Lexus and Jeep Ponder Pickups

Maybe it wouldn't look so bad with a Lexus logo

Maybe it wouldn’t look so bad with a Lexus logo

Here are some things we’ve learned about pickup trucks in the last decade:

Tough trucks sell really well.

Luxury trucks don’t sell well.

Tough trucks with hefty doses of luxury sell really, really well.

The first category includes the likes of the Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150, and Ram 1500. The second category includes the failed Lincoln Mark LT and the third category includes the GMC Sierra Denali, F-150 Limited, and Ram Laramie Limited.

Those “luxury” trucks can work just as hard, if not harder, than any other truck on the list and routinely sell for $50,000 or more.

So if an automaker known for its luxury sedans came out with a hard-working luxury truck, would it sell?

Probably not. But Lexus might want to try.

Pause for a moment and ask yourself if you can picture a grizzled American rancher getting into a Lexus pickup. Those are the guys I usually see behind the wheel of the high-end luxury-trimmed American trucks, and they don’t really seem like Lexus guys.

But I digress.

At a recent press event, Lexus product-planning leader Makoto Tanaka told Motoring that a truck is one of several new models that the Toyota luxury brand is considering.

It’s not high on the priority list, but if it does go into production, the Lexus truck would reportedly be based on the Toyota Hilux, a model sold outside the U.S. that is famous for its toughness.

A Hilux-based truck would certainly capture some attention, but why make it a Lexus? I’d be thrilled if the current Toyota Tacoma was replaced by a Hilux, or even if it came here as a rugged-but-spartan Scion truck.

Building a Lexus pickup just doesn’t make any sense.

What does make sense is a Jeep pickup.

Yes, Jeep and its parent, FCA, will likely field a midsize truck entry. Before you get too excited about a Wrangler-based pickup, keep in mind this new truck could be based off of something like the recently debuted FIAT Fullback concept.

Jeep still hasn’t made any official announcements, but everyone from Car and Driver to Automotive News seems to think one regarding a new pickup is imminent, though those older articles claim that the truck will be Wrangler-based.

With the midsize truck market on fire right now, it makes sense that FCA would want a piece of the action. We’ll just have to wait and see how it looks.

Which sounds more interesting to you, a Lexus pickup or a Jeep pickup?

-tgriffith

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