The Toyota Raize is a cut-price micro SUV developed by subsidiary Daihatsu, which appears to be focused on the Japanese market - for now.
Its 3995mm length makes the Raize shorter than a Mazda 2, though it has a higher riding position, and a capacious 369L boot that measures 1.0m wide and 865mm deep. It’s also a little shorter than the smallest SUVs in Australia, including the Hyundai Venue and Suzuki Vitara.
It’s based on a derivative of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) that also underpins cars such as the Yaris, Corolla and C-HR. But since the project was led by Daihatsu, this iteration of the platform is called DNGA.
The interior design comprises a driver-focused fascia with a 9.0-inch touchscreen fitted with Apple CarPlay connection, plus a TFT digital instrument display with various modes to choose from.
The seats and transmission tunnel are also finished in funky patterns, though it’s clearly built to a price with hard plastics.
Driver-assist equipment options include an auto parking pilot, active cruise control, autonomous emergency braking that detects pedestrians and cars in cities, and an Erroneous Start Prevention Function that cuts power if you inadvertently hit the throttle too hard in a car park instead of the brake.
The drivetrain is a 72kW/140Nm turbocharged three-cylinder, mated with a CVT and either front- or on-demand all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations. Not much power, but it also weighs as little as 980kg, so there’s not much car to lug around.
Claimed fuel use is as low a 5.4L/100km on the Japanese combined test cycle.
Toyota Australia confirmed it has no current plans to offer the Raize here, to sit below the C-HR and alongside the new-generation Yaris set to arrive in 2020. Suzuki and Hyundai can breathe easier.