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New budget-friendly Toyota crossover to be revealed in April

Toyota is set to reveal its own version of the popular Suzuki Fronx in April, badged the Urban Cruiser Taisor.

Since the unveiling of the Fronx back in January 2023, speculation has been rife that Toyota would follow suit and launch a badge-engineered version of the crossover coupe as it no longer had such a wallet-friendly entry in its portfolio following the discontinuation of the first-generation Urban Cruiser at the end of 2022.

In the meantime, it has introduced the second-gen Urban Cruiser which is based on the Suzuki Grand Vitara, but this vehicle demands a much higher asking price than the first-gen model, which only lent credence to the idea that a rebadged Fronx would eventually become Toyota’s new entry-level SUV.

In August 2023, the manufacturer covertly filed a trademark application in India for an “Urban Cruiser Taisor” further fueling the rumours.

What was fiction up to this point has now seemingly transformed into fact, as Toyota officially confirmed over the weekend that the global debut of the Urban Cruiser Taisor is penned in for 3 April 2024, according to Autocar India.

Suzuki Fronx

What to expect

As with all vehicles borne out of the Toyota-Suzuki friendship – see: Celerio and Vitz, Baleno and Starlet, Grand Vitara and Urban Cruiser, and Ertiga and Rumion – the new Urban Cruiser Taisor will receive subtle cosmetic adjustments inside and out, but should be identical under the skin to the Fronx.

With this in mind, we can expect to see slightly different bumper and light designs on the Taisor at the front and back, a Toyota-specific grille, and of course, new wheel options.

Fixed components that could potentially require a recertification of structural integrity should they be changed, like the doors, hood, and pillars, will probably not be touched.

Inside, the Taisor will likely be delivered with different materials and finishes to the Suzuki, as well as a brand-exclusive infotainment system, to give customers the impression that they are still driving a Toyota.

Suzuki Fronx Interior

It’s all but guaranteed that the new Urban Cruiser Taisor will also employ the same powertrain as the Fronx comprising a 1.5-litre petrol motor putting out 77kW and 138Nm, mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox.

Judging from past collaborations between the two automakers, the Toyota is anticipated to be ever-so-slightly more expensive than the Suzuki, the latter of which currently retails from R288,900 in South Africa.

It must be mentioned that Toyota has yet to make any announcements on the local availability of its new crossover, however, considering the success of the original Urban Cruiser as well as that of the Fronx, we would honestly be more surprised if the Taisor doesn’t come to South African showrooms than if it does.

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