Toyota is a global brand, but it is still very much Japanese. And Japan has different standards for cars, which means that we don’t even see some of Toyota’s products on our roads. Recently Toyota introduced a cool-looking Raize SUV. Let’s see what we are not getting.
Toyota Raize is a compact SUV, designed for active people, mostly city residents. It is just 3,995 millimeters long and 1,695 millimeters wide, but has a class-leading 369-liter trunk. And that’s with seat in a normal position – if you folded the rear seats down, you could fit even more luggage or at least longer items. It has other advantages of more conventional SUVs, such as a chunky design and a tall driving position.
Talking about design, this car is produced by Daihatsu Motor, another brand of Toyota. Raize was constructed on a new DNGA platform and has an entirely new powertrain. Raize has a 1.0-liter turbo engine, combined with a CVT transmission. Toyota says that Raize achieves the torque and driving joy of a car with a 1.5-liter engine. It is not exactly fast, but it is smooth and zippy-enough for city driving. And let’s face it – although it was created with active lifestyle in mind, Raize will reside in an urban environment.
Toyota Raize is a little bit similar to RAV4 in its design. It has a large prominent grille, flanked by big sculptured headlights. There are actually six lights in the front surface of the car – huge main headlights, separate daytime running lights and fog lights. SUV theme continues on the sides with black molding around wheel arches and and black sills. Raize has a two-tone colour pattern with a black roof adding to its classy youthful look, but that is an optional extra. The back is simple, but a recognizable Toyota.
Inside you will find a modern interior with red accents in various locations to create a sense of luxury and playfulness. Conventional infotainment controls are gone – now there are a couple of screens – one behind the steering wheel and one in the middle of the control panel. There are plenty of innovative storage solutions throughout the cabin, making Raize very practical. Not that it matters, since we are not getting it in Europe, but it is not that expensive either – it starts from 1,679,000 Japanese yen (a smidge over 14k euros).
But why we are not getting the Raize? It looks exactly like a car that would be popular between the Western urban youth. It is loaded with tech too and quite cheap. However, being designed for Japan and Asian market in general means that the car may not meet European standards, including safety and eco-friendliness. There may be other reason as well, such as profitability – it may be more advantageous for Toyota to push more expensive models in our markets.
And who knows – maybe Raize is not even that cool. Or at least that’s what we have to tell us anyway, since we are not getting it.