By on July 23, 2012

A Spade.

Listening to demands for “compact cars with minivan-like features,” Toyota unleashed two truly mini minivans upon the Japanese public, with the aim of becoming the leader in that segment. But wait what they called the thing.

A Spade

Powered by either a 1.3 liter or 1.5 liter engine, both mated to Toyota’s Super CVT-I, the mini minivans come with a “large, passenger-side remote-controlled sliding door. The door can be opened and closed using a wireless key or by the touch of a button from the driver or rear seats.” Apparently, Toyota wants to ncroach on Honda’s NBOX.

A Porte

The two minivans are actually one. Same body, same engine, trim, even price. What is different are the names and the channel. One minivan, called “Porte” is sold through “Toyota” and “Toyopet” dealers, the other, called “Spade” is available at through “Toyota Corolla” and “Netz” dealers.

Yes, they called it a spade. Toyota helpfully supplies the information that Porte is derived “from the French word for door”, whereas “spade” was “chosen as it contains portions of the words space and wide, key elements in the vehicle’s design, and also because it is the strongest suit in a deck of cards.”

Ok, ok. But did they check the urban dictionary?

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

18 Comments on “Toyota Calls A Spade A Spade. Saywhat?...”


  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    At least they haven’t spade the cat.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    The Porte was one of the first cars I saw upon entering Toyota’s Amlux Auto Salon in Ikebukuro. The Spade is new, but the Porte’s been around since 2004. And probably selling in tiny numbers. Talk about a niche!

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      I remember seeing Toyota’s bB in trucklet form offered in that role, with the rear cargo bed area fitted for wheelchair stowage, and a similar articulated seat in front.

      Ah, there it is: the bB Open Deck model.

  • avatar
    Jean-Pierre Sarti

    forget about the name, more importantly I’m sorry more companies don’t consider vehicles like this since as far as i can tell in the US specialty vehicles for the disabled are ridiculously expensive. I see it everyday in my job around the Houston medical center.

  • avatar
    tmkreutzer

    Japan is an aging population so seats like that are going to be an increasingly popular option. Good luck using it in your ludicrously tight parking spot though.

  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    If they bring it to the US they should change the name or they might spook a certain percentage of the population.

  • avatar

    At least they didn’t call it a porch monkey.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I say let us call a spade a spade.

  • avatar
    360joules

    Slurs and slang evolve and mutate based upon geography and time. Spade would get you a “Huh?” where I live on the left coast of the US, but the N-word remains offensive. In the 70′s in Illinois, calling a black person a spade would have started a fight. An Ace of spades card left at a shooting now would be retro-Vietnam vet or gang symbolism shooting but not racist. Dude is what white people say around Afro-Americans that gets a “Whitey out of touch” chuckle. In the 30′s Yiddish word putz referred to male genitalia but now means socially akward or geek. Geeks used to be circus performers who harmed themselves to “ick” out midway patrons; now socially awkward. Blah blah.
    —Forget the sociology lesson. A small, efficient, easily accessible vehicle will sell to aging baby-boomers at Scion dealerships. Or the numerous young folks in the USA living with the effects of penetrating trauma.

  • avatar
    360joules

    Slurs and slang evolve and mutate based upon geography and time. Spade would get you a “Huh?” where I live on the left coast of the US, but the N-word remains offensive. In the 70′s in Illinois, calling a black person a spade would have started a fight. An Ace of spades card left at a shooting now would be retro-Vietnam vet or gang symbolism shooting but not racist. Dude is what white people say around Afro-Americans that gets a “Whitey out of touch” chuckle. In the 30′s Yiddish word putz now referred to male genitalia but now means socially akward or geek. Geeks used to be circus performers who harmed themselves to “ick” out midway patrons; now socially awkward. Blah blah.
    —Forget the sociology lesson. A small, efficient, easily accessible vehicle will sell to aging baby-boomers at Scion dealerships. Or the numerous young folks in the USA living with the effects of penetrating trauma.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    George Segal made a dreadful 1975 film called “The Black Bird,” a satire of “The Maltese Falcon” where he played Sam Spade Jr. in present-day San Francisco.

    The only funny thing about that film is that the neighborhood of his father’s office was now black and all its residents made fun of his name. Bad taste in clothing aside (from all races), tHat was a time when everyone had more humor about ethnicity.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    If it does come to America they’ll probably just give it a meaningless series of random numbers and letters. QLV 1300/QLV 1500/QLV 1500GT.

  • avatar
    jco

    that car would be perfect for my handicap’d mom. just roll her up to the extended seat and slide her over. an obvious consideration given the wheelchair in the official photo.

    as for the name, ‘Spade’ simply wouldn’t have the same connotation in japan.. so I don’t get what the big deal is.

  • avatar

    This PorteSpade thing may be interesting and practical, but generally asymmetric cars do not sell too well, or they did not until now. Velosters rack pretty puny numbers (except in certain geographies). Saturns did too before them.

  • avatar
    A is A

    Toyota is copying the not so-successful, only sold in Europe, Peugeot 1007

    https://www.google.com/search?q=peugeot+1007&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=PmQOUP3MD5CShgfUqoG4Aw&ved=0CFQQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=677

    The Peugeot 1007 is not really a good car: Too much weight on the roof, too narrow and too tall.

  • avatar
    Ibizaguy

    Well, it is the same story than the following Japanese models in Spanish:

    Mitsubishi Pajero- Well known story. Pajero is somone that practices self-satisfaction too often.
    Mazda Laputa: Mazda Thewhore
    Nissan Moco: Nissan Booger

    In Catalan
    Nissan Pixo (actually sold now in very low numbers): Nissan I-pee

    Seriously – this can be checked online or they can send a memo to their world headquarters to ask…


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India