Toyota VS. Ford – 8 Important Differences (Before Buying)

If you don’t own a Ford or Toyota, there is a chance you’ve thought about getting either of them.

Ford and Toyota are two popular car brands reputable for making reliable and durable cars. You may be confused as to which car to buy, but we hope this piece will help you decide.

What is the real difference between Ford and Toyota?

The key difference between Toyota and Ford is that one is an American product, while the other is a Japanese car. Their country of origin dictates the design, philosophy, styling, and performance of the two brands.

Differences Between Ford and Toyota

Toyota and Ford have both built a reputation for longevity and loyalty to customers.

If you are looking for a durable car, these two brands offer some of the best vehicles to the American buying public.

But they have differences you need to consider before choosing one over the other. The following differences might help you make your final decision:

1. Origin

Perhaps, the biggest difference between the two is that Ford is an American company, while Toyota is a Japanese automaker.

Both companies produce cars primarily for the American market. But they have fundamental differences in concept, management, and design philosophies.

While Ford cars emphasize exceptional aesthetics and performance, Toyotas err on functionality and practicality. Where Fords have a hulking mass, Toyotas take the minimalist approach.

Price-conscious drivers looking for fuel efficiency, affordability, and ample space will likely pick a Toyota ahead of a Ford.

2. Design

Ford has more commercial and performance features, so you should buy one if you like a car with special features.

Toyotas are more geared towards families and commuters who need functional cars for their daily trips.

3. Maintenance Plan

Toyota models are easier to maintain, especially because they all come with a free 2-year maintenance plan.

Ford also has a maintenance plan, but it comes at a price and only covers 12 months.

4. Safety Plan

Toyota has had a safety plan called the Toyota Safety Sense Plus (TSS+) for years.

The TSSP is designed to protect drivers and commuters from accidents on the road. Ford, on the other hand, has one of the best driver-assist systems, the Co-Pilot360.

The Co-Pilot360 comes with a slew of safety features, including automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind spot information, lane-keeping system, and auto high beam lighting.

However, Toyota trumps Ford in safety ratings. In the 2020 IIHS+ (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) top picks, only the Ford Edge made a list out of the other Ford models.

However, Toyota had two cars, the Corolla and Camry, on the list. The IIHS is an organization that researches and rates cars to determine their safety.

Which of the Two Is the More Reliable Car Brand?

The answer is quite controversial. Some reports give the win to Ford, while others say Toyota is more reliable.

For example, in the Consumer Reports Annual Car Reliability Survey, about 90% of Ford cars were ranked average or better in reliability.

Toyota, however, did much badly compare to the Ford cars, with only the Toyota Prius winning over the Ford Fusion.

According to the J.D. Power Vehicle Reliability Survey, Toyota is ranked as more reliable than Ford. Toyota scored 5 out of 5 in reliability while Ford scored a measly 3 out of 5.

It seems more plausible to go with the J. D. report, because another report, the Information Handling System (IHS) Automotive has named Toyota the brand that produces the longest-lasting vehicles.

Additionally, many Toyota models like the Tundra, Camry, and Avalon sold in the last decade are still on the road today.

Are Toyotas Cheaper than Ford?

Generally, new Ford cars are more expensive than Toyota cars.

This is not surprising, as Ford cars often contain special features that are lacking in most Toyota cars. The cheapest Ford car costs about $21,000, while the cheapest Toyota car only costs about $16,500.

It’s the same for the most expensive cars. Compared to the Ford GT Supercar, which retails for about $400,000, the most expensive Toyota car, the Land Cruiser, only costs about $80,000.

However, selling used Toyota and Ford cars is a different story. Used Toyota cars always cost more than used Ford cars.

There are a variety of reasons for this:

1. Reputation

Toyota cars have a reputation for long service lives during which they are reliable. So car buyers are willing to pay more for them.

Ford does not enjoy such a reputation. Even though their cars are just as dependable as Toyota’s, their reputation is a few notches lower than Toyota’s.

Thus, used Ford vehicles are quite cheaper.

2. Quantity in the Used Car Market

Ford sells a ton of cars to fleet and rental markets.

When these cars hit the used market, there is always more supply than demand. So, the prices drop.

Toyota cars do not have such a fate.

Does Ford or Toyota Sell More Cars?

Toyota has always sold more cars than Ford.

