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The Tacoma is one of the most popular pickup trucks in America. The $27,150 midsize truck checks nearly every box for anyone looking to downsize from a full-size model. However, did you know there are several midsize and compact trucks from Ford and Honda that check all the same boxes? With no redesign on the way, the Tacoma is getting old fast. If you don’t want the same old Toyota Tacoma, everyone else has, here are four alternatives under $40,000.

Why you should consider a midsize truck

Front angle view of Lunar Rock 2023 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck with mountains in the background
2023 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

If you’re in the market for a new pickup, a midsize model is something to consider. For years, models like the Toyota Tacoma have got it done for owners. Unlike full-size trucks, they can’t tow or haul tens of thousands of pounds. In addition, they don’t have a gigantic long bed or other full-size truck features. However, if you’re like most people, you don’t need any of those things. Most people use them on rare occasions, which is why midsize trucks are plenty.

Many truck owners have one so they can say they own a truck. Many others simply like the high-sitting ride or feeling like the biggest vehicle on the road. Midsize trucks are perfect for these things, plus having some truck capability, including off-roading. Anything the F-150 can do, midsize trucks can do, smaller.

The Honda Ridgeline is a Tacoma alternative that starts under $40,000

The 2022 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E compact pickup truck driving over a snowy field as the sun rises over a mountain
2022 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Firstly, Consumer Reports best overall midsize truck is the 2022 Honda Ridgeline. There are many things to love about it, but one is the starting price remains below $40,000. Unfortunately, it’s one of the more expensive models in the class. That means higher trim levels will undoubtedly exceed the $40K mark. However, owners get plenty of equipment even in the base Sport trim.

According to Edmunds, the Ridgeline Sport has 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, truck bed lights, keyless entry/ignition, automatic tri-zone climate control, an eight-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a Class III trailer hitch with a seven-pin connector, and the Honda Sensing safety suite. Moreover, the suite includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and forward collision mitigation.

Buyers must stick with the base model Ridgeline to remain under $40,000, as the RTL starts at $42,415. Fortunately, every version uses the same 3.5-liter V6 engine making 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. This type of power is very comparable to the optional V6 Tacoma engine, which produces 278 hp and 265 lb-ft.

Every 2022 Ford Ranger starts under $40,000

A red 2022 Ford Ranger small pickup truck is parked outdoors.
The 2022 Ford Ranger | Ford

Next, one of Consumer Reports’ best overall midsize trucks is the 2022 Ford Ranger. Fortunately, it’s much more affordable than the Honda offering. First, the XL base model starts at $29,660. In addition, all versions of the Ranger feature a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood. It makes 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, barely under the Tacoma’s optional V6.

Next, we love how customizable the most affordable version of this Ford pickup is. For example, the XL has a Wi-Fi hotspot, a manually locking tailgate, four speakers, forward collision mitigation, 16-inch steel wheels, and not much else. However, the 101A and Co-Pilot360 packages are available right from the start. They add essentials like cruise control, power mirrors, Sync 3 infotainment, blind-spot monitor, lane keeping assist, and more without breaking the bank.

Alternatively, even climbing up the ladder to the fully-loaded Lariat trim remains under $40,000. The decked-out model starts at $37,525 and comes with just about everything found in lower trims and packages. This includes items like rear parking sensors, outlets, remote ignition, heated seats, etc.

2022 Ford Maverick: A midsize truck on a budget

If you’re looking for a Toyota Tacoma alternative, the Maverick is a popular choice. However, it’s worth noting that it’s considered a “compact truck” because it’s even smaller than most traditional midsize models. If size doesn’t matter to you, the Ford Maverick is an excellent choice for a few reasons. Two of the most prominent reasons are the price and fuel economy.

Getting rid of your larger truck often means you’re tired of spending all your money at the gas pump. On that note, the Maverick’s standard hybrid powertrain averages 42 city and 33 highway mpg. It’s one of the most impressive statistics in the pickup truck world, as the Maverick manages to beat even many hybrid SUVs. However, it doesn’t completely sacrifice trucking capability. The Maverick’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine produces 191 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque. A more powerful optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is available, upping those numbers to 250 hp and 277 lb-ft.

Finally, the 2022 Ford Maverick‘s price is the most impressive thing about it. Skip the Tacoma for this model just because you can pay $22,490, $24,855, or $28,355 for the three trim levels. Even the Maverick Lariat fails to exceed $30,000.

Great Toyota Tacoma alternatives

Though the Tacoma is a popular midsize truck, it’s beginning to show its age. Without a redesign since 2016, the Toyota model is due for changes. In the meantime, there are a few alternatives to the ultra-popular model that reviewers like Consumer Reports believe are better. The Honda Ridgeline, Ford Ranger, and Ford Maverick can all be purchased for under $40,000 and replace your Toyota Tacoma.


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