Toyota is working on a new small SUV positioned below the Toyota RAV4, sharing the same TNGA-C platform as the Toyota C-HR.
Recall also that Toyota is working on a Toyota Corolla Cross, which is also based on a Toyota C-HR’s TNGA-C platform but minus the expensive and bulky double wishbone rear suspension, replaced by a cheaper torsion beam that also frees up more interior space.
Thanks to Mag-X, we now know that Toyota is working on another C-segment SUV, which according to Japanese magazine, is codenamed 地方男子 (local guy), and will slot between the Corolla Cross and RAV4.
Although the Toyota RAV4 competes against the Honda CR-V, the RAV4 has become a bit too big and too expensive.
There is strong demand in Japan for Toyota to return to the original product concept of the first RAV4, which was an affordable, simple and fun lifestyle SUV that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Still, they both sit in the same Small (USA)/C-segment (Europe) category. The US EPA and IIHS still define the RAV4 as a Small (C-segment) SUV so for ease of reference, we are still keeping to that, despite its D-segment origins.
Defining which segment an SUV sits in can be a bit complicated because platforms are modular and can be stretched/shortened and just because the RAV4 is underpinned by a D-segment Camry’s platform, it doesn’t mean that it’s a D-segment SUV, which are generally made up of 7-seater SUVs like a Kia Sorento or Hyundai Santa Fe.
Back to the Toyota ‘local guy.’ This smaller, simpler, and free spirit sub-RAV4 model is said to be a production version of the Toyota TJ Cruiser concept, which was first shown at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.
The production car however, will lose the concept car’s sliding doors, replaced by conventional hinged doors, which is a shame because an SUV with practical sliding doors would have been really unique.
Of course, sliding doors are heavy and are expensive to engineer to pass side impact crash tests, so it's reasonable that it's dropped.
Details are still scarce but Mag-X say the SUV will be introduced in 2022 or later, and will be powered by a 2.0-litre hybrid engine. Expected dimensions are as below: