CHANDAN B MALLIK, Kolkata: Sometimes it’s difficult to establish what’s in the mind of automakers when it comes to product strategies.
It’s also a known fact that carmakers have made mistakes in product placements, by not paying attention to market specifics.
For global markets, Toyota had a brilliant subcompact SUV, the RAV-4 which hasn’t yet made its presence in India. Currently in its fifth generation, it has grown from a lifestyle utility into a bolder and tougher SUV, thanks in part to the TNGA platform.
Why I have raised the RAV-4 is because for India, the entry-level SUV planned will be a rebadged Suzuki Vitara Brezza. This means there’s plenty of room below and above this model. The 2WD RAV-4s are powered by four-cylinder 2.0-litre engines and CVT while some markets get the bigger 2.5-litre hybrid set-ups with 8-speed automatic or CVTs.
Another potential candidate from Toyota’s stable that could fit the growing SUV demand in the country is the 4,360 mm long youthful and urban styled C-HR which is slightly larger than the Creta, Hyundai’s top seller or the Kia Seltos.
C-HR stands for ‘Coupe High Rider’ and the surprisingly adventurous styling for the usually-conservatively designed Toyota models and is aimed at younger buyers.
In right hand drive markets like Australia, the coupe-inspired crossover is powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharge four-cylinder offering its 85kW at 5600rpm and 185Nm of torque between 1,500–4,000rpm when mated to CVT transmission.
Toyota has well-kitted the car with features on the entry-level models with stuff like an 8.0-inch touchscreen, sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone climate control, six-speaker stereo, fabric seats, LED headlights and running lights, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Stepping up to the higher specification variants that adds 18-inch alloys, privacy glass, leather upholstery, heated front seats, panoramic camera and proximity unlocking.
The probability of the two model, that is RAV-4 or C-HR making it to India is tilted towards the latter as the C-HR has been spotted testing quite a few times.