A Small Toyota Pickup Reportedly Could be Coming

The new Ford Maverick is already a huge hit and Toyota executives are keeping an eye on it as they consider launching a small pickup of their own in response to that model and the Hyundai Santa Cruz.

At least that’s what Bob Carter, executive vice president of sales for Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), told MotorTrend in a recent interview.

"One of the spaces we're looking at—that won't be short-term—is where the compact pickup truck is going,” he said. “You have Santa Cruz and Maverick on the market, and it will be interesting to see Scout. Today, we have the market really well covered with Tacoma, but [a compact pickup] could be a possibility and something we continue to look at." 

Sure, the Tacoma leads midsize pickup sales right now, but it’s significantly bigger and more expensive than it was decades ago, not to mention other past Toyota trucks. A more compact and cheaper alternative would be welcomed by many. And the automaker is paying attention to what the market wants.

Photo: Toyota

"If there's a customer that needs a rugged, smaller body-on-frame vehicle, we can consider that, but if it's more for urban use and less extreme off-road, then it would make more sense to use the TNGA unibody platform," added Cooper Ericksen, vice president of product planning and strategy at TMNA.

The TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) underpins numerous Toyota models including cars and family-oriented crossovers such as the RAV4, Venza and Highlander. Obviously, Toyota has the resources to develop a small pickup at a relatively low cost—plus the hybrid technology to strike back at the Maverick.

If not for the short term, we could see a production model arrive by mid-decade, possibly for the 2025 model year. MotorTrend has identified a few names that could be considered including T-100, Stout, Hilux or even Toyopet, although the latter would be a weird fit in this day and age. What do you think?

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