Smallest Toyota Truck – Which One Is It?

by Conner Mckay

Are you looking to purchase a truck and you want to learn what is the smallest Toyota truck? If that is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic where we will learn everything when it comes to this truck.

Doing the proper research before you go out there on the market and spend a ton of money might be a good idea. Especially nowadays when prices have gone up quite significantly and it is almost close to impossible to find a good deal that is worth the money spent.

Luckily for you, Toyota has an offering for everybody and you can get the smallest Toyota truck for a really good deal. Toyota has prices for everyone’s budget. Not to forget the quality that they offer. Their vehicles are probably one of the models that have the least issues. So, this is why we think that checking them out is really worth your time and money. And when it comes to this, we are going to help you out.

First, we will learn what is a small pickup truck and what are the general dimensions that a small pickup truck should have. Then we are going to cover the benefits of owning a small pickup truck and after that, we will cover the smallest Toyota truck for the US market. We will cover the specs of this truck, the safety aspect, fuel economy, and prices. Then we will also cover some of the alternatives that are available. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.

What Is A Small Pickup Truck?

Now before we move on to other topics and learn about the smallest Toyota truck, let’s first learn more about what makes a small truck. What rules must this truck comply with to be considered small? Let’s elaborate.

A small truck in general is a truck that falls into two categories. The compact class of cars is the smallest, or in the mid-size category. A full-size pickup truck can never be considered to be a small truck. Even though all these are light-duty trucks, the full-size class is considerably bigger than all three classes.

When it comes to picking a small pickup truck, you should really consider if you want to go for a mid-size or a compact pickup truck.

Smallest Toyota Truck

I’m saying this because compact pickup trucks are even smaller than the mid-size category. They are really popular nowadays and are selling really well. Some of these examples are the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz.

These trucks are basically built on a car chassis. This means that they implement a unibody design that is different from mid-size pickup trucks which are body-on-frame designs. And also more expensive. But what is the smallest Toyota truck? Does Toyota have a compact or mid-size truck?

Well, more on that and the specs of this truck we are going to elaborate on later on in the article. First, let’s discuss more on the benefits that you will have if you choose a small pickup truck.

Small Pickup Truck Benefits

Now as we covered the basics of what a small truck is. Before we dive into the smallest Toyota truck, let’s cover some of the pros of owning a small truck.

There are a number of pros to owning a truck like this and they are really useful to know. Especially if you are on the market to purchase a new truck for yourself. So, let’s cover them briefly before we cover the smallest Toyota truck.

1. Practicality

The first pro of owning a small pickup truck is the practicality. Small cars are so practical because they are basically able to fit everywhere and they also have enough space for you to store a ton of things in the rear.

So, if you are one of those guys who are using the truck for small jobs that do not require a lot of loading room in the rear. Then this type of truck will probably be perfect for you.

You will be able to pack your groceries and other things you purchase with no problem. Especially if you go for the mid-size truck category where the smallest Toyota truck in the US falls in. But more on this in a bit.

2. Towing Ability

The second pro of owning a truck instead of a car is the towing ability. No matter how big of a car it is, it can never be able to tow in the same manner as a truck can tow.

Especially if it is a mid-size pickup truck. The smallest Toyota pickup truck sold in the US can tow between 3500 and 6400 lbs. Depending on the engine that this truck comes equipped with.

So, if you want to get a good truck for towing this truck might be the right choice for you. With a good towing pickup truck, you can tow a boat or a big camping trailer and go somewhere to spend some time in nature whenever you want. Even with the smallest Toyota pickup truck.

There are a ton of places where you could go and camp. The only thing you need is to wake up your adventurous spirit and start learning where you can go. The possibilities are endless.

3. Cheaper Insurance

The next pro of owning the smallest Toyota pickup truck is that you will get cheaper insurance for this truck.

That’s right, the smaller the vehicle is, the cheaper it will be to insure. So, if you want to save some money and you don’t need a really big truck, then getting a smaller mid-size truck might be a good idea.

By doing this and getting a smaller vehicle, you will be able to save a few hundred dollars a year with no problem. So, if cost savings is one of your top priorities when purchasing a new vehicle, better go for the smaller ones instead of going after a big and bulky pickup that will cost a ton of money to own and insure.

Now let’s move on to the next reason why to get the smallest Toyota truck instead of the bigger version.

4. No Problems With Parking

The next positive thing that you get when you own the smallest Toyota truck is the ability to park whenever you like.

As you probably know, full-size pickup trucks are big and bulky. The mid-size pickup trucks are one category below them and they are really more convenient.

Let’s say that you have a smaller garage that was not designed to accommodate a big truck. Then getting a smaller truck might be an excellent idea.

Nobody wants their truck to sit outside in the elements and rust out. Keeping the truck in a controlled environment will keep the paint and everything else in the truck in good condition for the years to come.

Also, if you live in a crowded area and you have trouble with parking, with the smallest Toyota truck you will not face any more issues with finding a parking space and parking your truck. Now let’s move on to the next and last benefit of owning the smallest Toyota pickup truck.

