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.
Now, Toyota looks set to add a rebadged Vitara Brezza to its Indian range, and it’s expected to be named the Urban Cruiser, according to Autocar India. In 2018, Toyota successfully trademarked the nameplate in India.
The Urban Cruiser badge isn’t new, having been used in Europe on a boxy subcompact car built between 2007 and 2016. Of course, the "Cruiser" part of the name also lines up neatly with Toyota’s wide range of fully fledged off-roaders, such as the Land Cruiser Prado, Land Cruiser 200, Land Cruiser 70 Series and FJ Cruiser.
It’s worth pointing out the Vitara Brezza produced and sold by Maruti Suzuki in India differs somewhat from the Hungarian-built model 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.
So, if this rumoured rebadged model does indeed see the light of day, will it make its way to South African shores? Well, it’s certainly not inconceivable, with the two automakers having earlier confirmed plans to supply models from “India to African and other markets”...
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.