The Toyota Raize has been introduced to the Japanese market, but will it come stateside?
Toyota arguably kicked off the compact crossover craze when it launched the first-generation RAV4 in 1994. But four generations later, the latest RAV4 has grown substantially in size. And while other automakers have slotted sub-compact crossovers beneath it, Toyota hasn't. At least not in the North American market. But back home in Japan, it's just introduced the pint-sized new crossover you see here.
Called the Raize, it's described as "a small passenger car that features the powerful style of an SUV"... which is, to our eyes and ears at least, another way of saying it's a small crossover. And it certainly looks the part.
At 157 inches long, the Raize is about the size of the new Hyundai Venue or Ford EcoSport. And though clearly badged and styled as a Toyota, it's actually made by Daihatsu – another Japanese automaker that Toyota recently acquired for its small-car expertise – and appears to share much with its new Rocky that just hit the local market.
The ruggedly boxy crossover rides on a new DNGA platform and comes powered by a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine (rated at 97 horsepower and 103 lb-ft in other Daihatsu vehicles) and mated to a continuously variable transmission utilizing (for the first time in a Toyota) a split gear for better efficiency.
Available all-wheel drive and 17-inch wheels in visually emphasized fenders lend it more rugged appeal, and Toyota has packed it with all the bells and whistles, including a seven-inch TFT color instrument display, a nine-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay compatibility, and a host of driver-assistance and safety systems. It'll be offered in eight body colors (three available with a contrasting black roof), with prices ranging from 1,679,000 to 2,282,200 yen (or about $15-21k). It'll even be offered domestically through Toyota's Kinto One subscription program. The question is if it'll ever make the journey across the Pacific to North American showrooms.