A carmaker as big as Toyota is not prone to having holes in its lineup. Its slate has everything from the small Wigo to the massive Land Cruiser—with more than P4 million in price difference between them. There doesn’t even seem to be a direct competitor to its best-selling MPV, the Innova.
But a gap does exist, and it’s in the subcompact crossover category. Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) does have the Avanza and Rush, but they are a subcompact MPV and a subcompact SUV, respectively. (Let’s not start on vehicle categories, please.) But Toyota has no answer to the Honda HR-V, Kia Stonic, and Ford EcoSport—compelling entries in a market that is moving away from sedans and appreciating the versatility of crossovers, but not ready for the bulk and price tag of midsize SUVs.
Recently we learned that this gap will soon be plugged. TMP will bring in the Raize subcompact crossover early next year, possibly as soon as January 2022.
In other markets the Raize gets a choice of three engines: a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder, a naturally aspirated 1.2-liter three-cylinder, and a 1.2-cylinder three-cylinder hybrid. It wasn’t confirmed what we will be getting here, but if we had to guess we wouldn’t bet on the hybrid. The turbo seems like an unlikely choice given its more expensive price tag, but TMP will want to protect the Vios from cannibalization, so it makes sense to price the Raize a little higher than its subcompact cash cow. This is evident in how the superb RAV4 is priced not to compete with the Fortuner.
Known as the Daihatsu Rocky in some markets, the Raize is about as wide as a Rush, but a bit lower and much shorter because it doesn’t have seven seats.
Oh, and of course the all-new Avanza is coming next year, but we might have to wait a little longer for that.