Ask Nathan: A new $10,000 minivan and no one will buy a sports coupe?
In this week’s article
- Will there be a new $10,000 minivan?
- Nobody wants sports coupes anymore.
The first question comes from a fan who learned about a new $10,000 pickup truck made by Toyota.
s: (via AskNathan@TFLcar.com) All I’m asking for is a new $10,000 minivan that can do the basics!
Looks like Toyota might hear my prayers! I saw they are developing a new $10,000 pickup for workers like me! Do you know how difficult it is for me to find a truck? Street legal truck I can haul my equipment around Santa Fe when I’m doing maintenance and irrigation setup? Something with a warranty and a solid reputation? I drive 20k a year and am a contractor to do everything. If you need bulky equipment I will rent it separately.
My regular job only requires light equipment, so I don’t need a huge pickup truck. I currently use a 2020 Nissan Frontier King Cab 4×4 and it has been almost perfect. I only need a fuel pump service after 60k miles and new tires. My biggest headache is the cost of the truck! I spent over $25,000 on it and it was rental income. I’m not even halfway done paying for it and I’m afraid it will last 100,000+ miles.
I’ve followed you for about 10 years and I understand what you say a lot about cheaper cars and trucks. So I saw the Toyota truck I was talking about and thought this could solve a lot of my problems. I don’t need any fancy technical or safety equipment. I just need a truck that can get me to my destination and move some stuff.
Thank you for responding to my email and blessings to all the TFL team!
– Luis from New Mexico
a: Hello Louis!
The car you are talking about is Toyota IMV. Based on the same platform as the Toyota Hilux, IMV stands for International Innovative Multi-Purpose Vehicle. However, the term “international” refers to all other markets, except ours. Sorry. The $10,000 version will resemble the flat, abstract piece you see below.
The base model comes as rear-wheel drive and a five-speed manual with the 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder. Toyota says SUVs, diesels and other options will also be available. Many of us love the idea of something very simple and affordable. It reminds me of the trucks I grew up with…
Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that prevent Toyota IMV from entering our market. Aside from the chicken tax issue, US safety and emissions standards will force Toyota to invest more money in its design. Additionally, the long-term appeal of a truck like this could pose an issue for U.S. consumers as well.
This pickup truck is as bare as can be. There are no pockets, barely any gauges, and no infotainment system, or real climate control stuff that comes standard. Hell, most Americans would bemoan the lack of power windows and locks!
In order for a truck like this to work in our market, it has to be the same as the truck you currently have, i.e. more expensive. I’d like to see a line of these trucks support affordable pickup trucks, utility trucks, RV/campers and more.
Unfortunately, anything coming to our market from Toyota will (most likely) be a hybrid from this point forward. This means it will be expensive.
Thanks for the email!
The last question comes from a Honda fan who’s worried that no one will buy a Honda Prelude – because it’s a coupe.
s: (Twitter @NathanAdlen) As always, you guys did a great job covering the ’23 LAAS. Sorry you weren’t there.
I’m very happy to see cars like the Honda Prelude covered. The excitement is real for many of us, and I was very worried that everyone would be driving crossovers by 2030. But you know, that may not last. I mean excitement for the return of the coupe and sports coupe.
My passenger to this day is a 2017 Honda Civic Coupe LX. It has reached almost 100k and runs like new. No problems with oil consumption, transmission or anything else. I love the way it looks and handles and I get amazing gas mileage. I love living 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 watched the videos of the new Prelude, I thought it could be the perfect replacement for my Civic. But then I thought about the way the world responds to the coupe. How many coupes and sports coupes do you see on the road? Not muscle cars or sports cars either. I’m talking about Hondas, Toyotas, Nissans, Volkswagens, Kia’s, Hyundai’s two doors or American and German cars. There’s not much out there Nathan.
That’s why I feel sad when I think about the death of the coupe and how this introduction could be the last in the line.
Sorry to be so disappointing. what do you think?
– Issak 0990
a: You’re right: the coupe is an endangered species.
We’re sure Honda will produce something very similar to the Honda Prelude concept we saw at the 2023 Los Angles Mobility Show. “If” they build it, the Prelude will be among the few coupes sold in our market. I would argue that the two-door Jeep Wrangler, base model Ford Mustang and Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 are among a few others, but none of them are front-wheel drive.
I’ve heard Honda is considering bringing back the Civic coupe as well, but that’s just speculation. The truth is that people simply weren’t buying coupes, and even sports car sales are suffering. Even when the Dodge Challenger returns, it doesn’t quite fit the front-wheel drive story.
Sorry, I wish I had more to say. All-wheel-drive/non-sport coupes seem rather archaic in our market – I doubt they have much of a future.