Toyota

Toyota logoToyota quickly earned its reputation of being one of the most reliable brands not only on the North American market, but on a global scale. Its cars and trucks proved their durability over time, and that also translates into high resale value as well.

2024 Toyota Land Cruiser
2024 Toyota Land Cruiser

In addition, although it trails some competitors in the transition to a fully electric lineup, it offers a thorough range of hybrid and plug-in variant powertrains, with at least one of them available on virtually every nameplate. And despite the complexity of those powertrains, they are just as reliable as the company’s conventional gasoline engines.

2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition

That strong reputation for building reliable and fuel-efficient vehicles has an obvious impact on sales. Through the 2023 calendar year, five Toyota models ranked among the top 20 most popular vehicles in the U.S., and two Toyota models cracked the top 10 most popular in Canada. The Toyota RAV4 was the best-selling utility vehicle in countries, while the Toyota Camry was the best-selling passenger car in the U.S., and the Toyota Corolla was the best-selling passenger car in Canada.The Corolla is also the best-selling nameplate in history worldwide since 1997.

2023 Toyota GR86 Special Edition
2023 Toyota GR86

Although Toyota offers a full line of crossovers and SUVs, along with a minivan, it hasn’t forgotten those who still prefer driving passenger cars. No other brand can rival Toyota’s selection of cars, including sports cars.

Toyota EV Concept Lineup in 2021

Despite its success on the sales charts, Toyota still has some work to do on the electrification front. It currently offers only one fully electric model in North America, the Toyota bZ4X, but the company has plans to expand that portfolio in the coming years. It’s also putting a lot of effort into hydrogen fuel cell technology, but the refueling infrastructure across North America is microscopic at best.

2025 Toyota Crown Signia

There’s also a negative impact for having such durable vehicles that are globally available. Toyota cars and trucks have unfortunately become the target of car thieves, which are shipped overseas and sold in other markets. Owners must take extra caution to prevent their vehicles from being stolen.

2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter
2024 Toyota Tacoma Trailhunter

Current Toyota Model Lineup

The brand’s U.S. and Canadian lineups currently consist of the Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry, Toyota Prius, Toyota Prius Prime, Toyota Mirai, Toyota GR86, Toyota GR Supra and Toyota Crown passenger cars, the Toyota Corolla Cross, Toyota RAV4, Toyota RAV4 Prime, Toyota Venza, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Grand Highlander, Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota Sequoia utility vehicles, the Toyota Sienna minivan, in addition to the Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Tundra pickup trucks.

Toyota History

The Toyota Motor Company was established in 1937 in Japan, shortly after launching its very first passenger car called the Toyoda Model AA in 1936. Founder Kiichiro Toyoda created the automobile manufacturing company as a spinoff of sewing machine-maker Toyota Industries, owned by his father.

1936 Toyota Model A1/AA

Actually, Toyoda started working on motor vehicles years before, as an automobile division within Toyoda Industries was set up in 1933. The first engine prototype was built in 1934, and the very first production model was the G1 truck that appeared in 1935. The company then built trucks for the Japanese Army during World War II, while a ban on passenger car production was ordered in Japan by occupying forces in the country.

1936 Toyota G1

Toyota was asked by the U.S. government to create a Jeep-like four-wheel-drive vehicle to serve in the Korean War. Initially called the Toyota BM, the vehicle was renamed the Toyota Land Cruiser in 1954, and exports to other regions began, including the Middle East. Toyota opened an assembly plant in Brazil in 1958, its first outside of Japan. The company created its Toyota Racing Development branding in 1954 to raise awareness of its motorsports efforts.

1956 Toyota BJ Land Cruiser

Meanwhile, a lean and efficient production method was established at Toyota, called the Supermarket Method, and the automaker eventually introduced new passenger cars such as the Toyopet Crown in 1955. The Toyopet Crown was the first to be exported to North America after Toyota opened for business in the United States in 1958, quickly followed by the Land Cruiser as well as the Toyota Crown, which was called Tiara in export markets. It was later followed by the Toyota Corona, the Toyota Corolla, the Toyota Century and the now-iconic Toyota 2000GT sports car in the Sixties. The Toyota Hilux compact pickup was also introduced globally in 1968, imported in North America as the Toyota Pickup.

1959 Toyota Toyopet Crown

The automaker expanded its international-market lineup in the 70s with the Toyota Celica, whose range-topping variant became a standalone model, the Toyota Supra, for the 1986 model year. Toyota was well-prepared for the oil crisis with a lineup of small and fuel-efficient vehicles, and sales thrived worldwide, including in North America.

1971 Toyota Celica

A string of new models arrived in the 80s, such as the Toyota 4Runner, the Toyota Camry, the Toyota Cressida, the Toyota MR2, the Toyota Van, the Toyota Tercel and the Toyota Starlet, to name a few. Toyota also entered a partnership with General Motors, creating New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc.or NUMMI in 1984, and operating a then-closed GM assembly plant in Fremont, California. The plant produced the Corolla, the Toyota Pickup which was renamed the Toyota Tacoma for the 1995 model year, and the Toyota Matrix as a 2003 model. The plant closed in 2010 and was acquired by Tesla shortly thereafter.

1985 Toyota Camry

The Japanese brand introduced its first large-size pickup truck in North America in 1993, called the Toyota T100. It would later become the Toyota Tundra. The 90s decade also saw the arrival of the Toyota Paseo, the Toyota Avalon, the Toyota MR2 Spyder, the Toyota Solara, the Toyota RAV4, the Toyota Previa, the Toyota Sienna as well as the aforementioned Tacoma and Matrix. A fully electric RAV4 was also proposed, although briefly, in the state of California between 1997 and 2003.

1998 Toyota RAV4

The turn of the century brought in a new era of vehicle electrification for the automaker, as the Toyota Prius hybrid launched in 1997 in Japan and reached the North American market as a 2001 model. During the 2000s decade, the brand also introduced models in North America such as the Toyota Highlander, the Toyota FJ Cruiser, the Toyota Sequoia, the Toyota Echo, the Toyota Yaris and the Toyota Venza. In 2007, Toyota Gazoo Racing was established as the automaker’s motorsport division, while TRD continued to focus on performance-related parts and accessories.

2001 Toyota Prius

As Toyota expanded its lineup of hybrid-powered vehicles, it introduced the Toyota Prius v and Toyota Prius c for the 2012 model year, while the Prius Plug-in Hybrid was renamed Prius Prime in conjunction with its 2017 model-year redesign. For 2016, the company launched the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell electric sedan in select markets where a refueling infrastructure was made available.

2020 Toyota GR Supra

After the Scion brand was phased out, the FR-S sports car became the Toyota 86 for the 2017 model year, known as the GR86 since the second-generation of the subcompact sportster arrived for 2021. The Scion iM became the Toyota Corolla iM, sold in 2017 and 2018. Initially planned as a Scion model, the Toyota C-HR hit the North American market for the 2018 model year. It was indirectly replaced by the Toyota Corolla Cross as the brand’s subcompact crossover entry in the region. The Toyota GR Supra was introduced as a 2020 model, returning an iconic nameplate to the brand as it expanded its sports car portfolio. The Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in-hybrid arrived as a 2020 model.

2023 Toyota bZ4X

The brand’s very first mass-production, fully electric vehicle in North America launched for the 2023 model year as the Toyota bZ4X crossover. The lineup further expanded with the addition of the Toyota Grand Highlander, while the Toyota Crown Signia introduces the long-running nameplate on a utility vehicle, indirectly replacing the Venza as a two-row midsize entry for the 2025 model year. An all-new generation of the Toyota Land Cruiser has also appeared for 2024.