TOYOTA CITY, JAPAN - What you see here is Toyota’s answer to the baby SUV market, and it’s essentially a twin to the Rocky that's made by Daihatsu, the Toyota-owned subsidiary that will also build both vehicles.

Built on a new platform called DNGA, which is related to Toyota's latest modular architecture, the Raize is small in size but upright in stature. At a shade under four metres in length, it is slightly shorter than the Ford EcoSport, and also a little lower. Despite its compact dimensions it still boasts a reasonable boot volume of 369 litres. 

The Toyota shares its basic shape with its Daihatsu Rocky cousin, but it’s unique upfront, and very much inspired by the bigger Rav4.

At this stage there is no word on whether the Raize is destined for South Africa, but it would certainly be a no brainer for our market if the pricing sums added up.

Inside, the Raize has all the modern electronics that you could expect, including an LED digital speedo, 17.8cm LCD display with four selectable display styles and 22.8cm central touchscreen with CarPlay connectivity. 

Power comes from a 1-litre turbopetrol engine, producing 72kW and 140Nm and paired with Toyota’s first D-CVT transmission, which adds split gears to existing CVT belt drives to improve high-speed efficiency.

Unlike most compact crossovers, the Raize is available in both front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive formats, across the entire model range in Japan. 

Available driver assist gizmos come in the form of Adaptive Cruise Control, Smart Panorama Parking Assist with voice and image guidance, Collision Warning and Crash Avoidance Braking. It’s even got a system designed to prevent a nasty parking lot smash if you accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake.

IOL Motoring