Review: What can replace a 2007 Toyota Tacoma that gets better fuel economy and has more space?

Review: What can replace a 2007 Toyota Tacoma that gets better fuel economy and has more space?

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Ford Maverick Hybrid XLT.

With permission of the manufacturer

We are a family of four (two children aged 7 and 9 and parents aged 40). We drive a 2007 Toyota Tacoma TRD that we bought new the other day. Our van is parked most days as we use bikes and e-bikes to get around town. We are looking for something that can transport our family (plus a couple of kids’ friends or their dogs) and our kayaks/stuff on future adventures. I like the idea of ​​an electric truck, but we like to take long off-road trips, so I’m not sure this would work. – Ivan

Mark Richardson: It looks like Ivan wants an electric version of his existing Tacoma. Is there such a thing?

Petrina Gentile: Toyota is developing an all-electric Tacoma pickup truck, but the Japanese automaker is late to the electric truck party. It is expected to launch as a 2025 model, and there are other electric pickup trucks on the market already, such as the Ford Lightning.

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Richardson: The price of the Ford F-150 Lightning has also dropped, but it’s still expensive. The less expensive Pro version has Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is $59,000, before rebates and all additional costs, and good luck getting one in the near future.

Non-Jews: Yes, most pure electric trucks are expensive. But Ian and his family are planning long road trips – I don’t think an electric car is the right choice for them, especially with at least two young children.

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Ford F-150 Limited Hybrid SuperCrew.

With permission of the manufacturer

Richardson: He didn’t say how far he wanted to drive on those long trips, likely off-road, but range would be an issue if he wanted to travel more than 400 kilometers at a time. And when it does recharge, it will need either a Level 2 or Level 3 fast charger. The massive batteries in an EV pickup will take days to charge at a home outlet.

Non-Jews: I agree. A pure EV truck is not practical for Ivan’s family and driving needs. But maybe we should look at a hybrid truck, like the Ford F-150 Hybrid?

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Richardson: This is a big truck, and to get the hybrid powertrain, Evan will need to buy at least the XLT version with the SuperCrew cab and all-wheel drive, which starts at about $72,000, plus taxes. We don’t know Ivan’s budget, but I think the F-150 Lariat is a lot more than he needs and probably wants. The other full-size pickup truck that offers a hybrid powertrain is the Toyota Tundra, and it starts at about $76,000 plus taxes for the Crewmax Limited.

Non-Jews: I love the tundra. The V6 hybrid is more fuel efficient than the gas-only model, but it’s still an expensive truck. There are some new pickup trucks on the market that are affordable and can meet all of Evan’s needs.

Richardson: The Ford Maverick is much smaller, but it’s a more realistic and planet-friendly pickup alternative.

Non-Jews: I really like the Maverick – it’s affordable, starting around $33,000 for the hybrid powertrain, and it’s fuel efficient. It’s also spacious. Inside, it’s very basic and dull, but it’s functional and drives and feels like a truck.

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Richardson: Maybe that’s Evan’s style, since the car is parked most days of the week. Why pay more than you would appreciate, and consume more resources than you can’t really justify using?

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The Hyundai Palisade received a mild facelift for the 2023 model year.

Jeremy Sink/The Globe and Mail

Non-Jews: exactly. It meets all of Ivan’s requirements: It can transport the kids and his kayaks while still returning respectable fuel economy numbers.

Richardson: Maybe it’s too small, though. There will be a Ford Ranger PHEV that will be larger and more expensive, but not until later next year. However, neither of them will be able to carry more than five people, and he occasionally wants the space for a couple of his kids’ friends. This means he has to forget about pickup trucks and look at a three-row SUV. The kayak can be carried on the surface.

Non-Jews: Let’s start with Toyota since he already has a Tacoma. One of my favorite three-row SUVs is the Highlander, which is also available with a hybrid powertrain.

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Richardson: A Toyota representative recently told me that if you want a new gas-only car, whatever model, it will take “weeks,” but if you want a new hybrid, it will take a wait of months and a new car. The plug-in hybrid will be a wait for years. The Highlander has been around for a long time, so there should be some good used examples at dealerships.

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Toyota Highlander 2022 hybrid.


Non-Jews: But stick with the newer, fourth-generation Highlander that was redesigned for 2020. This is the better choice for fuel economy, comfort and the latest safety features and technology.

Richardson: A three-year-old Highlander on lease won’t be much cheaper than a brand-new car – Toyota’s resale values ​​are high, but it’s a reliable and well-equipped vehicle, whatever trim level you choose. This third row is quite narrow, but would be fine for occasional use.

Non-Jews: Agreed. The third row is suitable for children, and you can also leave the seats to create additional luggage space.

Richardson: I think most people leave the third row flat. It’s usually more practical this way, because there isn’t much luggage space behind the rear seats. But if Ivan is looking at the Highlander, he should also look at the new Mazda CX-90.

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Non-Jews: I disagree. While the CX-90 drives well and is plush inside, compared to the competition, it’s short on space when it comes to third-row seating and cargo capacity. I think he would be better off looking at a Kia Telluride or Hyundai Palisade instead.

Richardson: The advantage of the CX-90 is that it is offered as a fully electric hybrid car and has a range of 42 kilometers. It’s new to the market, so it may be more available than Toyota’s hybrids.

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The 2023 Mazda CX-90 PHEV has an all-electric range of 42 kilometers.

Mark Richardson/The Globe and Mail

Non-Jews: True, but if he could wait, I think he would prefer a hybrid Toyota. There’s also the new, larger Toyota Grand Highlander, which has more room for luggage and children.

Richardson: It does, and it has a hybrid powertrain too, although that hybrid seemed weak to me when I drove it this summer. It’s all about how much space Evan actually wants and needs. The larger Grand Highlander is night and day different from the compact Maverick, and I assume he wants something with roughly the same physical footprint as his Tacoma.

Non-Jews: Where does that leave him?

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Richardson: Well, if he wants to be kinder to the environment, he can either choose a smaller vehicle that can fit most of his needs and consume fuel, like the Maverick, or a larger vehicle that covers it all and doesn’t use as much fuel, like the Highlander or Grand Highlander, because of the hybrid powertrains .

Non-Jews: Evan, choose the Maverick hybrid truck, or if you want an SUV, choose the Highlander hybrid truck. Skip the Grand Highlander—you won’t need the extra space.

Richardson: The rule of thumb is to drive something that is no larger than you need for most of your driving. If you only need to carry more than five people occasionally, then the folding third row really comes in handy. it’s your choice.

What car should you buy? Write to Mark and Petrina at And use “What car” as part of your subject line. Emails with different subject lines may not be replied to.

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(tags for translation) Nostak

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