3 Trucks Better Than the Toyota Tacoma With Less Popularity
The Toyota Tacoma has been popular for a long time because it is a classic small pickup truck that can go off-road and is known to last. As of August 2023, the Tacoma sales are still going well. Even though the Tacoma is a top seller, critics like U.S. News have ranked it lower than some of its competitors, namely the Honda Ridgeline, the Hyundai Santa Cruz, and the Ford Maverick.
In this article, we’ll look at the Tacoma and a few of its competitors that perform better amongst critics but aren’t as well known.
Toyota Tacoma sales performance
The Toyota Tacoma has been a consistent performer in the pickup truck market, demonstrating its appeal to a wide range of consumers. Toyota Tacoma sales reached 159,102 units as of August 2023. Its popularity can be attributed to its well-established reputation for dependability, high resale value, and robust off-road capabilities.
How good is the Toyota Tacoma?
While Tacoma has undoubtedly enjoyed strong sales, it has not consistently received the highest ratings among its peers. Various factors, including interior quality, ride comfort, and fuel efficiency, often contribute to Tacoma’s lower rankings on review platforms like U.S. News where it ranked No. 10. Critics sometimes point out that competitors offer a more refined and comfortable ride, which can influence the overall rating.
Edmunds gave the Tacoma a slightly better ranking thanks to its reliability, its smooth ride, and efficient handling. However, it ranked the Hyundai Santa Cruz, Honda Ridgeline, and the Ford Maverick higher than the Tacoma.
Competing trucks – the Honda Ridgeline, Hyundai Santa Cruz, and Ford Maverick
Several competing models have been gaining traction in the compact pickup truck segment, earning higher ratings than the Tacoma in some cases even though Tacoma sales still clear them. Let’s take a closer look at three of these models: the Honda Ridgeline, Hyundai Santa Cruz, and Ford Maverick.
1. The Honda Ridgeline is better than the Tacoma
The Honda Ridgeline comes with a starting price of around $38,800, making it an attractive option in the compact pickup truck market. U.S. News gave the Hyundai Santa Cruz the No. 3 spot in the class, and it compares favorably to the Toyota Tacoma.
Specs and features:
- Engine: 3.5L V6
- Horsepower: 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque
- Towing capacity: Up to 5,000 pounds
- Fuel efficiency: 18 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
- Key features: In-bed trunk, versatile interior, smooth ride, spacious cabin
2. The Hyundai Santa Cruz falls behind Tacoma sales but still ranks favorably
The Hyundai Santa Cruz is competitively priced, starting at approximately $25,700, positioning it as a budget-friendly alternative. It was ranked No. 3 by U.S. News.
Specs and features:
- Engine: 2.5L four-cylinder
- Horsepower: 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque
- Towing capacity: Up to 5,500 pounds
- Fuel efficiency: 22 mpg city / 26 mpg highway
- Key Features: Unique design, car-like comfort, available all-wheel drive, innovative bed features
3. Don’t forget the Ford Maverick
The Ford Maverick offers an appealing starting price of around $22,195, making it one of the most affordable options in its class. It came in at the No. 6 spot with U.S. News.
Specs and features:
- Engine: 2.5L hybrid four-cylinder
- Horsepower: 191 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque
- Towing capacity: Up to 2,000 pounds
- Fuel efficiency: 40 mpg city | 33 mpg highway
- Key features: Affordability, roomy interior, lots of storage compartments, fuel efficiency
While the Toyota Tacoma sales prove it remains a strong contender in the compact pickup truck market, alternatives that offer a better balance of features, pricing, and fuel efficiency should be considered. Models such as the Honda Ridgeline, Hyundai Santa Cruz, and Ford Maverick have received recognition for their competitive pricing, innovative features, and, in some cases, higher ratings than the Tacoma. Personal preferences and priorities, such as off-road capability, towing capacity, fuel efficiency, or overall comfort, will ultimately determine the best option.