The all-new Toyota RAV4 is a vehicle that conveys a presence larger than its actual size—its edgy exterior look, relatively spacious interior, and raised driving position leaves those who’ve driven it with the impression they’re behind the wheel of a midsize SUV.
Now, imagine the opposite: You take the same package, except condense it into something considerably more city-friendly in size. This is pretty much what you get with the Toyota Raize—the Japanese car manufacturer’s new subcompact-crossover challenger.
The Raize was just launched in Japan, but we actually came across the vehicle it’s likely based on—a Daihatsu crossover (the two brands share the Daihatsu New Global Architecture, which will be utilized in future products from both manufacturers)—at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. The official Japan release gets a Toyota badge, and the company is pitching it as a crossover that’ll fit the lifestyles of both active and easy-going motorists.
In terms of dimensions, the Raize measures a compact 3,995mm long and 1,695mm wide, but runs on relatively sizeable 17-inch wheels. Its exterior, with hard character lines and edges, is very reminiscent of the RAV4, and Toyota is making a pretty big deal out of the cabin space and the 369-liter cargo capacity. Even the interior reminds us of the RAV4, with its modern dashboard design and emphasis on tactile feel.
In Japan, the Raize can be had with a 1.0-liter turbocharged engine mated to a D-CVT (97hp at 6,000rpm and 140Nm of torque at 2,400-4,000rpm). This powertrain, combined with the rigid body and the impressive steering dynamics, provides the vehicle with a great drive, Toyota claims. The Raize is available in both 2WD and 4WD form, by the way.
How much for this? The most affordable Toyota Raize carries a ¥1,679,000 (P770,000) price tag. Would you like to see this crossover enter the Philippine market to take on the likes of the Ford EcoSport and the Suzuki Vitara?