NAIAS 2012: Scion Leader Still Wants a Pickup

Scion Pickup

Not long before the press conference in which Scion unveiled its 2013 FR-S sports car, we caught up with Jack Hollis, Scion's vice president and general manager, and asked him about the progress of a small pickup for Scion.

Last year Hollis went on record saying he wanted one for Scion, but the brand faces some big challenges ahead, not the least of which is deciding how to be cost-effective about a platform.

"We know we can't be a heavy hauler or able to tow a mountain. ... We have to be smart about making that vehicle a Scion," Hollis said. "But I still want a pickup in our lineup. ... We're looking pretty hard in the obvious places, like the xB, but we still have to figure out how to make it work."

Hollis said he saw the Smart For-us, and if something like that could get attention at this show, Hollis believed Scion could do a vehicle with an open bed area that would be much more functional for Scion buyers. Whether that means a beefed-up Scion chassis or something off a sturdier platform, he wouldn't say.

"Our buyers like Scion because they can do a lot of things with their vehicles, and a little pickup could give them even more versatility," Hollis said.

We've heard a lot of conjecture over the years (we've even seen a few renderings) about what this vehicle could be, but until we see a concept vehicle show up at a future auto show, we're guessing this will simply remain a talking point for Scion. Still, it would be a nice addition to any corporate average fuel economy numbers Toyota might like to accrue.

Scion pickup

Scion Pickup

Scion pickup

Scion pickup


What can actually be put in the back of it? Looks like the driver would be crowded. I have a friend who has a 2002 Dakota single cab, it's crowded, this black one reminds me of it. The ride must be dandy with those lo pros.

XBs are needlessly tall and boxy. Some of those chopped cab heights look about right.

This is nothing more than a ride for fat 20-somethings (and I think they are all fat?) to drive and carry around all their Taco Bell takeout while texting ROFL.

A car-truck vehicle like the Scion would be a cool little trucklet to fill in the compact pickup truck void, but as long as we keep the midsize truck in tact and body-on-frame. Make it small enough to be a compact, but nothing as useless and small as a Smart ForUs, which in that case could be better served with an old Suzuki Sidekick given that it's 4WD capable.

Say what you will but the xB holds A LOT of cargo.
When someone made a delivery here once in one of those, I couldn't believe how many large boxes they pulled out. It was like clown car at the circus but with boxes instead of clowns.

As for a micro truck, they remind me of the Daihatsu trucks that aren't street legal here but you see them in use at large facilities. This would also be a convenient size to put on a large yacht or maybe even a toy hauler RV.

WOW, I hate them

Well, they have a rwd chasis now with the FRS car. They could turn it into an "el camino" or "ute". Boxer engine with 151lb/ft of torque should be just enough to haul a load of golf clubs, or maybe backpack full of school books if they are targeting the younger audience...

TRX 4 Tom> I owned an 01 Dakota Reg cab. Pure awesomeness. 5 Spd, V8, 2WD. I beat on that thing. I also maintained it. Not crowded, and i could haul all sort of building materials even though the rear was lowered 3 inches! Sadly sold it due to growing family.
There are lots of us out there who need nothing more than a RC SB 2WD (in Canadian winters). 4WD is overrated!

All this to say small pickups can be great, but this one is way too small. If it cant haul 4X8s im not interested.


I agree with you. I think people need to remember who the target audience is. They are looking at the young teens-to-twenties crowd. These kids dont need to tow 8,000 lbs or haul 1800 lbs. They just need a hip little truck that they can easily mod to get them to class, clubs, bars and coffee shops.

Is anyone surprised that the entire Scion brand only sold 4000 units in December? What scares me is that you'd have to be blind to buy a monstrosity like the xB.

If they want a micro pickup that sells, it will have to divorce itself from Scion's [lack of] style.

@WhOUbU I think it is time to bring back Station Wagons or more appropriately Sports Wagons. Station Wagons in general would be more effective, than a open bed mini pickup.
In this case a 420hp HSV Holden Sports Wagon.

I was thinking if Scion were to do something like this why not make a twin turbo 4 with a 5 or 6-speed auto. It will probably be some young kids ride for just for fun and not work so it doesn't need to haul more than 1,000lbs or tow more than 3,000lbs just make sure it looks cool and sporty and gets 20 city and 25 hwy and it might work.

Kinda small for a pickup, but I'm guessing they would sell like hotcakes to the kiddies.

You guys do realize that the average age of a Scion buyer is low to mid 50's right?! I am being serious; it tends to be partly young kids and older folks who buy these.

If they made a truck with 1200-1500 lb payload and could tow 4-5000 lbs and manage mid twenties combined it would probably do ok. That will haul a dirt bike or a pair of jet skis/snowmobiles quite easily.


