicles.

The friendship issue is something to consider, though, should something with the vehicle go south.

Good luck.

If you are looking at a vehicle from California, rust issues are unlikely, however if it is the west Coast of Florida…
All I can say is my ‘98 Exploere had no serious issues when I traded it in at 130,000 miles. My 2001 Ranger was very reliable but was traded early because I wanted a 4X4. The ‘01 had the 3.0L which I would only rate as adequate power wise.
Either vehicle should have a pre-purchase inspection by a reliable mechanic. One thing when I lived in a state that required state inspections I insisted on a current or new inspection sticker.