Toyota and Suzuki joined hand in 2019 to develop new cars and technology for India. The partnership is set to spawn a new C-segment MPV soon.
The partnership between Toyota and Suzuki will see the production of a few new India-specific cars. Earlier, the partnership led to the creation of Toyota Glanza, a rebadged-version of the Maruti Baleno. Now, the next in line for our market is reportedly an MPV.
The upcoming Toyota MPV will be smaller than the Innova, and more affordable as well. Currently, the Innova Crysta retails for between Rs. 15.36 lakh and 23.02 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi). While extremely successful, it occupies quite a premium segment in the market. The plan to introduce a new MPV one segment below is quite a wise decision by Toyota. In this target space, Mahindra Marazzo is the dominant offering. Priced from Rs. 9.99 lakh to Rs. 14.76 lakh, the Marazzo is mostly uncontested in its segment.
There aren’t many details available about the upcoming MPV right now, but we expect a monocoque chassis (as opposed to the ladder-frame one on the Innova), front-wheel-drive format, and new, smaller petrol and diesel engines. The former will be offered with the lower trim versions, which would help keep the entry price low. As Maruti doesn’t have any diesel engine in its range right now, it would be interesting to see if Toyota decides to drop it from its range as well. That said, offering a diesel engine might be crucial for Toyota, as MPVs and SUVs are still preferred with an oil-burner rather than a gasoline powerplant.
Further below, Maruti Ertiga occupies the entry-level MPV segment, priced between Rs. 7.59 lakh and Rs. 10.13 lakh. There is a possibility that an Ertiga-based Toyota MPV will also grace our market soon, after the launch of the rebadged Brezza, slated to be called the Urban Cruiser. It isn’t confirmed yet whether the new sub-4-metre SUV will be a redesigned model or a rebadged one, i.e., whether it will only share a platform with plenty of aesthetic differences, or if it will be the same car (Vitara Brezza) but with a Toyota logo on it. The former technique is used by plenty of carmakers (like Renault-Nissan, Hyundai-Kia, etc), while the latter is used by Toyota quite frequently (Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ in the US, Toyota Glanza/Maruti Baleno in India).