Toyota Urban SUV Concept previews new compact electric model

Matt Allan

4 Dec 2023

Toyota has pulled the covers off its next all-electric model - the Urban SUV Concept - a small SUV set to join the bZ4X in the Japanese brand’s line-up in 2024.

Although the Urban SUV is being presented as a concept vehicle, the road-going version will make its debut early next year and go on sale before the end of 2024, so it’s likely to be very similar to the car Toyota unveiled at its annual Kenshiki forum in Brussels. 

The new car will be the smallest of six electric cars Toyota plans to launch by 2026, all of which will be SUVs or crossovers. 

Roughly the same size as the hybrid Yaris Cross, the Urban SUV Concept aims to mimic that car’s success for the battery-powered B-SUV market. Its striking boxy design and high seating position meet continuing demand for rugged-looking SUVs even in smaller segments, while Toyota says it will exploit the benefits of the eTNGA platform to offer a spacious, flexible interior that can be configured to prioritise passenger or luggage space as needed. 

The Urban SUV Concept is roughly the same size as a Yaris Cross

The production car will come in two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions and with a choice of two batteries, allowing buyers to prioritise purchase price or range. Toyota hasn’t offered any technical information but the two-wheel-drive BZ4X features a 201bhp/71.4kWh setup. That is roughly in line with the Urban SUV’s potential rivals, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see the same arrangement in at least one version of the Urban SUV. Its smaller size should mean an improvement on the bZ4X’s 270-mile range.

Price-wise, Toyota said that the new model will “go where the market is going”, so expect it to start from somewhere in the region of £35,000, in line with other compact SUVs like the Volvo EX30, Kia Niro and Jeep Avenger.

Confirming that the Urban SUV would be Toyota’s smallest electric car “at least for a while” Andrea Carlucci, Toyota’s European vice president of product strategy and marketing, said there were currently too many obstacles for Toyota to consider anything smaller or cheaper. He dismissed the idea of a Toyota rival to the Citroen e-C3, or Volkswagen ID.2, both of which are expected to cost less than £25,000 when they arrive in 2024 and 2026 respectively. 

Expect prices to start at around £35,000

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