Toyota Revealed the Century SUV for Discerning Japanese Buyers

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Though Americans love to think we’re the center of the universe, that’s far from the case, especially when we’re talking about cars. The global automotive world is packed with “forbidden fruit” vehicles that automakers sell in other countries but not here. Despite being one of the most visible and popular automakers in the U.S., Japanese auto giant Toyota has a whole universe of vehicles it doesn’t offer to Americans. The iconic Century sedan is one of them, acting as the transport vehicle of choice for Japan’s royals and dignitaries. Now, Toyota’s got an SUV version, but it looks like the larger Century vehicle won’t come here, either. 

The roughly $170,000 Century SUV is slightly shorter but wider than its sedan counterpart, and its styling splits the difference between a Rolls-Royce Cullinan and vague Lincoln-like looks. Toyota will offer a GR variant, but the Century is all about luxury, and it will offer stunning interior finishes, slide-opening rear doors, and more. 

Toyota is expected to borrow the hybrid powertrain from the upcoming Lexus TX to power the Century SUV, which may be a disappointment to long-time fans expecting a V12. The automaker will likely install extreme sound-deadening glass and offer a rear comfort mode that mitigates vehicle movements for a more comfortable passenger experience. 

The new SUV will launch in Japan, and Toyota said it will be offered with an extreme level of customizability, giving buyers the ability to create one-off builds. 

[Image: Toyota]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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5 of 45 comments
  • FreedMike FreedMike on Sep 07, 2023

    But of COURSE it's an SUV...

  • Jeff Jeff on Sep 07, 2023

    I would be surprised if this vehicle is actually offered in the US. Most who want an suv from Toyota will likely go with Lexus. I could see this vehicle being popular in Japan among the wealthy, high ranking public officials, and the Yakusa but not so much in the US where there are Escalades, Navigators, and European luxury suvs.

    • Jeff Jeff on Sep 07, 2023

      Agree I believe it would be better to market this under the Lexus brand.

  • Bill Bill on Sep 07, 2023

    Sadly, the headlights remind me of the FAMILY TRUCKSTER of Natl Lampoon Vacation fame.

  • William Piper William Piper on Sep 11, 2023

    If they do sell this here, it’ll be Toyotas equivalent of the VW Phaeton but in SUV form.