Report: Toyota mulling a small, Ford Maverick-like pickup


Ford tentatively dipped a toe in the small truck market for the 2022 model year with the Maverick, a front-wheel-drive, four-cylinder vehicle whose soft rollout included little advertising.

The Maverick didn’t need the publicity. Buyer word of mouth and almost unanimously positive reviews made the truck a sellout almost immediately, and Ford still hasn’t caught up with the demand. Other manufacturers have noticed, and it seems likely imitators are coming.

From Toyota, perhaps. Automotive News asked dealers and Toyota management ahead of the national Toyota dealer meetings this week about a small, inexpensive pickup reminiscent of the Toyota Stout from the 1960s, which helped establish Toyota in the U.S. market.

Toyota Stout hunting image black white
1965 Toyota Stout 1900 Toyota

Danny Wilson, dealer principal at Wilson Toyota of Ames in Iowa, former dealer council chairman, told Automotive News a unibody compact pickup would be a “great play on the heritage of Toyota.” Of course, its arrival would also give dealers another product to sell.

“We’ve obviously watched Maverick closely,” Toyota general manager Dave Christ told Automotive News. “If you think about our pickup trucks, they’ve gotten bigger over the years. You know, when you see in our lobby [at Toyota’s North American headquarters in Plano, Texas] we had a display of old and new—we had the original T100 next to the new Tundra—and it pretty much underscored how much bigger that product is today. And you can say the same for Tacoma, comparing it to the original Toyota pickup.”

Steve Gates, current chairman of the Toyota National Dealer Council, says he has been asking for a compact Toyota pickup since the early 2000s. And now that Gates has seen what the Maverick has done at his own Ford store, he’s even more convinced. “We’re absolutely sold out of Maverick, and we’re sold out as far as we can possibly see, and it hasn’t affected Ranger or F-150 one bit,” Gates said.

Automotive News speculates that a small truck could be built on the Corolla platform, likely made in the U.S. to avoid import taxes. “If you can find a way to build a higher fuel-efficiency pickup truck, that’s certainly something that helps with the regulatory need,” Christ said. “Could there be an opportunity there? I’m sure the market exists because Maverick’s done reasonably well.”

Ford Maverick Tremor package front three quarter
Cameron Neveu

Reasonably well? That seems like an understatement. Maverick is essentially sold out, and commanding dealer premiums. Plus there’s the fact that it is an exceptionally well-done product. “It might not be a ‘real’ truck in the traditional sense, but this Maverick is definitely a first-rate low-price vehicle, with capabilities beyond that of the original Maverick or the previous-generation Rangers,” Hagerty wrote in a review of the 2022 model.

If it is coming, Toyota’s Maverick fighter is not imminent, Christ told Automotive News. “We don’t have anything planned,” Christ said. “We’re not announcing anything to the dealers. I won’t even say ‘yet’ because that would suggest it’s coming. But certainly, it’s something we’ve looked at.”

Toyota Stout studio front




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    I’d certainly be interested in a 2 door cab or a cab with about 18 inches behind the seats and a 6, 6.5 or 7 foot pickup box. 6 speed manual with a strong, torquey 4 cylinder engine. Even a plain jane one would be satisfactory or minimal extras. For those who need the “continental” environment, they can buy their useless gas or electric guzzling ginormous semi pickups or SUV’s already on the market.

    Yes, I’m all in for a plain-jane 2-door pickup with a manual trans. Analog guages & window cranks would be too much to ask for

    Crank windows, bench seat, manual transmission, straight 6 engine, two door and a bed that can haul something. And priced somewhere in a range that a man can afford to buy it.
    Problem is most folks today don’t know how to drive anything with a clutch.

    I don’t think we will ever see straight-6 engines in anything cheap again, just in expensive sedans, sports cars, and SUV’s – and they will be mostly (or all) supercharged. Any small truck will almost certainly have a 4-cylinder, possibly in turbo form for a deluxe model. And sadly, the manual transmission is on life support, and the plug is loose in the wall.

    I have a 2002 Ranger….plain Jane “fleet” truck with roll up windows and a 6ft bed, and I absolutely love it! Who the hell needs the ginormous things they build now just as an everyday driver/work truck? My old Ranger has 184k and I will rebuild the motor and trans when the time comes, rather than spend a fortune on some new behemoth. I find it literally insane that carmakers aren’t spitting out bare bones compact pickups with simple basic controls……these things would FLY out of dealers!!

