Wait a Minute - Haven't We Seen This Toyota Vehicle Before?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
wait a minute haven t we seen this toyota vehicle before

Okay, maybe not the specific vehicle itself, but the key feature that sets it apart from every other crossover/SUV on the road or in conceptual blueprints.

Seen here is the just-revealed Toyota Tj Cruiser, a commodious concept car heading to the upcoming Tokyo Auto Show. “Tj,” Toyota tells us, is a combination of “toolbox,” which this versatile box-on-wheels can certainly be, and “joy,” which you’ll certainly be feeling when behind the wheel. Take the company’s word for it — there’s joy here.

Whether you find it ungainly or endearing, the Tj Cruiser seems to be an answer to a question few are asking. However, TTAC was one of those askers.

Just a few weeks ago, we brought you the Chevrolet Tahoe Grande — a full-size SUV with sliding rear doors for better ingress/egress, side loading, and to generally help the kids scamper all about. This concept, of course, emerged from the TTAC Design Studios, helping illustrate our Question of the Day (which was, does rear sliding doors turn a utility vehicle into a van?).

The jury that day couldn’t reach a verdict, but the Tahoe Grande concept lives on in the Tj Cruiser, which Toyota claims represents the “harmonious balance between the roominess of a cargo van and the powerful design of an SUV.”

A versatile, easily reconfigurable interior. A long, flat cargo floor capable of swallowing objects 10 feet in length. Available four-wheel drive. Sturdy suspension. A bulky, slab-sided body with crossover-like ground clearance. An off-the shelf four-cylinder engine with attached hybrid system. While all of these attributes scream “utility!” (as well as “doable”), those sliding rear doors pull the vehicle right back into vandom.

It’s interesting Toyota is thinking about what it calls a “new crossover genre concept vehicle.”

However, Toyota is not thinking about building this TNGA-platform vehicle. According to Automotive News, the automaker has no plans to build either the Tj Cruiser or the Toyota 86-based GR HV Sports concept joining it at the auto show.

Given the automaker’s concerns about its bland, conservative image, and the fact that the funky Tj Cruiser looks like something Scion might have created (had it not died at the hands of its parent company), perhaps Toyota execs might want to give serious thought about adding such a vehicle to their already crowded utility vehicle lineup. Or would that be a waste of time?

[Images: Toyota; Chevrolet, FCA, The Truth About Cars]

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  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
  • Kcflyer What Toyota needs is a true full size body on frame suv to compete with the Expedition and Suburban and their badge engineered brethren. The new sequoia and LX are too compromised in capacity by their off road capabilities that most buyers will never use.