Compared: 2023 Ford Ranger vs. 2023 Nissan Frontier

Nissan and Toyota pack lots of practicality into their midsize pickup trucks.

compared 2023 Ford Ranger vs 2023 Nissan FrontierFord | Nissan

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Full-size pickups might be great at hauling stuff, but they can also be cumbersome and inefficient. Fortunately, midsize trucks like the 2023 Ford Ranger and 2023 Nissan Frontier are capable and affordable, letting you lug and tow stuff without breaking the bank. These two may seem pretty close on paper, but there are tiny variations that can add up to a world of difference. Let's check them out.

2023 Ford RangerFord

2023 Ford Ranger vs. 2023 Nissan Frontier: Price

The more affordable of these two pickups is the Ford Ranger. Two-wheel-drive (2WD) XL models with the 6-foot bed and SuperCab start around $29,000. Adding four-wheel drive bumps the price to almost $33,000, or you can swap to the larger cab/smaller box setup which will increase the price to around $31,000. Having both the SuperCrew cab and 4WD brings the price of an XL to about $35,000. The top-trim Ranger Lariat with 4WD and the SuperCrew cab starts at nearly $43,000.

2023 Nissan FrontierNissan

The Frontier isn’t far behind, starting around $30,500 for the King Cab S model with 2WD. The 4WD version of the King Cab S starts just below $34,000, while shoppers can get into a more spacious Crew Cab S for about $32,000. The 4x4 Crew Cab S starts at about $35,000. The top-trim, 4WD-equipped PRO-4X model starts around $40,000.

2023 Ford RangerFord

2023 Ford Ranger vs. 2023 Nissan Frontier: Engines and Fuel Economy

Each pickup truck offers only one engine, which certainly makes things easier. There’s a 270-hp turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine at work in the Ranger, while the Frontier sports a 310-hp 3.8-liter V6.

2023 Nissan FrontierNissan

The Ranger's smaller engine delivers slightly better fuel efficiency, with 2WD models returning 23 mpg combined and 4WD models delivering, at best, 22 mpg. The off-road-oriented Tremor model returns just 19 mpg combined. The Frontier can only manage a maximum of 21 mpg combined in 2WD form, though 4WD models return 20 mpg. Unlike the Ford, opting for the Nissan’s off-road trim (Pro4X) doesn’t mean a large drop in fuel economy — it returns 19 mpg combined as well.

2023 Ford RangerFord

2023 Ford Ranger vs. 2023 Nissan Frontier: Towing and Payload

If you plan on using a midsizer's towing abilities, the Ranger is the more capable pickup truck, boasting a maximum tow rating of 7,500 lbs. That rating extends across the range, including 4x4 models, but requires the Trailer Tow Package. The Ford can haul between 1,430 lbs and 1,860 lbs in its bed, depending on cab and powertrain. As a rule, just like in full-size pickup trucks, the four-door SuperCrew models trade some hauling capacity for more passenger room.

2023 Nissan FrontierNissan

The Frontier isn’t far behind, offering a maximum tow rating of 6,720 lbs, but only on 2WD S models. The 4x4 versions top out at 6,510 lbs. Similar to the Ranger, King Cab variants of the Frontier can haul more payload, topping out at 1,610 lbs, while four-door Crew Cab models can haul a maximum of 1,480 lbs.

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Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad is an award-winning automotive journalist who has contributed to several automotive, electric vehicle, luxury lifestyle, and technology publications. His work isn't just limited to the written word, as he's also hosted YouTube videos and podcasts. Having grown up in the '90s, he has a strong sense of attachment to that era's style, though he also loves to geek out about the modern, futuristic tech and powertrains rolling out today.