Right from 2003, when General Motors was still the best-selling brand, Toyota was regarded as the second best-selling brand. It sold about 1.57 million cars that year, but Ford didn’t do that well.

In 2019, Toyota Motors was ranked as the highest-selling brand, with about 10 million sales.

Additionally, The International Motor Research Report ranked Toyota Motors as the 2nd best-selling brand, while Ford was in 6th place.

How Do the Prices on Maintenance and Repair Stack up?

Toyota cars are by far the cheapest cars to maintain in the world.

It costs about $9,100 to maintain a Ford over the 1st ten years while it only costs about $5,500 to maintain a Toyota.

Seeing as Toyota makes the most practical cars, which are often lacking special features, it’s no surprise that they would cost less to repair.

Ford has more luxury features, so it’s expected that it will be more complex and costlier to repair.

You should know that Toyota is more resistant to rust, wear, and tear, too. So, you would not have to spend much on repair due to exposure to the elements.

How Is the Performance of the Two Brands Compared?

With an average U.S. News and World Report performance score of 8.2 out of 10, Ford vehicles tend to perform better than Toyota’s vehicles.

Toyota’s cars earned an average score of 7.7. Let’s take a look at the ratings of the brands’ vehicles.

Ford’s worst-performing vehicle is the Taurus, which scored 7.3 out of 10. The best Mustang (8.8 out of 10). The Yaris, with a score of 6.4, is Toyota’s worst-performing vehicle, while the Camry (9.2 out of 10) is its best.

Ford has more vehicles scoring high-performance marks in the mid-8.0 mark. Meanwhile, eight Toyota models scored less than Ford’s least performing vehicle.

If you want a high-performance vehicle, Ford will make an ideal choice.

What about Safety?

Toyota has the Toyota Safety Sense Plus, a safety suite that has lasted for years.

This plan was established to protect drivers, commuters, and pedestrians from accidents on the road.

The TSSP employs a camera system mounted on the car that scans the road ahead to detect potential collisions. TSSP sends out an audible and visual warning to the driver when it detects an imminent collision and will apply the brake when necessary.

Ford also has a wide range of safety packages, depending on the model you buy. Its newest safety plan is the V2X (Vehicles-to-Everything), but it is quite new in the game.

The V2X technology permits vehicles to send and receive messages to and from other vehicles about speeding cars.

It can also apply emergency braking or prevent a crash. However, the plan is still having issues with Wi-Fi signal interference from buildings on the road.

Regarding the individual safety of cars, none is safer than the other. As per the U.S. News and World Reports, Ford’s lowest safety score is 8.5 out of 10, with the C-Max Energi earning the highest score of 9.7.

Toyota has its lowest score at 8.5 for the 4Runner and its highest at 10 for Prius Prime.

Just know that whether you choose to buy a Ford or Toyota, you’ll be safe. However, Toyota wins in terms of long-term reliability and maintenance costs.

Which Is a Better Used Car?

Toyotas are better-used cars because most pre-owned models are used by individuals.

The result is that the typical used Toyota car has less mileage and wear compared to Ford. However, this also makes them more expensive than the average used Ford car.

A large percentage of Ford cars are sold to the fleet and rental markets. So, more people rent Fords than buy them. This is a reason for the higher usage.

When the cars from the rental markets are finally released to used car dealers, they swamp the car market. Supply becomes more than demand, and as a result, prices for Ford cars drop.

Used Ford cars are cheaper to buy than pre-owned Toyota models. However, the Japanese cars are often far more reliable compared to used Ford counterparts.

So you are better off sticking with a Toyota if a used vehicle is on your radar.

Other Differences You Should Know

Here are other differences between Toyota and Ford vehicles:

1. Warranty

With warranty coverage, Ford and Toyota come out even.

Both automakers offer a three-year/36,000-mile bumper to bumper warranty and a five year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty on their new vehicles.

2. Customer Loyalty

Toyota’s customers are more loyal than Ford’s customers.

Surveys show Toyota drivers who can afford it buy new Toyotas from year to year. This signifies a high level of trust and satisfaction with the brand.

USA Today ranks Toyota as the brand with the second-highest customer loyalty, with a brand impact of 59.5%. Even though Ford also has considerably high brand loyalty, it has fewer loyal customers than Toyota.

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