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Toyota has expanded its local model range with a Suzuki twin. If you are confused, don’t be.
The new Urban Cruiser is a front-wheel-drive crossover that shares its platform and most of the mechanical componentry with Suzuki’s Vitara Brezza.
Suzuki has a storied history of engineering excellent all-terrain vehicles. Think of the legendary Suzuki Jimny and Vitara.
Toyota has rather cleverly used its relationship with Suzuki to rebadge the Vitara Brezza. Although it doesn’t have four-wheel drive, with 198mm of ground clearance. the Urban Cruiser should easily traverse Karoo gravel roads.
Joint venture vehicles are part of the new normal for global automotive brands. Toyota is cleverly leveraging its nearly invaluable South African brand loyalty, with proven Suzuki technical ability.
In terms of size, the Urban Cruiser measures 3995mm bumper-to-bumper, which makes it half a meter shorter than something like the Toyota Rav4.
The Japanese brand is targeting traditional hatchback customers, who desire something with a touch more ground clearance, to explore South Africa’s treasure of gravel roads and small towns.
Powering the Urban Cruiser is a Suzuki 1.5-litre petrol engine, good for 77kW and 138Nm.
The gearboxes aren’t contemporary in their spread of ratios, with the manual shifting Urban Cruiser having only five forward speeds. Meanwhile, the automatic has a mere four.
Toyota Urban Cruiser price in South Africa
Pricing for the Urban Cruiser starts at R247 900 for an entry-level Xi, with the five-speed manual gearbox. The range peaks at R315 700 with the Urban Cruiser Xr auto.
The Urban Cruiser Xi might roll steel wheels, but in terms of safety and convenience, it is decently equipped.
Access is via keyless entry. There is also a touchscreen infotainment system, with integrated Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Safety features on the Urban Cruiser Xi include ABS brakes and dual front airbags.
And to help drivers prevent a careless moment of regret when reversing, there are rear park distance control sensors.
Feature image: Toyota