"Scion's average buyer age is the lowest in the industry, at 39 years old"


"Scion's average buyer age is the lowest in the industry, at 39 years old."


@Greg B.:

LOL! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...

If they make something like the top pic, I could be interested insteade of always buying a winter beater!

I have my dedicated 4x4 with my built up 2010 Tacoma and incresed payload, this little Scion pickup would be sweet to go to work with as a daily driver and take care of small tasks and save in fuel consumption...

Heck I could probably autocross it or build it into a smallish rally-cross vehicle and compete with it for fun...

The concept pic looks better than the current xB monstrosity. The window angle is finally more sloped with some acknowledgement of aerodynamics and fuel economy. I hope they kicked the previous styling team onto the street.

A small runabout truck like this would be cool for the stiff that resides in cramped urban areas. I welcome it even though the only reason I would drive one is due to the FE it gets, and use it as a commuter vehicle. I prefer the midsize vehicles myself, not monsterous but enough to get the job done adequately.

"If they make something like the top pic, I could be interested"

What about proper bumpers? Skid plates? Have you checked the ground clearance?

@Ryan: My one time riding in that Dakota just seemed crowded, I was thinking man this is with the seat back? To each's own. I know they were good little hot rods, upset a few Camaro and Mustang owners. The older ones also make good dirt track racers. I did have an 83 F100 300 six, 4 speed, 2wd, had some Liberator tires. Did just fine in the snow empty. But I went to get a car it got stuck in the mud, between that and watching my dads 2wd 98 Ram get stuck just feeding horses, no thanks.

@Oxi; see you ate the autocross! I will be in my turbo Daytona!


Hey Oxi...Isn't Scion an off brand of Toyota?

Say hello to the NEW TACOMA! LMAO.

wow just wow i'll pass

They sit too low to be real effective winter vehicles, mind you these are drawings and show vehicles so real world practically gets left out. I think that this would be a great little truck. Keep it plain and simple and economical like a base model Ranger.

Yeah, I think I'll park my F150 4x4 and buy a winter beater. Nothing like an unreliable, cheap, used 2 wheel drive clunker to replace my 4x4, limited slip, traction control, stability control, heated mirrors,and full of safety features truck ;)

I see nothing wrong with this vehicle and I think this would be a good move for Scion. Guys this vehicle is not meant to compete with the midsize or full size truck. This truck would create a new class of truck for urban dwellers and for a commuter vehicle for those who want something besides a compact sedan and crossover. If the price is not too high and if the mpgs are good this will sell. Just because some of us would not buy it does not mean it would not sell. Think outside of the box. I would like to see either Toyota or Nissan make a compact truck the size of the old Ranger or their trucks of the 80s and 90s with a lower price and better fuel economy. The real compact truck market has been abandoned and the American manufacturers will not address it unless the Japanese, Koreans, or the Chinese do.


Loves his Japanese auto - Oxi will go to great length to claim they are stars and stripes, they are from Fort Sumter.

Even if they name them Bronx Bombers or Yankees they are still Japanese - Nisshoki.

Like the Smart4Us, there's an obvious market for something like this; it's not you guys. If you're having to complain so loudly about something that's obviously a toy for play and very light work then you're feeling threatened that your big toy will become irrelevant. Not everybody needs a huge, big-box hauler and in all reality with the American demise of the Ranger and the Dakota--which in my mind were still much too big--we really don't have a good compact truck any more (I really don't see the GM "mid-size" truck as any kind of compact.)

The argument about bringing back station wagons or, as one commenter put it Sport Wagons, is that they have totally the wrong atmosphere about them. Yes, I'd love to see a regular station wagon come back to the automotive lines, but quite honestly the SUVs and Crossovers are smothering the market. I've considered these platforms to be nothing more than "jacked up station wagons" for more than a decade. A wagon's one weak point is that you can't carry outsized objects that are taller than the roof of the vehicle and there are times when you simply have to. Even something as simple as a mattress set ends up riding the roof instead of the cargo area with a wagon.

Compact--and I do mean compact as in SMALL--trucks do have a place in the market. You argue so much about how your trucks are the best in the world, and yet trucks like the Ford Transit--yes, that tiny-engined 4-cylinder toy--is one of the most-used delivery vehicles in many foreign countries and has even made an impact here in the states, with FORD actually looking at making full-sized passenger vans out of them for the US market. Bigger is not always better.

Oh I forgot the s

that 39 year old number is from early 2007 and has been growing over the last 5 year. I know I have seen the updated figured (from 2010 if memory serves me) but I can't find it online.

the age has been growing and is a troubling sign for Scion.

