Toyota South Africa Motors has confirmed it plans to bolster its local range with an “affordable” new B-segment crossover.
While the company opted not to identify the new model nor specify exactly when it would arrive, it seems likely to be the Urban Cruiser revealed in August 2020.
Built in India, the Urban Cruiser is based on the Suzuki Vitara Brezza offered in that market. Unlike the Baleno-based Starlet, though, the Urban Cruiser features exterior styling distinct from that of its Suzuki cousin.
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.
In India, power for the Urban Cruiser comes from Suzuki’s 77 kW/138 N.m naturally aspirated 1,5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, with the choice of manual and automatic transmissions.
In the country in which it's built, 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.
If the mystery model does end up being the Urban Cruiser, expect it to slot into Toyota SA's crossover range below the C-HR. In addition, we also expect the new Corolla Cross to be added to the local line-up in the final quarter of 2021, soon after production of a new passenger car model starts at the Prospecton plant in KwaZulu-Natal.