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When the 2022 Ford Maverick comes out it will change the dynamic of pickup trucks. That’s because it comes in the base form at under $20,000 including destination charges. But what about now? The Maverick won’t be out until later in 2022. What’s the cheapest new pickup you can buy right now? That would be the Toyota Tacoma.

How do you get the base Toyota Tacoma?

2021 base Toyota Tacoma pickup in fleet white
2021 base Toyota Tacoma pickup | Toyota

But you have a bit of work getting to that price. That’s because you need to know about the “Utility Package.” When you order the Utility Package for your Access Cab Tacoma it eliminates some appointments that will bring the price down to a comfortable $25,780. 

Here’s what gets pitched when the Utility Package is part of your Toyota Tacoma. The rear seats, rear speakers, rear cupholders, rear window vent, and the intermittent wiper function. What it adds are black bumpers, door handles, and mirror caps. 

So if you don’t plan on hauling comrades or kiddies in the back you’re golden. Besides the rather stripped condition of your new Tacoma, you are getting the six-foot bed and the 159 hp banger. This will give you a tow rating of only 3,500 lbs. So this is a truck mostly for commercial buyers looking for something to do light hauling on the cheap.

There are tradeoffs between a Ford Maverick and the base Tacoma

2021 base Toyota Tacoma pickup interior
2021 base Toyota Tacoma pickup | Toyota

Contrast this to the 2022 Maverick. Its bed is only 4.5-feet. But you get a fully appointed back seat area. Power-wise there’s a hybrid configuration with 191 hp. Towing is limited to only 2,000 lbs, but you’re good for 37 mpg. Oh, and it’s front-wheel-drive, as opposed to the Taco’s rear-wheel setup. 

Or, if you don’t need new you can opt for the myriad of used trucks from one end of the spectrum to the other. Only your needs and pocketbook are your guardrails. But they won’t be new.

If you’re still stuck on new there is the Hyundai Santa Cruz. It will be more like the Maverick. But, there is no hybrid option. It will be available sooner; like in a couple of months. But as of this time, we still don’t know the price. If it falls somewhere between the Maverick and Tacoma then it is a viable option in our scenario here. 

If you can wait, there will even be more choices

2021 red Ram 70 import pickup
2021 Ram 700 import | Stellantis

Everything is a tradeoff as you can see. But choices are what life is all about and right now there is more every day. We expect the Maverick will see some reaction from GM. And Ram already has the “700” in Latin America. 

The 700 would be an excellent counterpart to the Maverick and Tacoma. And it comes in both single and double cab configurations. Will Stellantis be bringing it across the border? The US tariff situation says it probably won’t. But the point is that there will be even more pickup choices as we hit the middle of the decade.


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