5. Good Value For The Money

And the last benefit of purchasing the smallest Toyota truck is the value that you get. When it comes to these trucks, you are looking for a good value.

You probably don’t want to spend a ton of money and you the money that you want to spend, you want to invest in something really good.

And here is the place where the Toyota brand really shines. I highly doubt that there is a brand that offers a better value than Toyota does.

Not only the value that you will get more truck for your money than with the competitors. But also with the quality that you will get. Toyota is widely known for its quality.

And especially if you get a new vehicle, it will be highly unlikely that you will face problems with the truck any time soon. But what is the smallest Toyota truck? Well, more on this we are going to cover next.

Smallest Toyota Truck Sold Worldwide

When it comes to the smallest Toyota truck we can say that there are two of them. In this chapter, we are going to cover the smallest truck that is sold elsewhere and is still loved by a lot of Americans who desperately want this model to come to America. And after we will cover the other smallest Toyota pickup truck that is sold in America as a replacement.

The smallest Toyota truck that is sold globally is the Hilux. The Toyota Hilux is a true legend in the car community and it is often considered to be one of the most durable machines out there ever made.

In Top Gear, they throw this truck out of a cliff and it still kept running. So, this legendary status of the Hilux is for a good reason.

Smallest Toyota Truck

What is bad though is that we don’t get the Hilux here in the US and we just have to deal with I guess.

What is different with the Hilux in comparison to the smallest Toyota truck sold in North America is the looks. The American model is rather American let’s say, it was designed by American and lacks the JDM looks that the Hilux has.

This means that it implements an aggressive front grille and it looks really good. The Hilux on the other hand is a lot more subtle and stealthy let’s say. More Japanese looking in other words. But what is the smallest Toyota truck for the US market? Well, that’s what we are going to find out next.

Smallest Toyota Truck For The US Market

Now let’s learn what is the smallest Toyota truck for the US market. As we learned, the Hilux for some reason is not available in the US market and for this specific market, Toyota has introduced a specific model. Which is known as the Tacoma.

The Toyota Tacoma is similar in size to the Hilux but it is let’s say, more Americanized. It has a big grille and a really big presence on the road in comparison to the Hilux that is sold elsewhere. So, maybe the design factor was the key since everything here in the US is bigger.

Nevertheless, the present Tacoma model was introduced in 2015. And in 2020 it received a major facelift. The looks were quite improved and the design became more contemporary. When it comes to the Tacoma it is worth noting that this model comes with a couple of different trim levels.

Namely, the TRD and the TRD Pro. If you didn’t know, the TRD badge refers to Toyota Racing Development. And these models are primarily focused on the off-road capabilities, unlike the old Toyota trucks.

The Tacoma may not have the Hilux badge. But it is still a really good truck and frankly, I think that it is the best Toyota mini truck. Why I’m saying this?

Well, because the Tacoma is much more rigid and designed specifically to meet the US regulations and for this, a truck needs to be really exceptional at what it does. Especially when it comes to towing. So, we learned about the smallest Toyota truck. Now let’s learn about its specs.

Toyota Tacoma (Their Smallest US-Spec Truck) Specs

Now as we learned which is the smallest Toyota truck for the US market. Let’s take a look at the specs in which this model is offered here in the US. Knowing the specs is really important if you want to make a purchase of this truck. So, let’s cover them briefly.

Engine & Transmission

In terms of engines, the smallest Toyota truck comes in two different engine options. The first engine is a smaller displacement inline-4 engine that is 2.7 liters in capacity. This engine produces 159hp and 180lb-ft of torque.

The more potent engine is a 3.5L V6 that is producing 278hp and 265lb-ft of torque. In my opinion, the V6 engine is much more potent than the 2.7L and if you intend of using this truck for towing, this engine should be your only option.

In terms of transmission, there are two types. The first is a 6-speed manual, and the second is a 6-speed automatic. You should choose the transmission depending on your preference. Manual transmissions have cheaper maintenance if maintenance costs are your top priority. But they are also trickier to drive if you don’t have experience driving one.

Fuel Economy

In terms of fuel economy for the smallest Toyota truck, the numbers are not great, but not terrible either. The smaller 2.7L engine delivers 19 MPG in the city, 22 MPG on the highway, and 20 MPG in combined driving.

The V6 on the other hand performs slight different. This model gets about 18 MPG in the city, 22 MPG on the highway, and 20 MPG combined.

We can say that the Tacoma is probably not one of the best performers out there. So, if you want to get a good fuel economy, you might look for alternatives. Which we are going to list a bit later in the article.


When it comes to the safety aspect. We can say that the smallest Toyota truck is a fairly good performer.

It is not the best in its class though since it is a 2015 model. This model got only 4 out of 5 stars on the NHTSA testing. So, its safety is not that comparable to 2020+ models. Even though it is a solid performer.


When it comes to the price of the Toyota mini-truck, we can say that it is a really good deal if purchased new. For a Tacoma with the smallest engine, an access cab, and a 6’ bed you can expect to pay about $33,000.

