Compact trucks cemented Toyota's reputation for quality, durability and reliability. But Toyota has been out of the small pickup game for quite a while. The classic Toyota pickup became the Tacoma, which grew into a mid-size truck for the second generation in 2005. But Toyota execs have not ruled out building a competitor for the Ford Maverick to slot below the Tacoma.
Here's what we know about the new Toyota small pickup so far.
Toyota's small pickup could be a lot like the Maverick
Toyota execs said that it would make "more sense to use the TNGA unibody platform" for a small truck designed for urban use. They also noted that Toyota would probably need more of an "SUV with a bed" format. The best bet is that it would use the TNGA-K platform that underpins the RAV4 and Camry among other vehicles.
The small pickup would almost undoubtedly have a hybrid option; Toyota plans for all vehicles to have one by 2025. The output for Toyota's hybrid system would be about the 40 mpg of the Ford Maverick hybrid. And like the Maverick, a starting price in the low $20,000s would probably make the most sense for Toyota buyers.
Toyota's small pickup could be called the Stout
There has been speculation Toyota would revive an older pickup name for the new vehicle. One prominent option is Stout, not to be confused with VW's Scout brand. Toyota notably filed to register that name for use in Argentina. Though trademarking a name does not guarantee it will be used. And Toyota could decide to use a different name for the American market.
We may see the new Toyota small pickup in 2023
It's getting late in the game for Toyota to launch a 2023 model year vehicle. Toyota execs alluded to the new truck potentially being shown off at a third HQ Confidential event in 2023. That event has been held in early June the past two years. And judging from the first two events, Toyota could either give the pickup a full reveal or show a full-scale model of the vehicle confidentially to journalists before a full reveal later in the year.
Why Toyota needs to compete with the Maverick
The Maverick has proven immensely popular. The only constraint for Ford right now is how many of them they can build. Pre-orders for the 2023 model year sold out in about a week before Ford closed the books. And the Maverick is a particular issue for Toyota because it's proving to be a formidable conquest vehicle, attracting customers from other brands. Sixty percent of Maverick buyers are coming from outside Ford. And the second most traded-in vehicle for a Maverick is the Toyota RAV4.