Which One Are You Buying With A $9,000 Budget?

2004 Toyota Tacoma

Photo: Jet Auto Sales

While browsing online listings for used cars I came across two pickup trucks that were listed for similar money. Both had two doors, rear-wheel drive and manual transmissions, too, making them incredibly desirable in the Jalopnik universe. The question is, though, if you were in the market for a small, used pickup truck, would you go for the 2004 Toyota Tacoma or the 2006 Ford Ranger?

Coming in at $8,599, the Ford Ranger is both newer and less expensive than the Tacoma, even if it’s only about $300 cheaper. That $300 may not be a huge amount of money in the grand scheme of things, but at the same time, $300 is $300. It’s also red, which is an objectively better color than the Tacoma’s silver. And while forced induction is commonplace in pickup trucks these days, this particular Ranger rocks a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter V6 that’s only been driven 79,973 miles. Not bad for less than $10,000.

2006 Ford Ranger

Photo: J & L Auto Sales

On the other hand, there’s the Toyota Tacoma. It’s slightly older and is priced at $8,895, but really, what’s the difference between a truck that’s 20 years old and one that’s 18? Especially when we’re talking about a Tacoma. This truck and its 2.4-liter four-cylinder are going to last until the heat death of the universe. At least you better hope it does because it’s got some serious miles on it. In fact, it has 231,841 on the odometer. Still, it’s a Tacoma selling for less than $10,000. What did you expect?

So which one would you pick? On the one hand, you have the Tacoma’s legendary durability but a truck that’s not far from the quarter-million-mile mark. Alternatively, you could go for the Ranger with significantly fewer miles on it. Will it die on you before that Tacoma though? It’s certainly a gamble. Let us know which one you’d go with down in the comments below.

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