Is Toyota considering a new Corolla-based compact pickup truck to enter the market and compete with the smallest trucks available?
It seems the automotive industry is a lot like the fashion industry. Clothes always come back in style sometime later in the future (raise your hand if you’re still holding out for parachute pants to make a comeback). The compact truck market has returned with the new Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. As midsize trucks have grown, room was left for small, capable, and efficient trucks. This is the perfect market for Toyota to add a Corolla-based truck to the mix.
Compact trucks utilize unibody crossover platforms
So far, the trucks that have recreated the smallest class in the market have made use of unibody platforms. The Hyundai Santa Cruz is built on the same platform as the Tucson, which is a compact, unibody SUV. The Ford Maverick shares its platform with a more capable SUV, the Bronco Sport, but it still plays by the rules with a unibody construction. The new Toyota truck could use the same Corolla platform as the Corolla cross subcompact SUV and smaller Corolla sedan. Using a compact sedan platform could make the new Toyota truck the smallest of the class.
Seating for five makes sense
These small trucks are making a comeback but offer much more capability and passenger space than the compact trucks of old. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, it seemed like every automaker had a tiny truck on the road. Usually, these trucks featured only a small regular cab build with a small bench seat. Today’s compact trucks change things with a proper five-seat layout and a small bed in the rear. This ensures enough space for a family to ride together while also offering some bed elements to deliver good versatility on the road.
Will Toyota offer a hybrid powertrain?
We already see proof that Toyota is committed to providing hybrid systems in larger vehicles. The Tundra, Tacoma, Sequoia, and 4Runner are all being offered with hybrid powertrains in new models. Could this change be part of a Toyota Corolla-based pickup truck? Considering the Corolla Cross already has a hybrid powertrain that offers 196 horsepower and combined fuel mileage figures that reach 42 mpg, it could be the starting point for this new truck. This platform could benefit from some added strength to improve the towing and payload figures.
When could a Toyota compact truck arrive?
The current Toyota plan shows this new compact truck arriving for the 2027 model year. This means it might not be based on the current version of the Corolla or Corolla Cross but on the next-generation model. Toyota already stated a new pickup could be built alongside the Corolla sedan in Mississippi instead of next to the Corolla Cross, which is built at the joint factory with Mazda in Alabama. Toyota seems poised to offer a new compact truck to fit below the Tacoma in the lineup and offer some useful options.
Would the Stout name return?
Names continue to return to the market in many ways. Ford has brought back the Bronco with its new models, which is just one example of how automakers love to recycle names. It would be pretty easy to see this new Toyota Corolla-based pickup truck arriving with the Stout name. This name first appeared in the small pickups Toyota brought to the United States in the 1960s. This name makes perfect sense, especially for those who understand and remember what this name means for Toyota. The Stout was an important truck during the time of the oil crisis of the 1970s.
Will the Toyota truck be competitive?
Although Toyota struggles to sell as many Tundras as Ford, GM, and Stellantis sell with their half-ton trucks, the Tacoma is and continues to be the most popular midsize truck in the entire market. A small truck based on the Corolla could be an instant hit, especially if it brings similar capabilities and features as Ford did with the new Maverick and the variety of impressive systems and features offered. The new Corolla-based truck should include the reliability, quality, and durability we associate with the Toyota name.
When Ford began selling the compact Maverick it became the most affordable truck in the entire market. Could a new Toyota Corolla-based pickup truck undercut the price of the Maverick, or will it cost a little more but bring more to the mix? How much power will this new Toyota truck offer? What are the towing and payload figures? These are questions for later when we’re much closer to this truck’s arrival.
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