Body-On-Frame SUVs Gone By 2025: Toyota USA President

body on frame suvs gone by 2025 toyota usa president

Are body-on-frame SUVs long for this world? Not according to Toyota USA President Jim Lentz who made the bold prediction that “By 2025, I think one can assume that most of the frame-based vehicles will be gone.”

Lentz made the remarks while discussing the future of Lexus and their SUV lineup. Lexus currently markets two frame-based trucks, the GX460 (aka the Toyota Prado) and the Lexus LX570 (based on the Toyota Land Cruiser 200). Those models may be popular [s]with U.N peacekeepers[/s] in world markets, but Lentz feels that car based SUVs can handle the towing requirements that have traditionally been an advantage for truck-based SUVs, without the weight or efficiency drawbacks.

Lentz isn’t alone, with Nissan and Ford shifting their Pathfinder and Explorer models to unibody construction. Sales of the Explorer have doubled since the redesign, even with an outcry from the automotive press. Chevrolet won’t be bringing their truck-based Trailblazer to North America either, since the Traverse and Equinox have been judged to do the job adequately. Cars like the Range Rover Evoque will likely be the rule, rather than the exception, for premium SUVs going forward. On the other hand, vehicles like the Chevrolet Suburban, which are spun off of full-size truck platforms (and are extremely profitable because of that), will probably stick around for a long time.

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  • Robert Fahey Robert Fahey on Jan 20, 2012

    Good one, though most won't get the reference.

  • Mkirk Mkirk on Jan 20, 2012

    more and more it looks like my 80 series land cruiser will be my last vehicle.

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Jan 20, 2012

    The BOF vs. unibody CUV debate is retarded. BOF Does Not Matter. What matters is if the vehicle has the low gear or not. And apparently even that is not all that important for the mass market. Also, Lenz is only saying that because Tundra is such a dismal failure in the marketplace. Otherwise he'd be praising the architecture made in San Antonio.

    • See 2 previous
    • Nikita Nikita on Jan 23, 2012

      @golden2husky I went for a Tundra after too many Ford blown automatic transmissions and axles. However, if a GM dealer had the configuration I needed in stock, I may have ended up with a Chevy or GMC. I'm in the minority that is not brand loyal, having owned trucks of several brands since the '70's. Unibody is not necessarily weak, or light weight. Compare a 1970 Plymouth Fury with the contemporary Impala or Galaxie. My boss has an LX470, based on my Tundra. Its terrible as a car.

  • FJ60LandCruiser FJ60LandCruiser on Jan 22, 2012

    So, if I tow (and I do) I should get an HD Suburban with leather after 2025. Because all the crossovers drag their butts like a dog with worms when you try to pull anything over 6000 pounds.

    • Stuki Stuki on Jan 23, 2012

      HDs are a special breed, with their leaf packs. Regular BOF SUVs are coil sprung, so there is no reason why they should be sprung differently than a similarly set up unibody. I've spent some time in the latest Cruiser, 4runner and FJ, and the amount of space you give up compared to a unibody is considerable. The real reason for their popularity, is that they;re sold everywhere, and have great rough usage reliability records. If Toyota can build and sell a unibody vehicle similarly reliable, people will switch to that. Special purpose rock crawlers like the Wrangler will probably also stay BOF with live axles, just like the article noted pickup based mega SUVS will. The question is more about vehicles in the Land Cruiser category.