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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    Blame the EPA’s corporate fuel economy chart. It prevents building a small truck, and fosters large one, because it’s based on wheelbase, iirc.
    Datsun was the king of small trucks, not the Stout. It was later that Toyota caught on.

    Yes, but make it a 3 door like my 99 S10 Extreme and make sure you offer a STICK. My S-10 has 200,000 miles so I am READY. BTW about every other time I take out the S10 Extreme I get asked if I want to sell it and of course the answer is NO! I don’t want a MONSTER truck!!!

    The problem is they all claim that standard cab, standard transmission trucks don’t sell well.

    There were a few HOAs that had to amend their CCRs to allow pickups in the driveway because of too short garages.
    GILBERT AZ revised their residential code so a 4door short bed F150 would fit in the garage or driveway.

    I’d never buy any house if the garage was too small. I always check.

    My wife and I have 2 Mavericks. Mine is the front wheel drive, my wife’s is a all wheel drive. 23 K and 28 K and we ordered both of them with zero markup. They can haul 2K in the box or a 2K trailer. The trucks get 34 and 32 highway. People the talk down about the Mavericks have never driven one!

    People are willing to pay more money for bigger cars and trucks, even though the extra content probably doesn’t cost the makers a whole lot. Labor, overhead, shipping, fees, management, etc. aren’t likely to be a lot more per unit. So they build them bigger and bigger, charge more and more, and laugh.

    My daughter has a 1998 Toyota Tacoma, rust free 4wd, manual shift, manual hubs, crank windows, 215K miles, and the engine is starting to show signs of age. Right now it’s running OK, sort of, but the valves have receded into the head so it’s tough to get them adjusted to the correct lash. So, buy a used engine and swap it in, nurse it along a few more years and replace the engine with Tesla running gear, or what. It’s just too useful and the perfect size, so giving it up is off the table.

    2 doors, real bumpers,vent windows,window cranks,6 foot bed,bench seat,am/fm disc player.step bumper,2 and 4 wd with manual lever, oh yes put a frame under it.

    My sister and brother-in-law moved to Mexico four years ago and sold me their 2002 Toyota Tacoma, single cab, 2wd, four banger for $500. It is my daily driver here on Oahu Hawaii.

    It is perfect. No cruise control, crank windows, not even intermittent wipers (which I wish it had).

    There are a ton of them here on the island. Very popular and they last forever.

    Small trucks did not go away because of a lack of demand. Small trucks went away because big trucks are extremely profitable and if that’s all there is, guess what, you get to commute in a big truck because that is what most trucks are used for.

    I owned a 1977 and a 1994 Toyota pick up and loved them. In 2016 I bought a 1997 Ford Ranger with 62,000 miles on it and it’s got a V-6 in it , but I sure miss the simplicity of my Toyota pick up trucks. I’m still driving my Ford but I’d love to see a new Toyota Small pick up released that could be one I could die with

    Yep if they build it I will come. Ive got an 88 FJ62 that im going thru but I really need a truck cant afford to put diesel in my 89 F250 (even though I get 19mpg) so I use my 88 Dodge Raider with a roof rack. But I would buy a new Toyota SR6?? dont need a big luced out 4wd sofa…

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