By the end of the previous year, the average cost of a new truck purchased in the US was $59,000. That is a huge sum of money, especially in light of the fact that a $85,000 Limited is far more capable than a standard $35,000 Ford F-150 XL.
The Ford Maverick, the least expensive truck available in the US market, with a starting price of roughly $25,000. And for that reason, the Toyota IMV 0 captured my interest right away. This is a brand-new, slightly larger truck that may be yours for as little as $10,000. Yes, for less than half the price of the Maverick, there’s a useful machine that can pull, tow, and even draw attention.
The only issue is that it will never be available in the US.
|Quick Stats||2024 Toyota IMV 0|
|Output||137 Horsepower / 135 Pound-Feet|
|On Sale||2049 (US)|
Toyota IMV 0 Concepts
There are a lot of tiny, inexpensive trucks in Japan. Even those that comply with our annoying 25-year import requirements are progressively prohibited from owning these tiny kei machines, despite the fact that they are very fashionable throughout the US.
This was no kei truck, though. Granted, it is on the smaller side, but it is nearly a foot longer than the Maverick. It is built on the Hilux platform, which is the Tacoma’s equivalent abroad. While I was unable to obtain the IMV 0’s whole set of specs, it is important to remember that the little vehicle can be customized to meet your exact requirements. The pre-production vehicle I drove, painted silver, had a bed large enough to fit a sheet of drywall, and in its cab were two mature people.
Climb up into the driver’s seat – no power running boards here to help – and you’re presented with the bare essentials in the gauge cluster. You won’t find any information about active safety systems. The IMV 0 doesn’t have any, nor ABS, nor airbags. There’s no fancy trip computer here, no trailer monitoring system. You just have a few warning lights and a speedometer, and that’s it. Thankfully, there’s not much in the way of sound-deadening material between you and the 137-horsepower, 2.0-liter inline four under the hood, so you won’t miss the tachometer.
Plastics are hard and shiny everywhere you look, and the lack of a radio was a very conscious decision. According to one of the development engineers, aftermarket audio is so common in Thailand that anything Toyota installed would have just been yanked out anyway. The result is the absolute minimum for a modern car, a space that actually deserves the “spartan” cliche we automotive journalists summon so often.
Toyota’s IMV 0 is a delightful little reminder of what a basic truck can and should be. For that reason alone, I’m sad that it’s something we’ll never see here on American streets. At least, not for another 25 years. A truck this simple is incompatible not only with US regulations but also the American consumer market.
However, I hope the continued success of the Maverick is a sign to other manufacturers that there is room for smaller, cheaper trucks. Maybe even for something approaching this. The Maverick, great as it is, isn’t exactly what you’d call a rugged machine. It lacks the kind of raw purpose the IMV 0 exudes from every angle. I’d love to see Toyota bring a smaller, more focused truck like this to the American market, a sub-Tacoma with some IMV 0 purpose. After reading this far, I’m guessing you might feel the same way.