The rumor mill suggests Toyota is working on a new compact pickup truck - this is what we know so far.
Small trucks are big business, and it seems Toyota may revive a classic nameplate - the Toyota Stout - for an upcoming entrant into the compact pickup truck segment against the Ford Maverick, Hyundai Santa Cruz, and potentially the Ram Rampage.
The rumors began in January of 2023 when reports from South Africa cited a new small truck in the works. "watch this space in the next three years for the LCV (light commercial vehicle) segment with potentially a small [truck] from Toyota," said Toyota SA's Leon Theron at the time. More recently, another South African Toyota representative seemingly confirmed the new truck, citing that it would be smaller and more affordable than the Hilux and may arrive around 2025/26. "We believe it will take the market by storm and are still doing a lot of development around it," said Glenn Crompton.
But if Toyota is serious about reviving the Stout name, we need to look back at the history of the Stout and what the new Toyota Stout will bring to the table.
Historical nameplates are big business in the automotive industry, with names like Bronco, Maverick, Trailblazer, and more being revived to great acclaim in recent years. Toyota allegedly trademarked the name Stout with Argentinian intellectual property officials late last year, which added further flames to rumors of its revival.
The Stout nameplate was last used in the year 2000 when the third-generation Stout ended production after a 21-year run. Before this, the first-gen Stout was produced from 1954-1960, while the second-gen Stout lasted from 1960-1978. The Stout was a predecessor to both the Hilux and the Tacoma, and with these two icons growing in size, there's now a spot open in the lineup for a smaller Toyota to enter the fray.
The Toyota Stout has a heritage in the USA, too, as the second-generation Lite Stout was sold stateside as the Stout 1900.
A lot of rumors are circulating, but here's what we know about the new Toyota Stout pickup truck so far.
It's unlikely Toyota will build the Stout on a body-on-frame chassis. Currently, the TNGA-F platform is the only body-on-frame platform available. While it is modular, it's geared towards larger vehicles like the all-new Tacoma and the larger Tundra. Instead, a new Toyota Stout will likely be a unibody pickup truck sharing underpinnings with crossovers like the RAV4. That means the TNGA-K platform with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive as available drivetrains. This was supported by comments from Cooper Ericksen, Group Vice President of Product Planning and Strategy last year, when he told Motor Trend, "If there's a customer that needs a rugged, smaller body-on-frame vehicle, we can consider that, but if it's more for urban use and less extreme off-road, then it would make more sense to use the TNGA unibody platform."
As for what will power the Stout, Toyota probably won't make it electric. However, a Toyota Stout Hybrid is highly likely, as the Japanese automaker has employed hybrid powertrains in both the Tundra and the new Tacoma. If it adopted current hybrid powertrains, it could have as much as 220 horsepower if it uses the combined electric might and 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine from the new Prius Prime.
While Toyota revealed a slew of electric concepts in 2021, some of those have become combustion-powered cars, with one even previewing the new Tacoma. None of them were a small pickup, however. But there was one, called the Compact Cruiser EV, that could preview the design language employed on a smaller, rugged off-roader.
Another possibility is that the IMV 0 concept, recently revealed in Thailand, could preview the smaller Toyota Stout truck.
There is no confirmation of what a new Stout would cost, but Toyota would need to be competitive. Given a 2024 arrival at the earliest, and with the success of the Maverick, we think Toyota will be aiming for parity with the Blue Oval's smallest truck. That means a starting price in the region of $24,000 when it arrives. However, upper trims, mainly off-road focused models, may see the Toyota Stout for sale for a heftier price of around $35k.
While comments out of South Africa suggest an arrival in 2025 or 2026, we suspect Toyota will confirm more details and begin showing teasers and/or concepts in 2024. A 2024 Toyota stout isn't out of the question, but we don't anticipate its arrival that soon.