Would a Toyota Tacoma Hybrid Be a Ford Maverick Killer?

The Toyota Tacoma is a legend in its segment. The Taco may not be the uncontested best midsize truck for the money, but it has plenty of unique qualities that make it a standout model. The Tacoma is known to last beyond 200,000 miles. It’s also known for its off-roading prowess. Could a hybrid version of the Toyota Tacoma be a major blow to the popularity of Ford’s new small pickup truck, the Ford Maverick?

All signs point to a Toyota Tacoma Hybrid

Toyota Tacoma EV concept
Toyota Tacoma EV concept | Toyota

The small pickup truck space is heating up as larger full-size trucks become more expensive and less affordable for the average driver. Both the Ford F-150 and Ram 1500 now cost over $34,000, and that’s before taxes and additional fees.

Midsize pickup trucks tend to be more affordable than full-size pickup trucks and can offer similar capability. The Tacoma is a popular model in its segment because it’s a rugged pickup that can last for over 17 years of ownership when properly maintained. The Tacoma has become even more popular in recent years as more drivers discover off-roading as a pastime.

According to MotorTrend, the 2024 Tacoma appears to have a hybrid powertrain offering based on recent spy shots. A hybrid option for the Taco would be huge for several reasons. The Tacoma could get a power boost if the hybrid uses an electric motor (or motors). The 2023 Toyota Tundra Hybrid benefits from its i-FORCE MAX 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid powertrain.

The Tacoma could get a similar powertrain to its larger sibling. This would also increase its fuel efficiency. Even if the midsize pickup truck only gets a small boost in miles per gallon combined, it would ultimately have more total driving range on a full tank and save drivers money on gas in the long run.

Would a Toyota Tacoma Hybrid directly compete with the Ford Maverick?

A blue 2023 Ford Maverick small pickup truck is driving on the road.
The 2023 Ford Maverick | Ford

The Ford Maverick’s strengths are affordability and stellar gas mileage. A Tacoma Hybrid would be more expensive than the gas version, and its gas mileage should still be inferior to that of the tiny Maverick.

The Toyota Tacoma and Ford Maverick appeal to two completely different types of buyers. The Tacoma is a midsize pickup truck that’s better at ‘truck stuff” than the Maverick, like towing and hauling heavy payloads. It’s reflective of the reliable midsize pickup trucks that Americans have come to know and love.

The Maverick is something so new and different that most automotive publications don’t even categorize it as a midsize truck. The 2023 Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz exist in a new space entirely. So, sure a Tacoma Hybrid could take eyeballs away from Ford’s tiny trucks, but ultimately, the trucks would still appeal to two different demographics. The Ford Maverick standard hybrid pickup truck and a potential Toyota Tacoma Hybrid should be able to peacefully coexist.

Does the world need a Toyota Tacoma Hybrid?

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3 Things to Learn From the Million-Mile Toyota Tacoma

A Toyota Tacoma Hybrid would be a welcome addition to the Japanese automaker’s lineup for many consumers. Toyota produces several hybrid versions of popular nameplates, so a Taco hybrid wouldn’t be a huge surprise. If Toyota isn’t planning on a 2024 Toyota Tacoma Hybrid or a 2024 Toyota Tacoma BEV, maybe it’s time for the brand to start considering alternative powertrains for its popular midsize pickup truck.