Will The Rumored Corolla-Based Toyota Truck Be Better Than Other Compact Pickup Rivals?

4WheelOnline
5 min readAug 30, 2023

Toyota has consistently carved out a name for itself as an innovative automaker. Although the brand originated in Japan, it has kept a record of practical and reliable vehicles. No wonder this multinational automaker has secured a strong foothold in the U.S. automotive market.

Rumors swirl that a new addition may be able to join the brand’s lineup for 2027. Toyota may create a compact truck, but not in its usual mid-size category. Enthusiasts and daily drivers wonder whether this new contender will outshine its rivals in the compact pickup segment.

Photo by Akshar Patel on Unsplash

A comeback?

Reports about new vehicle models have continuously stirred excitement among consumers and enthusiasts alike. The latest buzz revolves around Toyota’s potential venture into the compact truck segment with a rumored small truck.

Some may think that Toyota is releasing a new car from the vault. However, it seems the rumored vehicle is an exciting comeback of a classic truck. Back in 1964, Stout marked the first foray of Toyota into the light-duty truck arena in North America. It can be considered a pioneer in the compact pickup landscape, preceding the trucks in the current lineup, such as Hilux, Tacoma, and Tundra.

Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz are the popular models in the compact truck segment. Not as saturated as the mid- and full-size segments, different automakers have seen the success of the small trucks since their release, especially among the younger truck buyer demographic.

Small and “Stout”

The word Stout means an object that is strong or somewhat heavy-build. The rumored truck draws inspiration from the popular Corolla platform, which has consistently proven its worth as an efficient yet practical vehicle. The Corolla model is famous worldwide, but it is the best-selling car in only one state in America — which is Florida.

As of now, the concrete details about Toyota’s compact pickup remain elusive. However, if rumors are true, expect the Stout to inherit Corolla’s compact dimensions, urban-friendly design, and, most importantly, fuel efficiency. The truck could seamlessly transition from city streets to outdoor adventures without a hassle.

It may not be as large as pickup trucks for hauling or those with headache racks and other heavy-duty accessories. The advantage of the Corolla platform includes the sedan’s practicality fused with the pickup truck’s versatility. This potential hybrid approach could give the compact pickup an edge for fuel efficiency, maneuverability, and affordability.

Why the Stout is worthy of a comeback?

From the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, the Stout has been a notable compact truck produced by Toyota. You can attribute its success in the United States to several factors aligned with the American automotive market and consumer preferences at the time:

  • Reliability: Toyota built a reputation for producing reliable and well-built vehicles, which was particularly important as American consumers were becoming more conscious of the quality and durability of their cars. The Stout’s reputation for dependability and longevity worked in its favor since buyers sought vehicles requiring minimal maintenance and repairs.
  • Fuel efficiency: The Stout was introduced to the U.S. market when fuel efficiency and affordability were becoming increasingly crucial to American consumers. The truck’s compact size combined with an efficient and reliable engine has made it an appealing option for those looking to save on fuel costs.
  • Innovative design: The Stout had sleeker styling. It comes with remarkable qualities for functionality and practical features, which enticed consumers looking for a balance between utility and aesthetics.
  • Effective marketing and distribution: Toyota worked on establishing a network of dealerships and promoting its vehicles through various marketing channels. A solid distribution network and successful marketing efforts helped create awareness and generate interest. It applies not only to Stout but also to other vehicles in the lineup.
  • Market appeal: The Stout’s compact size and sturdy build made it well-suited for industrial and commercial applications. Tradespeople and small businesses have used it as a practical and affordable option for their work needs.
  • Competition and timing: Japanese automakers were gaining traction in the U.S. market. It could be the best timing for Stout when Toyota introduced it to American consumers. At the time, consumers were open to alternatives to traditional domestic vehicles and exploring new brands. The arrival of Toyota’s small truck coincided with the growing interest in imported cars, giving it a chance to capture a portion of the market.

Toyota’s success in the U.S. automotive market

Toyota’s success can be attributed to its ability to adapt to changing market demands. If the automaker will pursue to put the truck in production, people may view it as a testament to the company’s responsiveness to consumer preferences. With the popularity of compact trucks, Toyota’s entry into this segment could be a strategic move to capture a broader audience.

The multinational automaker achieved top-selling status with different models. The brand’s commitment to quality has resulted in a loyal customer base. The RAV4 compact crossover is popular in many states.

According to a Motor Biscuit article, the full-sized Tundra sold in 2022 was 104,246 units. Tacoma, one of the best-selling trucks in America for 18 years, got 237,323 trucks sold in 2022. The mid and full-sized Toyota trucks are ideal for consumers looking for bigger rear space and are powerful for towing substantial loads. Installing tonneau covers adds protection, functionality, and security to the vehicle, as well as adding other truck accessories.

The reputation of Toyota in the U.S. automotive market is not to be taken lightly. The brand has built a reputation over the years, crafting vehicles that balance reliability, fuel efficiency, and comfort.

A new contender

In terms of size, the Stout’s rumored Corolla underpinnings might provide it with an edge. Compact dimensions make maneuvering and parking in tight spaces a breeze. Nowadays, many potential buyers, especially young ones, seek these features as they usually drive in urban settings.

The Stout must compete with established contenders like the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. Moreover, there will be a few upcoming models that will join the segment. They have injected new life into this category, promising a balance between easy drivability and everyday usability. Despite the small dimensions, these models carved out a niche by offering a blend of comfort and capability.

The compact truck segment has seen a resurgence in recent years, with various automakers throwing their hats into the ring. If the Stout returns to the U.S. market, it will try to dethrone the best-selling truck in a battlefield of small trucks.

The ultimate test for the Stout’s success would be its ability to balance the practicality of a small yet efficient car and the utility of a pickup truck. If Toyota manages to pull off this feat, the rumored rig could be a compelling option for those seeking a versatile and reliable truck for urban and off-road endeavors.

Stout vs. other pickup trucks

With Toyota’s well-established reputation and the potential advantages of a Corolla-based design, the Stout could pose a significant challenge to its compact pickup rivals. One thing is for sure — the compact truck market is heating up, and the Stout’s possible arrival is set to make it even more interesting.

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