Toyota in India has finally taken the wraps off its new Urban Cruiser, a small crossover based on the Suzuki Vitara Brezza offered in that market.

In 2018, the two Japanese firms announced broad plans for new “joint projects”. A year later, Toyota revealed the Glanza, which is effectively a rebadged Suzuki Baleno. Earlier in 2020, the new Suzuki Across (which is actually a Toyota RAV4 in disguise) was unveiled for Europe.

This latest Toyota-badged model will be built in India by Suzuki. It’s not yet clear whether there are plans to export the Urban Cruiser to other markets, including South Africa.

It’s worth pointing out the Vitara Brezza produced and sold by Maruti Suzuki in India differs somewhat from the Hungarian-built Vitara we know here in South Africa. At 3 995 mm, for instance, the Indian-spec model is a full 180 mm shorter nose to tail, allowing it to qualify for India’s all-important sub-four-metre class, which attracts a lower excise duty. It’s the same case with the Toyota-badged version.

So, what do we know about the Suzuki-based newcomer? Well, while the images released online are frustratingly low in resolution, we can see Toyota has handed the front-driven Urban Cruiser a model-specific front end not dissimilar to that employed by the Fortuner.

Power comes from Suzuki’s naturally aspirated 1,5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, with the choice of manual and automatic transmissions. Interestingly, variants featuring the self-shifting gearbox also gain an integrated starter generator and a lithium-ion battery.

In India, the Urban Cruiser rides on 16-inch alloy wheels, features LED foglamps, boasts a touchscreen system (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality) and comes with a dual-tone (black and brown) cabin seemingly carried over unchanged from the Suzuki. Six exterior colours plus three two-tone options are on offer.