I am a 23 year old,and I dont want a Scion ,no Smart cars nor do my friends,both female and male.

We like old musclecars,big 60's-70's classic cars,but we cant afford them,we also like new full size trucks and new Camaro's,Challenger's and Mustang's( a female friend bought a new Stang cheapest of the 3).We do buy newer full size trucks,Mustangs and a buddy has a 09 Challenger a S.E not a Hemi but hey its better looking than any so-called youth orientated vehicles,and picked one up with 12,000 miles for the price of a new so-called youth oriented vehicle.

These designers saying these cars are what the youth like are bogus,they are bought by old 40 and older old ancient people !

Small trucks are an Epic Fail !!

Only small,hobbits can fit in them,as per small cars.

Being a fully grown male,at 6'3 I cannot fit in most vehicles as they are made for a small feminine body type of 5'8 any taller you need a large car,suv or full size truck !

I have to agree with Jeff and Vulpine. There is a market for this sort of truck. Not everyone wants a full sized truck, and the new "compacts" aren't that much smaller than a full sized truck. My first truck was Ranger with a 2.8 litre V6 reg cab long box. Great little truck. i was single at the time, I could go hunting or fishing with a buddy and still pack a week or 2 worth of gear. It easily carried dirt bikes or whatever toy I chose to carry.
On the subject of this little vehicles - I have an obese friend who is 6'2 and around 350 lb. He took a Nissan Cube and a Kia Soul for a test drive and was amazed at the room and comfort. If it is designed right, it won't be too bad for space. Have any of you ever been inside a Hummer H2 or H3. Big boxes with poor interior room. Outside bulkiness doesn't necissarily mean lots of inside room.

"There is a market for this sort of truck."

Yeah, a tiny one.

@Dave It might not be as large a market but taking the XB platform and making it on the same assembly line can make this feasible. You do not have to sell millions of these. If this were a separate platform then this would not be profitable. If Ford were to do another small truck (which I am not saying they are) then it would be better to use a platform that already exists like the Transit and assemble it on the same assemby lines. Sharing platforms makes it a more profitable venture.

@Lou & Dave,

They're not even making this truck so there is no sense in arguing about it. Hummer is also dead.

The idea that there is a market for this (outside of the oxi's) is the biggest fairy tale I have ever seen.

Jason, I know they are not making it. It's a fairy tale.

"They sit too low to be real effective winter vehicles"


How the heck would you know? Did you measure it?

"Yeah, I think I'll park my F150 4x4 and buy a winter beater. Nothing like an unreliable, cheap, used 2 wheel drive clunker to replace my 4x4, limited slip, traction control, stability control, heated mirrors,and full of safety features truck"

If you need 4x4, heated mirrors, safety features and traction control you don't know how to drive!

WE DO NOT care for the dimensions or weight of a tank full-size!

In just the storms oxi has driven in these past few years as a strom tracker he could have been in many wrecks if he went with a simple full-size tank!

Plus the sheer weight of a tank full-size EMPTY would have sunk it to the point of either getting stuck in deep snow or mud or having to use the extra power just to try to get through some of the conditions where oxi's much lighter 4 cylinder can through with no problem!

Full-size tanks are too wide and heavy to be winter beaters or storm trucks, that is why you do not see so many on the road at this time. You mostly see them left in the garages or on the street because they are too big to fit inside their garage!

The ones you do see on being used as winter beaters or in storms get terrible mileage and are so inefficient to drive in the winter!

Who knows what will be made in the future. Maybe they will make this and maybe not. Maybe they are releasing this article to the public to see what the reaction is. If they do make this they will not be marketing this toward Dave, Jason, or the full size truck crowd. Not everyone who wants or buys a truck is going to buy a full size truck just like not everyone buys their food in bulk. There are different markets for different types of products. A compact car buyer does not need or want an Impala or Taurus. Some of you guys assume that everyone who buys a pickup should only buy a full size. Buy what you like and don't force others that want to buy a smaller size to buy full size. If Toyota sees a market for this and they can make money they will make it, if not they will not make it regardless of your opinions. That is called the free market place that so many of you fondly refer to.

Its annoying to hear the enthusiasm about compact trucks when a selectivly small few are purchasing it. If you want a compact or midsize truck, buy it. There is too much inventory and not enough incenitives. Compact and midsize trucks reach the size of full size but only provide sim fuel benefits. whats the point in buying a midsize thats near the price of full size thats gets nearly the same mileage? Now you wonder why more people arent buying them, jeesh you guys are idiots. Bigger isnt always better sure, thats correct. Smaller isnt always better either. Keep sucking your thumb if you like being robbed of your money in a dubious manner.

