Toyota isn’t really short on great off-roaders, but as we Biscuits have mentioned many times before, the Current Toyota 4×4 line is woefully dated. They are all too big, have old motors, and lack any real modern design or amenities than the modern crop of SUVs like the Ford Bronco, Land Rover Defender, and even Wranglers. The Tundra, 4Runner, Tacoma, and Sequoia are all guilty. However, that could all change with the new Trademark application for something called the “Trialhunter.” I know, right!?!?
Is Toyota making a new 4×4?
As Gear Patrol reports, Toyota seems to be recalculating its 4×4 lineup as competitors like the Ford Bronco, the new Hummer, and a continuous stream of Jeep Wranglers pour onto the roadways and trails of America.
When Toyota axed the FJ Cruiser, it made perfect sense. The 4×4 line was a bit repetitive, and the market wasn’t really open to that many types of 4x4s at the time. However, these days, we seem to be incapable of getting enough new 4x4s, not to mention the astounding values of nearly 10-year-old FJs. Toyota has clearly been taking notes and seems to be course correcting.
What is Toyota up to?
Back in 2017, Toyota released images of a 4×4 concept called the FT-4X that, plainly put, looks kind like the 2021 Defender if I’m honest. More than the Defender similarities, it showed that Toyota is not quite as stuck in the past as its current lineup suggests.
As I mentioned, Toyota has recently applied for a Trademark on the name “Trailhunter.” Aside from that being a super kick-ass name, in general, it clearly suggests a new off-roader. This is excellent news for any Toyota hopefuls.
Although the name certainly sounds off-roady, that doesn’t really mean it will be. Gear Patrol makes the astute observation that Toyota is clearly slow to add anything new and stand-alone to their line unless necessary. The SUV and pickup truck are super crowded and competitive, yet Toyota still sold more Tacomas than Corollas last year. Even though it is crazy outdated, these tried and true body-on-frame dinosaurs are still massively popular despite the increasing tech and comfort of new trucks and SUVs.
If the Trailhunter isn’t a hardcore off-roader, then what is it?
I am keeping the faith alive. Seeing as how Toyota also locked down the name “Grand Highlander” this year. The idea that this is going to be another bloated three-row is unacceptable. These monsters have become a plague, and we do not need any more of them.
To that end, the other possibility is some new trim level for one of Toyota’s SUVs that is focused on off-roading. Frankly, this is becoming an increasingly tired concept that needs to end quickly. They are typically just some black wheels, a lift, new fenders, and maybe a couple of extra lights. This is not something the off-roading world needs the factory to do for us. So let’s be done with all that.
Hopefully, Toyota sees the run on the Ford Broncos and the eagerness that people still have for any new Jeep Wrangler variation and gets deeper into building tough off-road vehicles again. The 4Runner is great and all, but it has lost its way, and something called the Trailhunter could be just the thing to tighten up the line.