Toyota Tacoma vs Jeep Wrangler – Which One is Better for Off-Road Driving


For some reason roading is fun. There is something to going off the beaten path, trying to not break your vehicle in half as you slowly progress up the slope you thought you will never make it, or through a pond, you thought was deeper and harder to cross.

I read somewhere that there is only a certain type of people that likes off-roading and let me tell you this is not wrong. I was the type of person who never tried, never particularly liked or had anything that can remotely be called an off-road vehicle. Went on a trip with my friend, and crawled some rocks and mud for a couple of days and I instantly liked this. I didn’t like it to a point that I would go out and get myself a vehicle capable of off-roading, but I liked it enough to give it another try sometime and enjoy myself.

Now, this type of entertainment isn’t cheap and the cars, or rather trucks you would need for this are expensive, or can be, need some extra equipment and a particular amount of modification and power upgrades to get you out of those sticky situations. Now what googling the internet brought me in return is the fact that two of the most searched, googled or researched off-road vehicles are Toyota Tacoma and Jeep Wrangler. Because of that, I decided to make this article to tell you which one of these two is better for your off-roading trip. For a lot more info and details, that I will surely skip over click here and enjoy.

Both of these car manufacturers make good on-road and off-road cars. Both are very famous and both are good at their job. For some reason, Toyota is good at their off-road program and they rely heavily on reliability. Their vehicles can withstand a lot of punishment without loss of performance or reliability. Jeep is right up in there and its glory days come from WWII where it dealt with rough terrains daily with success. It was easy to maintain and it could stand a beating and still keep going. This is why these two brands are so popular and famous and this is why we are talking about them.



The first thing that should be obvious is the size difference. The jeep is a lot smaller with better central weight distribution which helps a lot in the case of off-roading. The footprint is sometimes very important and with a lot smaller Jeep is in the front right of the bat. For reference, we took the 2020 Wrangler and its overall length is 188.4 inches while the 2020 Tacoma boasts a length of 212.3 inches. With its long wheelbase and its bed, there are situations where it performs a bit better than Jeep but in regular off-roading situations which we, regular folks, would find ourselves in, Jeep would handle a lot better and faster.



One rather funny thing is that Toyota offers a Tacoma TRD off-road 4×4 package. It makes this vehicle a stock one with off-road capabilities, while Jeep Wrangler needs to have some things added to it to improve its off-roading capabilities. You can get the Wrangler Sport Edition and add on several things on it and it will be a better off-roader, on par with Tacoma at least in price. Performance is another story and we will go with that in a bit. So, as we mentioned Tacoma is almost stock with that TRD package while Wrangler with additions means you can have it lifted with better shocks, reinforced bumpers, winch and a whole bunch of other small stuff that may make or break your off-roading trip.

The goodies

Now in these types of vehicles, you need to have certain things to get yourself out of a tight situation. High and low gears are a must and both of these vehicles have it, crawl control is also an important aid that will help you up or down a steep hill without losing control, and again both of these are equipped with it. Differential lock is another aid that will be needed if you are thinking of going down any semi-serious off-road part and if you are wondering both packages offer diff locks, but somehow, we can’t shake a feeling that Jeep’s is just a little bit better. If you decide to spec up both of these you will probably get more aids and you will need to use them all. What type of difference do they make? Night and day when off-roading is considered. Adding a winch alone will change your experience no matter if you are in a Tacoma or a Wrangler.


The bottom line

Now you all saw this one coming, and it was a bit strange comparison, but there simply is no comparing a Pickup and Jeep. It is ridiculous, no matter what its capabilities of Toyota are. Wrangler is a lot smaller and a lot lighter, with a shorter wheelbase and centre of gravity that allows it to punch clean through almost anything. It does have its limitations but for an average user, they will never be reached. As for Tacoma, we need to praise it as well because although it is a pickup truck its off-roading capabilities are great. It is made to be a workhorse vehicle and it has been made to be capable of working almost everywhere.

Both of these are good off-roaders, but for a fun time, you will most definitely go with a Jeep Wrangler. If you are on a tough and inaccessible road or a site and you need things delivered or hauled you go with a Tacoma. If you like it so much and you want it to be your off-roading toy then you will have to go with a Tacoma TRD Pro which will offer better shocks, more clearance and a lot more underbody protection. To be honest, there is another version of Jeep as well, a pro-off-road version which is Rubicon, so it has something to improve on, but again the choice is yours depending on what your intention is.

For a lot of fun on your off-road adventure Jeep is your choice.

For a workhorse pickup that is up to any task, you go with Toyota Tacoma. It is clear as that.