Toyota's New Small Offerings

Toyota will show two small vehicles at the Geneva Motor Show next week, both of which are viable offerings for the automaker’s U.S. showrooms.

The first is labeled the Urban Cruiser, a compact crossover utility currently slated for sale in Europe. Toyota calls it an “environmentally responsible SUV” due to its small size and low emissions. This little four-door was originally introduced as a concept vehicle in 2006, and has now taken a more conventional design than the first iteration. If introduced in the U.S., it would fit neatly into the Toyota line-up, just below the RAV4 in both size and price. The Urban Cruiser’s Toyota bloodline runs thick, as its mechanicals and platform are borrowed from the Yaris sedan, while its body design and overall aesthetics mimic the Scion xD. Both of those vehicles have done well in this U.S. market.

The second vehicle is a small pickup hybrid concept known as the Toyota A-BAT, which was first seen this past January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The A-BAT is a light duty truck featuring a four-foot bed, and in many ways resembles the Honda Ridgeline pickup. It is powered by a four-cylinder gas engine combined with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system. The hybrid market is sorely lacking a viable high-mpg pickup truck.

It is unclear at this point which of these vehicles will be approved for U.S. sale, but either could help Toyota to move in the direction of meeting new CAFE standards. “As we look to 2020, when we have to get 35 miles per gallon, that’s a big challenge,” said Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales, USA. Smaller and more efficient is undoubtedly part of the answer.


  • Anonymous

    They have a couple of pictures and more description about the pickup on the Toyota blog:
    http://blog.lexus.com/2008/02/more-than-a-com.html#more

    My thoughts are “Might have neat utility, but Butt Ugly”.

    Anyone else have any thoughts that agree or disagree?

  • Stephens

    It looks like a crossover SUV and the El Camino combined.

  • Bill Henely

    Oh here we go again. Toyota pumping money into this site.

    Of course when the American Car companies come out with something new they don’t list it here.

    The only thing green about Toyota is American money to go to japan.

    Toyota is anti American and anti greeen. The prius plant is a mega environmental disaster and driving an old hummer is better than driving a new prius.

    Join in to save the planet and dont drive a toyota keep your old car.

    Bill

  • sean

    The Urban Cruiser looks like Nissan Dualis (in Aust) or Qashqai (in Europe). Qashqai is in high demand and Dualis just released to the market. Hope Urban Cruiser will enjoy similar popularity as Qashqai.

  • ex-EV1 driver

    While I suppose it is worth posting on Hybridcars.com, I’m not particularly interested in small cars powered by inefficient Internal Combustion Engines (ICEs).
    A half car that gets twice as many mpg as a complete car isn’t really impressive. They will only serve to prolong our agony by making our lives miserable as we’re squeezed into zero space while we wait longer to run out of oil. We’re still going to run out of oil eventually. Halving our consumption will only double the time before empty but it’s still going to happen.
    What we really need is cars that can run on alternatives to fossil fuel.
    As many have probably already seen from my forum posts; I see wimpy parallel hybrids such as are being sold today to simply be a baby step toward something that may really solve our planet’s needs. A REAL solution is the Electric powered Vehicle or EV. While there may be other alternatively powered vehicle technologies that could eventually be sustainable for our planet, I don’t know for sure what technology they may use. Today’s EV technology truly can be sustained indefinitely on our planet through use of renewable energy such as sunlight and it’s spin-offs such as wind, hydro-electric, and biomass.
    Enjoy being cooped-up but I’ll still push to get an EV.
    Go Tesla, Go Miles, Go Phoenix, Go ZAP, Go Mitsubishi (MIEV), Go GM (Volt), Go CommuterCars, Go Aptera, Go Vectrix, and Go to all the other true visionaries out there that will really save our planet, not just prolong an agonizing demise!

  • mielcah

    It’s good that Toyota unveiled Urban Cruiser and Toyota A-BAT are now being offered by this automaker, because im planning to buy a new car that is suitable for me. It’s nice to know that this car are powered by a four-cylinder gas engine combined with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system.

  • Boom Boom

    Bill, get a clue. There have been plenty of postings of US cars on here, including one about the PZEV Ford Focus (which wasn’t a hybrid). The US auto industry is in trouble because of it’s own mistakes, not foreign competition.

    They should have put a pic of the Toyota Hybrid Pick-up, which the article also talks about. But, that said, saving gas by driving a smaller car or driving less is better than saving gas by driving a hybrid.

    The Xd on ‘roids does look kinda goofy…

  • ex-EV1 driver

    BoomBoom,

    You say that: ‘saving gas by driving a smaller car or driving less is better than saving gas by driving a hybrid’
    Are you suggesting that it is better to get 45 mpg by driving a small car slowly than to get 45 mpg by driving a reasonable sized hybrid fast?
    I don’t really get your logic, please explain.
    BTW: I agree with your assertion that the US auto industry is in trouble through its own incompetence, not just foreign competition.

  • Melvin Scott

    Oh I just love the car. It has a nice body color and body kits. A new rims will look much better on this ride. I saw some perfect rims for at Autopartswarehouse.