Latest News

A New Small Scion-Based Truck Coming Soon?

News has been spreading about the planned increase in production of the Rav4 and along with it comes rumor and speculation about a new little Scion-based pickup. Fact or fiction?

A New Scion-Based Truck Coming Soon?

Rumors are swirling that a new Scion-based truck could be in production and for sale by 2014. Fact or Fiction?

The gist of the rumor comes from the idea that Toyota is increasing production of the Rav4 by 25 percent. Also, there is some speculation that there will be an improvement in the Rav4 engine. This combined with the already reported rumors we wrote about a Scion-based pickup means it is moving more to reality. Our sources are pointing to a new Scion pickup based on the Rav4 platform coming in 2014.

Many sources are picking up this rumor including a recent article on and comments on our sister site,

Why does this make sense for Toyota? As we recently stated, here are our reasons for a Compact, Unibody Scion Pickup:

  1. Because the Tacoma has grown from compact to midsize, there might be room in the marketplace for a truly compact pickup truck.
  2. Truck owners seem to be fiercely loyal to a particular brand, and this loyalty is often fostered at a young age. Building a cheap compact Toyota truck gives us a chance to grow a lifetime customer.
  3. A compact pickup would help Toyota meet our federal fleet fuel economy rating.
  4. Compact little unibody pickups have some appeal worldwide.
  5. Toyota is really, really good at building small vehicles.

While some manufactures are discontinuing their small pickups and forcing consumers to buy their larger sizes (see: Ford Ranger, Ford F-150), plus the rise of gas prices lately, the need for something is growing.

A small pickup makes a lot of sense. While American consumers have been buying full-size pickups for years, the trend world-wide is for smaller pickups. Yes, they don’t have the power/towing capacity of their larger brethen, they do retain the handiness of having a truck bed. There are many people out there that would like the truck bed and the gas mileage of a car.

Just like the El Camino was a great fit for consumers looking for a pickup without the big truck feel, the Scion-based pickup could capture a niche market and maybe even a similar cult-like following the El Camino enjoys.

In the end, the new Scion-based truck is going to be marketed for the younger generation. It will be interesting to see how well it sells, since the automotive “experts” have been telling us that older people don’t want a smaller pickup rather we want full-size. American consumers could now have a say with their wallets. Will they prove the experts right or wrong? We will see.

Related Posts:

  • DrLou

    I hope Scion or Toyota does bring a compact pickup truck to market but I wouldn’t be interested in the one shown here. This pickup looks like it’s based on the Scion xB which is a good vehicle but wouldn’t make a good host for a pickup truck because it has FWD. FWD is good for driving around with an empty load but it’s traction would decrease as the load over the rear wheel increases. The AWD A-BAT concept would be a much better choice and tht A-BAT could haul a 4X8 sheet with the mid and rear gates down. What’s not to like?

    • Jason

      DrLou – I’m in agreement 100%, and I think Toyota is too. The ABAT is definitely going to be the blueprint…but I’m not sure about that 4×8 sheet of plywood. My guess is that it won’t be able to do that without something sticking out.

      • DrLou

        The original 2008 A-BAT concept advertised it could haul a 4 X 8 sheet with mid and rear gate down. Here’s one example of such a link;

        • Jason

          DrLou – A very good point. Thank you.

      • The way to achieve the 4×8 challenge in a small car is with the mid and tailgates down as DrLou mentioned. But also, with the bed above the wheel wells. The bed above the wheel wells also makes a available a deep dry storage trunk area ala the Honda Ridgeline.

        If Toyota/Scion is really still building this they’ve done an incredible job of keeping in on the down low. It’s now October 2012 and I have to wonder if this is still happening.

  • AWD, smaller than the gen 1 Tacoma, and around $20K… Would be a winner! That’s exactly what the market needs to infuse a little bit of energy back into compact trucks!

  • Well lets hope it does not look like this.. but yeah, this could be a real market winner now.

    Scion might just be the perfect company to build it too.. the Scion tc is a very smart hatchbatch.

    Here’s what I would hope for…

    – Two door. Low, wide and muscle car, manly aggressive looking. Imagining the tc, but with a higher roofline.. maybe a x6 like knock off.
    – It’s got a fold down tailgate like a pickup truck.
    – The rear glass rolls up and way exposing a hard plasic cargo/bed area.
    – Something with very smart rear seating. yeah they fold flat.. duh.. but class leading rear head and leg room. Seats the recline way back and are very low. A roof line high enough for a 6’5 person to sit back there! Thinking of the rear roofline on the Cadi CTS coupe and that new little honda 2 seater.
    – here’s the kicker .. when open and tail down, this thing MUST be able to haul sheets of plywood, bikes, dirtbikes, a lawnmower, a full size stove even.

    No it wont look like a pickup truck.

    Google: Open Cargo Coupe or Mila Coupic to get an idea.

    • Jason

      I like all of those ideas, but I think it’s hard to do everything and still be affordable. My guess? The Scion truck will do a lot of things reasonably well, but at a price that will look like a steal compared to a similarly equipped Tacoma.

      Of course, said similarly equipped Tacoma will be able to “do” more work, haul more, tow more, etc. But we’ll just have to wait and see now…

  • Kensaudio

    A small utility is just what’s needed. I don’t sacrifice function for fashion, so I couldn’t care less what it looks like. As evidence, I currently drive a Subaru Baja. Love it. I can carry 4 people (since it’s essentially a king-cab) and I’ve fit in the back everything from a dozen bags of mulch, to a couch.
    I don’t understand the obsession with the 4×8 sheet of plywood metric. I’ve made an inexpensive custom rack for the back which allows me to carry a few sheets on it/the luggage rack over the cab. That could be done to accomplish the same thing on just about any small pickup.

    Can’t wait to see what develops. My Baja won’t last forever.

    • Tim Esterdahl


      I have always thought the Baja fits a need and is an “interesting” category of vehicle. Most car makers might go with a hatch back, but rarely will they have a bed like the Baja.

      It will be interesting to see if this type of vehicle model will catch on with higher fuel prices. I can tell you that overseas, cheap, compact, fuel-efficient trucks are all the rage. While yes, they do run on diesel (hard to do in the U.S.), it is hard to find a “full-size” truck out of the U.S.


    • I like the Baja too. Hoping Ram offers the Fiat Stada in the US through Fiat. But with muscle car looks.

      They should add a midgate and raise the bed above the wheel wells and add a deep under bed storage. This will allow for a 4 foot wide cargo opening.