I think a Scion compact pickup makes great sense, but not one based the XB because it's a front-wheel drive vehicle. If Scion built one based on a rear-wheel drive vehicle like the 2013 FS-R it would be much nore practical. Because, as I'm sure everyone is well aware of, traction deceases in front-wheel drive pickups as the load in the rear bed increases.

I also agree with Ryan that any pickup truck should be able to haul a 4x8 sheet of plywood or whatever. The Toyota A-BAT concept pickup reported it could haul 4x8 sheets with the back seat and tail gate folded down.

Along with my wish list would be a small four cylinder diesel.

@Allistar Pick what you want and I will pick what I want. If you dislike small trucks so much why bother to read this blog. The Scion truck is far too small to be considered a midsize or even a compact truck so it has no other competition. By the way I do not suck my thumb and there are not that many manufacturers making midsize trucks. Talk about lots of inventory have you been by a Ford or Chevy dealership in the last couple of years? There are many more F150s and Silverados on the lots than cars or midsize trucks. A 4 cylinder with a manual transmission gets much better fuel economy than a full size. Put a V-6 with a crewcab, 4 wheel drive, and a automatic transmission in that midsize truck then I would agree with you. The price difference between a fully loaded midsize is not that much different from a full size but not everyone wants a loaded down truck. You sure don't know anything about small trucks. If you manhood is being threatened by midsize and smaller trucks then don't drive one. The rest of us like a choice so buy your King Ranch 4 wheel drive with heated leather seats and leave the rest of us alone.

looks like Oxi's dad is making posts again.

Can I say that without Oxi or one of Oxi's aliases accusing me of cyberstalking ?

@Jason - not arguing, just having a discussion about the topic at hand.

I'm 23 and i don't have any friends who own or would own a vehicle like this they would rather buy something they like that is a few years old if they cannot afford a new on than buy a new box type vehicle.
I drive a 2010 raptor with 5.4 that i bought used be fore that i had an 05 suburban z71 that i bought used when i was a junior in college, my freinds who are my age drive the following, 05 f150 suber cab fx4, 02? S10 estended cab 4x4, a few have toyota FJs and Tacomas all current body style, an 02 liffted f350, 07 Jeep grand Cerokee, 06 4runner, 98 ford explorer 4x4, 99 suburban 4x4, 2003 nissan pathfinder 4x4, I look at the young enlited men and women that work for me and many of them drive late 90s early 2000s pick up trucks, after that saturns from the same time period, if they are more fruggle , I know of only one male my age who has own a scion i only ever see women in them and i know i dont fit in them very well either. I think this truck will cater to middle age women who need something to haul small amounts of mulch and nich nacks for home improvement. Additionaly the cost of owning a beeter in many situations such as mine is cost prohibative when you factor in insurance, fuel, maintnece, and repair costs. I have a 3 mile comute to work, 6 miles a day 5 days a week comes to 30 mile a week i put 300-400 miles a week on the raptor hunting shooting camping ikea skiing etc . the only thing a beater would do is keep me in warrenty an extra month.

It's coming - it's going to be based on the Rav4 platform.

We do need something shorter than a full size pickup truck with seating for 5. A RWD, Body on Frame, the size of a Jeep Cherokee with a tiny bed that opens into cab and tailgate would be sweet. Something with deep under bed storage and an easy fold down midgate and rear window that completely rolls down. Something that can tow 5000lb and still do 30mpg city. If something like that, then there is room for it in the market for sure. I've only owned American Pickup trucks all my life.. but if Nissan puts a a 4cylinder desiel in the 2014 titan and slightly shortens the length I will go with them.

Ok dudes, I know you'll never see this, but I just purchased a Ford F-150 XLS Lariat long-bed pickup--a 1990 model. Now, the interesting thing is that this thing is no bigger than most of today's "mid-sized" pickups. Quite honestly, the only reason I bought this one is that it's been remarkably well cared for and I simply couldn't beat the price for the condition. In 2.5 years this thing will be classed as an antique--a heritage vehicle.

That said, I bought it as a basic utility beater originally; I plan to use it to haul mulch, stone, paving bricks, wood, etc. I didn't really need anything quite so large but the simple fact that it only has 2 doors, one seat (a bench) and nothing but bed behind makes it fit everything I needed a truck for--nothing fancy (though it was the luxury model of its day) and not intended to be an everyday driver. For me, it's perfect.

No, I didn't buy a FORD because of the brand; I bought it because it met my needs--no more, no less.

That said, once I'm done 'working' it, I intend to do some minor cosmetic restoration and probably sell it as an antique. Then I'll get myself a nice, tiny Scion truck, or maybe a Fiat... or a Russian? Maybe a Korean. In other words, if the US doesn't downsize its trucks, I'll look elsewhere.

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