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HomeFeatures7-seater Toyota Urban Cruiser and Suzuki Grand Vitara – What we know so far

7-seater Toyota Urban Cruiser and Suzuki Grand Vitara – What we know so far

Toyota and Suzuki are reportedly making preparations to launch new seven-seater versions of one of their most popular cars, though it may be a while before South Africa can expect to receive either of them.

According to Autocar India, Toyota’s division there is working on a three-row version of the Urban Cruiser (known as the Hyryder in India) in collaboration with Suzuki Maruti, who is likewise working on a bigger version of its own crossover – the Grand Vitara.

While not officially confirmed, the publication claims that these new cars will go into production in 2025, putting a speculative South African launch date later into that same year.

What we know so far

The new Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota Urban Cruiser both launched in South Africa last year and are the result of a joint development between the two automakers.

The vehicles are built on the same platform, use the same engine, and have nearly identical equipment lists, though they arguably play different roles within their respective brand’s line-ups, as the Urban Cruiser is currently the most budget-friendly SUV offered by Toyota, slotting below the Corolla Cross, while the Grand Vitara is Suzuki’s new flagship.

In any case, both crossovers have proven to be a hit with consumers both in South Africa and in India, which is the market where our models are imported from, so the news that India is developing a seven-seater version of the platform bodes well for an eventual South African introduction.

Details for either car are still thin on the ground, given how early they are in the development cycle, but it’s reasonable to assume they will end up keeping the same 1.5-litre petrol engine with 77kW and 138Nm.

What’s more, it will be interesting to see whether the hybrid version of the powertrain, which is currently employed by the range-topping Vitara, will be offered on the bigger model, and if Toyota will follow suit and provide its own hybrid option for either the two or three-row Cruiser.

Both vehicles should naturally be priced higher than their five-seater counterparts, which has a few implications.

For Suzuki, the seven-seater Grand should become the new pinnacle model of its local stable, provided it has similar features, while the Cruiser’s price is likely to overlap with the Corolla Cross, making for a more difficult choice for consumers in that price bracket.

There aren’t very many seven-seater SUVs in South Africa that cater to the more affordable end of the market, so these two new Japanese models will likely end up competing with models like the Mahindra XUV700 and the Hyundai Grand Creta, which start at R483,199 and R520,500, respectively.

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