Toyota: Discontinued Regular Cabs Equals Missed Opportunity

Toyota recently announced it would discontinue offering the regular-cab option for the current-generation Tundra pickup truck for the 2018 model year. Toyota can always change course, but this decision looks like it was a no-brainer. According our sources at Toyota, the take rate for regular cabs through the first five months of 2017 was just 0.4 percent of the total Tundra sales mix; double-cab sales accounted for 34.1 percent and CrewMax for 65.5 percent.

Let that sink in for a minute.

That means that so far this year, Toyota has sold less than 200 regular-cab pickups. Of course, for the last several years (since 2013) Toyota has only offered a long-bed work truck with its regular cabs for price-conscious fleet buyers. Although it’s easy to understand this as a strictly financial decision, we think this is a huge missed opportunity. We understand every manufacturer must deal with keeping or eliminating their low-profit regular cabs — we’ve even shared our thoughts over the years about the issue here — but we’re still sad to see this version of the Tundra go.

Although it has not been offered for a while, the regular-cab two-wheel-drive standard-bed Tundra with the all-aluminum, 32-valve 5.7-liter V-8 was a perfect platform for a street-friendly TRD-dressed sport truck, ready to crush Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros and the entire lineup of Subarus.

If TRD can put massive sway bars, and big wheels and tires on a 2018 Tundra and call it a  then it certainly could have created a better, more clearly defined street player on the smaller 126-inch wheelbase Tundra when available. But instead, now we will have the Tundra TRD Sport that will likely sell well and be a weird hybrid between a stout street performer and a pretend off-roader.

Everywhere else in the Toyota truck lineup, TRD connotes strong 4×4 off-roading credentials. With the advent of the 2018 Tundra TRD Sport, that’s no longer so.

At best, this is a mixed message. We think Toyota should do better. We admit our minds could change once we get some seat time behind the wheel of the new Tundra TRD Sport, but until then we’re fine noting what we saw at the . More to come.

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