Have you ever looked at the Toyota Tacoma and thought it should be smaller? Well, you aren’t alone. The Toyota RAV4 could be transformed into a pickup truck so Toyota can get in on the compact truck game.
Is a Toyota RAV4 truck in the works?
A Toyota RAV4 pickup truck isn’t in the works yet, but it could be soon. According to MotorTrend, Toyota wants in on the compact pickup truck party. The Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz are rolling in too much success to ignore.
Plus, the Ram 700 and Chevy Cyclone could be the next compact trucks to hit the stage. Toyota doesn’t want to fall even farther behind when it comes to the tiny truck trend, so it’s considering whipping up a new option.
Bob Carter, Executive Vice President of Sales for Toyota Motor North America, confirmed that Toyota is analyzing the small truck market. He shared that a new option could join the lineup soon. It would slot below the Toyota Tacoma.
The Toyota Tacoma has the market covered as the best-selling midsize truck. But Toyota could enter the segment with something smaller that’s more targeted for urban use, like the Ford Maverick.
What do we know about the new Toyota truck?
The Toyota RAV4 pickup truck could borrow a lot of inspiration from the Ford Maverick. Toyota is considering building a smaller truck on the unibody TNGA platform that underpins multiple vehicles, including the Toyota RAV4 SUV.
Building a truck with RAV4 parts feels exactly like a play from Ford’s playbook. The Ford Maverick is essentially a Ford Escape with a truck bed. Both the Maverick and Ford Bronco Sport use Ford Escape parts.
As a result, the Ford Maverick and Ford Bronco Sport were easy to quickly design and build because it’s already easy to source parts for the Ford Escape.
Toyota could apply a similar method when crafting a new truck based on parts that are already available. However, the Toyota RAV4 truck would need a little more power.
The RAV4’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine only provides 203 hp and 183 lb-ft of torque. The Mavericks gas-powered 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine cranks out 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. The Maverick can tow up to 4,000 lbs, while the RAV4 can only tow up to 3,500 lbs.
Will the RAV4 truck copy the Maverick?
The Toyota RAV4 pickup truck could emerge with the RAV4’s existing hybrid engine to provide an alternative to the hybrid Maverick. Plus, by using RAV4 components to build a new truck, pricing could be affordable.
This is similar to how the Ford Maverick achieves such a low starting price thanks to using Ford Escape parts. But hopefully, the hybrid Toyota truck can be paired with all-wheel drive. The hybrid Maverick can’t be paired with AWD, but the 2023 model may address this issue.
If the RAV4 truck has a unibody design, it will have sportier handling and a smoother ride than the Tacoma. The Tacoma features a body-on-frame design which allows for more suspension travel for off-roading. This results in a bumpier ride.
Currently, the Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz don’t offer robust off-roading trims, so the new Toyota truck doesn’t need to compete in this area.
However, Toyota is only thinking about making a compact truck, so it could be years before a RAV4-based or new option arrives.