Ask Nathan: A New $10,000 Pickup Truck and Nobody Will Buy Sport Coupes?

In this week’s post

  • Will there ever be a new $10,000 pickup truck out there?
  • Nobody wants sport coupes anymore.

The first question comes from a fan who caught wind of a new $10,000 pickup truck built by Toyota.

Q: (Via All I ask for is a new $10,000 pickup truck that can do the basics!

Looks like Toyota might hear my prayer! I saw that they are developing a new $10,000 pickup for working folks like me! So do you know how hard it is for me to find a truck. A street legal truck I can haul my gear around Santa Fe when I service and setup irrigation? Something with a warranty and a solid reputation? I drive 20 thousand a year and I’m a do it all contractor. If I need huge equipment I will hire them separately.

My usual job only requires light equipment so I don’t need a huge pickup. Right now I use a 2020 Nissan Frontier king cab 4×4 and it has been almost perfect. Just needed fuel pump service after 60,000 miles and new tires. My biggest headache is the cost of the truck! I spent more then $25,000 on it and it was a lease return. I’m not even half way finished paying for it and I worry if it will last to over 100,000 miles.

For like 10 years I have followed you and I get what you often say about cheaper cars and trucks. So I saw the Toyota truck that I was talking about and thought that this could solve a lot of my problems. I don’t need any fancy tech or safety equipment. I just need a truck that will reliability get me to my destination and haul some stuff.

Thank you for responding to my email and I blessings to all of the TFL team!

– Louis from New Mexico

A: Hi Louis!

The vehicle you’re talking about is the Toyota IMV. Based on the same platform as the Toyota Hilux, IMV stands for Innovative International Multi-Purpose Vehicle. Yet, the term “international” refers to all other markets, excluding ours. Sorry. The $10,000 version will resemble the barebones flatbed you see below.

Images: Toyota

The base model comes as a rear-drive, five-speed manual with a gasoline 2.0-liter inline-four. Toyota says 4x4s, diesels and other options will be available as well. Many of us like the idea of something so simple and affordable. It reminds me of trucks I grew up with…

Sadly, there are a lot of things that prevent the Toyota IMV from entering our market. Aside from the chicken tax issue, the safety and emissions standards of the United States would force Toyota to invest a lot more money into its design. In addition, the long-term appeal of a truck like this could be an issue for U.S. consumers as well.

This pickup truck is as bare as it can be. There are no pockets, barely any gauges, no infotainment, or and real climate control goodies that come standard. Hell, most Americans would bemoan the lack of power windows and locks!

In order to make a truck like this work in our market, it would have to be more like the truck you currently own, which is to say – more expensive. I would love to see a batch of these truck underpinning small, affordable box-vans, utility trucks, RVs/campers and more.

Unfortunately, anything coming to our market from Toyota will (most likely) be a hybrid from this point forward. That means it will be pricy.

Thanks for the email!

– N

The last question comes from a Honda fan who is worried that no one will buy a Honda Prelude – because it’s a coupe.

Q: (Twitter@NathanAdlen) Like always, you guys did a bang up job covering the ’23 LAAS. Sorry you weren’t there.

I am so happy to see vehicles like the Honda Prelude covered. The enthusiasm is real for many of us, and I was so worried that everyone would be driving crossovers by 2030. But you know, it might not stick. I mean the enthusiasm for the return of coupes and sport coupes.

My commuter to this day is a 2017 Honda Civic Coupe LX. It is nearly at 100K and runs like new. No problems with oil consumption, transmissions or anything else. I love the way it looks and handles and I get amazing gas mileage. I love in Baton Rouge, LA and my parents live in Lone Pine, TX. It’s a five hour drive each way and I visit them at least three times a year. I love that drive in my fun little coupe!

When I saw the videos of the new Prelude, I thought that it could be the ideal replacement for my Civic. But then I thought about the way the world responds to the coupe. How many coupes and sport coupes do you see on the road? Not muscle cars or sport cars either. I’m talking about two door Hondas, Toyotas, Nissans, Volkswagens, Kia and Hyundai or American and German cars. There isn’t much there Nathan.

That’s why I’m sad to think about the death of the coupe and how this Prelude might be the last of the breed.

Sorry to be so depressing. What do you think?

– Issak 0990

A: You’re right: the coupe is an endangered species.

We’re pretty sure that Honda is going to produce something very similar to the Honda Prelude concept we caught at the 2023 Los Angles mobility show. “If” they build it, the Prelude will be among a few coupes sold in our market. I would argue that the Jeep Wrangler 2-door, base model Ford Mustang and Subaru BRZ/ Toyota 86 are among a few more, but none are front-wheel drive.

I hear Honda is contemplating bringing back a Civic coupe as well, but it’s only speculation. The reality is: people simply weren’t buying coups, and even sports car sales are suffering. Even when the Dodge Challenger comes back, it doesn’t quite fit into the front-wheel drive narrative.

Sorry, I wish I had more to say. FWD/non-sporting coupes look rather passé in our market – and I doubt they will have much of a future.

– N