Oftentimes, when people are shopping for a vehicle on a budget, they opt for a base model because they think it’s all they can afford. But that’s not always the case.
The truth is, if you’re smart about the way you build your vehicle of choice, you can actually get a lot more for your money. To prove this, we used the configurator on Toyota’s website to design a 2017 Toyota Tacoma for under $40,000 — and the finished product has a lot more features than the base model.
Trim: TRD Sport (starting MSRP $32,390)
The TRD Sport is only available with a 3.5-liter V-6, which gets slightly poorer fuel mileage than the four-cylinder offered on lower trims. But it also comes with power-adjustable mirrors with turn indicators, push-button start, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift lever and a 120-volt power outlet in the bed — which is perfect for tailgating. It also comes with an Entune premium audio system with navigation and mobile app integration as well as Qi wireless smartphone charging capability.
Body style: Double cab, 6-foot-long bed (starting MSRP $35,315)
We selected the double cab option because it provides more than enough leg room in the back seats. Toyota offers two double-cab variants of the Tacoma: One with a 5-foot-long bed and one with a 6-foot-long bed. Although the 6-foot-long version is roughly $1,000 more, we felt the extra storage room is more than worth the extra money.
Packages: Premium & Technology Package with options ($3,010)
In addition to the towing package, this package comes with loads of interior and exterior features. The Premium & Technology Package includes front dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, rear parking sonar, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, projector-beam headlights, LED daytime-running lights and a power-tilt/slide sunroof.
Options: All-weather floor liners ($139), 5-inch chrome oval tube steps ($535)
To make sure the inside of our truck doesn’t get dirty when the weather is less than ideal, we opted for the all-weather floor liners. We also selected the optional 5-inch oval tube step because, even if you can step into your truck with ease, it’s nice to have an easier option when you don’t want to.
The total MSRP — including $940 destination charge — of our 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab, 6-foot-long Bed in Silver Sky Metallic: $39,939.
All photos via Toyota