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It is no secret that people love the Toyota Land Cruiser SUV, but it didn’t sell enough in the U.S. However, rumors are flying that the new Toyota Tacoma truck might fill the Toyota Land Cruiser-shaped hole in the hearts of buyers. Is Toyota finally giving us the vehicle we need?

Toyota Tacoma truck might fill the Land Cruiser-shaped hole

The Toyota Tacoma truck and the Land Cruiser SUV
The classic Toyota Land Cruiser and the modern Toyota Tacoma truck | Toyota

Toyota didn’t kill off the Land Cruiser in all markets. In fact, it is still a very popular vehicle overseas. CarBuzz says the Tacoma and the Toyota 4Runner are some of the oldest options in the automaker’s lineup. But when it comes down to it, the Tacoma hasn’t joined the new truck generation. While Ford is pumping out excelling popular options like the Ford F-150 Lightning, Ranger, and Maverick, Toyota hasn’t made much of a move.

CarBuzz spoke with the chief executive engineer at Toyota Motor North America, Mike Sweers, who is in charge of the Tundra, Sequoia, Tacoma, and 4Runner. Upon asking about the plans for the new Tacoma and 4Runner, Sweers noted he recently received an email with some suggestions for the Toyota pickup truck.

“Where Tacoma goes, the rest of our trucks go. We have very passionate customers. Our customers have more active lifestyles: they hunt, fish, mountain bike, and camp. They make their vehicles unique to our own need.”

Sweers noted that the number one customer request Toyota received is related to the fuel economy of the Tacoma truck. The team is already full-speed ahead, working on eliminating weight and improving the powertrain and body.

The Toyota Tacoma Truck has the potential to be a long-time favorite like the Land Cruiser

If Toyota can figure out how to reduce the weight, increase the fuel numbers, and still provide an off-road-ready vehicle, it will win all of the sales. When it came to the Land Cruiser SUV, Sweers noted that even though it isn’t available for sale in the U.S., it still has an impact on the current lineup. All of the new Toyota trucks are built to Toyota QDR, which stands for Quality, Durability, and Reliability. People might not be buying a Land Cruiser, but the Land Cruiser is a good indication of how well Toyota QDR works.

If the Land Cruisers doesn’t work in the U.S., perhaps the new Toyota Tacoma truck will have everything buyers need. Toyota is one of two automakers known for making vehicles that last 200,000 miles or more. Most buyers aren’t looking for a two-year lease and to trade it in after that. These buyers want a reliable Toyota truck or SUV that will breeze past 200,000 miles. Plus, Toyota cars, trucks, and SUVs are known for retaining value over the years.

Give the people the Land Cruiser Tacoma mashup

Sweers said that Toyota has been out and about speaking to real customers about what the Tacoma truck is doing right and what needs to be improved. It isn’t just about the Tacoma, though. The Land Cruiser is universally loved but isn’t the only SUV out there.

As long as Toyota doesn’t slap a huge grille on the front and amps up the engine offerings, it is guaranteed to have a fan base ready and waiting.