Suzuki’s Maruti’s division in India has reportedly approved supply of the top-selling Vitara Brezza to Toyota, thus paving the way for the Urban Cruiser to become a reality.
The second model after the Baleno-based Glanza to be introduced as part of the two automaker’s joint partnership signed last year, the Urban Cruiser, a name last used six years ago on a European version of the Japanese market ist, although still to be confirmed, will differ only in terms of aesthetics from the Brezza, with reports from Autocar India and indianautosblog.com claiming it will have the same sheet metal and even alloy wheels.
Inside, the Urban Cruiser will follow the same approach as the Glanza in replacing all of the Suzuki badges with the Toyota logo, with the actual design and switchgear being unchanged. Compared to the Brezza though, the Urban Cruiser will have the option of a lighter interior hue instead of the mono dark theme.
With Suzuki having dropped the long serving 1.3 Multijet turbodiesel engine earlier this year due to the new BS6 emissions regulations, the Urban Cruiser, like the Brezza, will be powered by the 1.5-litre K15B petrol engine used in the Ciaz and Ertiga, which produces 77kW/138Nm. Drive is routed to the front wheels only.
Although a five-speed manual gearbox is standard, the optional four-speed automatic comes with Suzuki’s Smart Hybrid Vehicle mild-hybrid system, which reports allege could be the sole option for the Urban Cruiser in order to differentiate it from the Brezza.
While it is being reported that the Urban Cruiser will command a premium over the Brezza when it goes on sale in August, the biggest mystery from a local market standpoint is whether Toyota will offer it in South Africa as a direct rival to the Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Venue and forthcoming Kia Sonet.
As is stands, the brand’s entry into the SUV segment, the updated C-HR, kicks-off at R379 100 for the base 1.2T whereas the EcoSport is priced from R279 700 for the 1.5 Ambiente and the Venue from R279 900 in the case of the entry-level 1.0T Motion. While still to be confirmed, chances are that the Urban Cruiser could be favoured over the Raize and Yaris Cross from a cost standpoint, but as mentioned, nothing has so far been made official.