The double cab models that come with a 5’ bed will cost you considerably more. About $37,000, to be more precise.

The TRD models start at about $40,000 while the TRD Pro starts at $47,000 according to Car and Driver.

Common Problems With Toyota’s Smallest Truck

When it comes to the common problems with the latest generation of the smallest Toyota truck, we can say that there are some minor problems.

More precisely there were a ton of complaints on the website. Especially for the 2016 model which was the first model year of this generation.

There were reports on transmission problems happening. More precisely a delayed engagement of drive when the transmission was cold. Also, some owners reported hesitation in the transmission, rough shifting, lurching, and howling noises. This was a problem with the ECU which was later patched with an update.

Also, people who drive the V6 engine are reporting vibrations coming from the floor of the truck. And it could get really annoying from time to time as owners would say. Overall, no other major issues with this model.

Smallest Toyota Pickup Truck Reliability

When it comes to the reliability of the smallest Toyota truck we can say that this Tacoma model is fairly reliable.

Maybe it is not one of the best performers in its class. But if you consider getting a proper workhorse that will not create a ton of problems for you, this truck might be the one you are looking for. Still, there are some alternatives to the Tacoma, and we are going to cover them next.

Alternatives To The Smallest Toyota Truck

Now let’s discuss more on the best small truck. Whether this title goes to the smallest Toyota truck or the alternatives which are the small Ford trucks, small Chevy trucks, and small Nissan trucks?

When it comes to the alternatives to the Tacoma, we can say that there is an alternative to this truck from most carmakers.

Recently Ford released the smallest new truck. Namely, the new Ford Maverick. The Ford Maverick is even smaller than the Tacoma. So, if you want to go smaller than the smallest Toyota truck, this model might be it.

Another small new truck is the Hyundai Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz is basically a truck comparable to the Maverick in size.

If you want something bigger in the same class as the Tacoma, you should go after the Nissan Frontier, Chevy Colorado, or the GMC Canyon. All of these are excellent alternatives to the Tacoma in every possible aspect.

Facts about Toyota’s Small Pickup Truck, the Tacoma:

  1. Toyota makes two pickup truck models, the Tacoma and Tundra, with the Tacoma being the smaller option.
  2. The Tacoma is known for its versatility, luxuriousness, and capability combined with an affordable price.
  3. The Tacoma is best-selling in its size segment and one of the best-selling vehicles in America.
  4. The Tundra is significantly larger than the Tacoma, with the Tundra being 17 inches longer and 6 inches taller.
  5. Both trucks have comfortable and spacious interiors, but the Tundra provides slightly more space for passengers.
  6. The Tacoma is still capable of towing up to 6,400 pounds, compared to the Ford Ranger’s 3,500 pounds and the Chevy Colorado’s 3,000 pounds.
  7. The Toyota Tacoma is popular despite its smaller size and is considered the best option in its class.
  8. Other automakers are upgrading their offerings to better compete with the Tacoma, including the Honda Ridgeline, Ford Ranger, and Chevy Colorado.
  9. The Tacoma’s gross vehicle weight rating is 5,600 pounds.
  10. The Tacoma is visually smaller than the Tundra but is perfect for daily drivers who need to haul some weight when necessary.

Conclusion On The Smallest Toyota Truck

In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the smallest Toyota truck. First, we learned what is the definition of a small truck and what are the benefits of using a small truck. Namely, these trucks are really practical and they can fit in smaller garages. In addition, they also are cheaper to maintain and purchase.

Then we covered which is the smallest Toyota truck. We mentioned both the Hilux and the Tacoma. Our prime focus is on the Tacoma since it is the truck that is offered in the US. Lastly, we covered some of the alternatives to the Tacoma and you should definitely check them out.

F.A.Q On The Smallest Toyota Truck

Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

What Is The Smallest Toyota Truck

The smallest truck made by Toyota for the US market is the Toyota Tacoma. This truck is basically a mid-size truck. This means that it lies somewhere in the middle. It is not the biggest but also not the smallest of all trucks available to purchase.

How Long Is A Pickup Truck

Compact pickup trucks like the Ford Maverick are about 200 inches long. The Toyota Tacoma which is a mid-size truck is 212 inches long. The F-150 which is a full-size truck is 227,9 inches long for the regular cab. The super cab is even bigger, reaching 250 inches.

What Is The Cheapest Truck

The cheapest pickup truck is probably the Chevy Colorado. This truck as well as its brother the GMC Canyon are the cheapest trucks available costing about $26,000.

What Truck Has The Most Horsepower

The most horsepower in a truck has the RAM TRX. This pickup truck is using the 700hp V8 supercharged engine that is used on the Dodge Charger Hellcat. And when it comes to sheer horsepower, there is nothing anything close to this number. So, the TRX is a clear winner when it comes to horsepower.

Whats A Half Ton Truck

A half ton truck is any pickup truck that has a capacity of 1,000lbs. So, any truck that can carry this load can be considered as such. Prime examples are the F-150, Chevy Silverado, and Dodge RAM 1500.

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