The battle for the best small pickup truck of 2022 is on, but is it the Ford Maverick or the Toyota Tacoma? While you might consider the Tacoma a midsize truck, it is the smaller of the two pickup truck options in Toyota’s lineup. The Maverick is a small or compact pickup truck, no matter how you slice it.

Why the Ford Maverick is the best small pickup truck of 2022 over the Toyota Tacoma

the best small pickup truck of 2022: ford maverick or toyota tacoma?

The 2022 Ford Maverick and the 2022 Toyota Tacoma | Ford, Toyota

The Toyota Tacoma pickup truck has been on the market since 1995. Depending on who you ask, the Tacoma can also be a midsize truck. The Toyota Tacoma has been the best-selling small pickup truck for the last 17 years, meaning the brand has to be doing something right.

However, Kelley Blue Book says the Ford Maverick has an answer for the everything the Tacoma is missing. It also starts at about $7,000 less than the Tacoma and comes with most creature comforts people might want.

While the Maverick might have reignited the industry’s love of small pickup trucks, the Tacoma has been holding it down by itself for almost two decades.

The Toyota Tacoma isn’t going anywhere, regardless of the best small pickup truck

When Ford created the Maverick, it was meant to be versatile and ready for whatever its owners threw at it. However, it isn’t going to take the place of a midsize pickup truck. The Toyota truck is fine for work and play with its off-road capability, especially in the TRD Pro trim. However, it is larger than the Maverick, and it is also more capable. Comparing the towing capacities shows that the Tacoma can tow 6,400 pounds and the Maverick can tow 4,000 pounds.

Toyota hasn’t exactly been able to keep up with demand lately, which meant fewer Tacomas to go around. That, along with its reliability history and high resale value, means people tend to hold onto these pickup trucks for as long as possible. Ford hasn’t been exempt from the semiconductor chip drama, either. Some buyers waiting for the 2022 Ford Maverick have had to roll that over to a 2023 version.

It's been almost 20 years since the @Toyota Tacoma graduated from a compact to a mid-sized truck, but with the high demand of @Ford's Maverick and @Hyundai's Santa Cruz, it looks like Toyota might be eyeing a re-entry into the compact truck category. #pickuptruck #trucks pic.twitter.com/O7SAe5iHkc

— Los Angeles Auto Show (@LAAutoShow) June 22, 2022

Comparing the 2022 Ford Maverick and the 2022 Toyota Tacoma is easier with a table. On paper, these trucks measure up quite well.

2022 Toyota Tacoma 2022 Ford Maverick
Engine 2.7-liter 4-cylinder 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Hybrid
Horsepower 159 hp @ 5,200 rpm 191 hp @ 5,600 rpm
Torque 180 lb-ft @ 3,800 rpm 155 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Fuel Economy 21 mpg (20 city/23 hwy) 37 mpg (42 city/33 hwy)
Warranty Three years/36,000 miles Three years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty Five years/60,000 miles Five years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating ★★★★ Not rated
Maximum tow 4,000 pounds 6,400 pounds
Maximum payload 1,500 pounds 1,620 pounds
Price range $27,150 – $49,290 $20,995 – $26,860

Comparing the 2022 Toyota Tacoma and the 2022 Ford Maverick | Kelley Blue Book

When it comes down to it, the best small pickup truck of 2022 can change depending on who you ask. While the Ford Maverick pickup truck has some off-road capability, it’s best for small jobs and light adventuring. The Toyota Tacoma is tried and true and probably not going anywhere. The Tacoma might be your best bet if you have the off-road adventure bug and tend to have bigger jobs during the work week.

Since both trucks have limited inventory, the best small pickup truck is the one in your driveway. If you are considering buying either of these options, reach out to your local dealership about availability. Being the best small pickup truck of 2022 doesn’t exactly turn buyers away.

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