    I agree but evidently the EPA mandates dictate the size of truck and milage requirements. I say screw all that build a basic small 2wd with optional 4wd, simple straight 6 5speed. Like you im building a FJ62 with low miles and no rust still DD a 88 Dodge Raider.

    You could sell an early 90s Tacoma(Hilux), Nissan Hardbody or Mazda B2200 as they were right now on the dealer lots if the prices were comparable (adjusted for inflation of course) to what they were then. Could have been selling lots of them for years…

    As “mini” trucks got bigger the price jumps did too. To the point that moderately discounted F150s were cheaper most of the time (and available) compared to the limited number of now-midsized offerings.

    I’d love a regular cab configuration, but even a crew cab that stays skinny and not too tall would be alright.

    I don’t mind the current Colorados, but that is because they feel like my GMT400 Chev fullsize truck with maybe 10% less size. A true mini truck (and nice pricing) would be great.

    Amen to that! WAY too many “two-thirds of a car” running around already, seeming as if they should be looking for street department workers to take to the job site.

    Whatever happened to the $22K stripper Maverick? My brother ordered one, waited a year and ended up getting a 4wd XLT that cost a lot more…and I know he paid over list too. Likely mid 30’s $. I hear a lot of that bait and switch has went on ostensibly because of ‘a shortage’ of hybrid hardware. Gather hybrid list is also up to $27K if you can get one.

    I drove a Santa Cruz on a trip the other say. Drove nice but made very cheaply and the dash was a mess.

    More car than truck like the Ford. I have little interest in these vehicles.

    The trouble is going to be if there are one or two of these on the market they can make it. But if everyone offers one they will just split up the existing sales and they all will starve.

    As for Hybrid. I have learned my lesson early on these. The hybrids are the worst of EC or ICE. You have the ICE and maintenance issues of them and you also have the cost of the EV with expensive batteries and few people willing to or able to fix them.

    My buddies shop tried to fix one the other day and very little info is out on repairs. He finally sent the customer to the dealer. He is a very good mechanic but with little support he was not going to risk putting in a expensive battery that he thought was bad at the customer expense.

    Since Covid and working from home I will keep my real truck and it will last a good long while. I have not even had it in the rain or snow going on two years.

    I am sure that there are millions of us who need to go to the lumberyard or dump without 5 passengers, and I would have a problem getting a fullsize 4 door pickup in my garage. Give us simple, with a bit of storage behind the only seat. Forget big power and luxo ride, we want little Trucks.

    Jeeze, just sell a truck with more bed than doors and people would be lining up to buy one. Use my Xtra cab as a template.

    Toyota, with its expertise in hybrid powertrains would be a natural for a small pickup. Keep it simple with an overall length under 200 inches, a cab that fits 6 footers and a 6ft bed.

    I have a 2022 Maverick. Just over $29,000 out the door and that is with Ct taxes! XLT AWD with an electric Sunroof. No other frills needed.
    Toyota will bring one out. Greed is a powerful motivation.

    I’d buy a small pickup in a heartbeat, but I’d want a truck, (already have a car, don’t need another). Short cab, 6 foot bed that will actually hold stuff, and being from New England, I’d like 4WD. Don’t need 10,000 lb tow capability, or a vehicle that drives itself, just something that I can move a snowblower, dirt bike or some wood for a project. I don’t need a $75,000 Ford Raptor or Ram for that stuff. Build it Toyota, I’ll buy one.

    Yes please Toyota. A simple basic 2 door truck with a 5-6 foot bed and no touch screen electronic gizmos , stick shift model . Just a radio, sliding rear window and crank windows.

    I recently purchased a used Tacoma and I’m happy with it but it’s still bigger than I really need. But, I just do not like rigs that can’t seem to decide if they are a car or a truck, i.e. Maverick or Honda Ridgeline. Seems those don’t make good trucks because the bed is so small and they don’t make good cars either.

    Another vote for a standard cab short box small truck – a truck that actually has a useful bed size for hauling stuff!
    Meanwhile, I’ll have to keep my old Dakota RC/SB SLT V8 going for another few years.

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