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Toyota Builds A Badass Minivan Concept We'd Totally Buy

Concepts / 19 Comments

A closer look at the details shows this thing is easily doable.

Let's face it, the current crop of minivans aren't exactly cool, but Toyota may be hoping to change that with its latest concept, the Tj Cruiser. Making its debut later this month at the Tokyo Motor Show, the Tj Cruiser "was designed for drivers with lifestyles where work and play dovetail seamlessly. The 'T'...stands for 'Toolbox,' while the 'j' stands for 'joy.'" But let's be clear about something: this is not an SUV. It rides on Toyota's new TNGA modular platform for mid-size cars, though it's been engineered for both front- and all-wheel drive.

Power will come from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine linked to a hybrid system. The overall exterior design is actually fairly aggressive, considering it's a minivan. Toyota deliberately did this in order to emphasize the concept's "high utility." We like the square-shaped cabin instead of bubbly look. Other nice touches are the large SUV-sized tires and a bold front end. The hood, roof and fender materials utilize even a special scratch and dirt resistant coating. Inside you'll find a front and rear passenger seats that can recline fully flat for storing things up to almost 10-feet long, such as a surfboard or skis.

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The back of the seats and deck boards have tie-down points to enable easy anchoring of items, while the large rear opening makes for easy loading and unloading. Even the seat cushion on the passenger seat directly behind the driver can be flipped up towards the front to create space for stowing stuff like groceries. The two rear sliding doors also make for easier access for passengers and items alike. The current Toyota Sienna is aging fast and the Tj Cruiser Concept could be an appealing replacement for a younger generation tired of so many crossovers that's also looking for something new and different.