Toyota Prepares to Introduce the 'LandCruiser Mini'

Jacob Brooke
September 28, 2023
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Toyota, the renowned automaker from Japan, seems set to introduce a competitor for the five-door Suzuki Jimny. New insights from Japanese publications suggest the upcoming model may be available with hybrid or even electric variants.

This new development is believed to be inspired by the Compact Cruiser EV concept that Toyota showcased in 2021. Some communications within the company hint at alternate names for the vehicle, such as the 'LiteCruiser' or the 'Yaris Cruiser'.

"Lite Cruiser" concept

Though the original concept was electric-powered, insiders believe the commercial model may feature petrol or diesel options, catering to regions where electric vehicles have yet to gain significant traction, especially in remote locations.

A recent teaser by Toyota, revealing a silhouette reminiscent of the Compact Cruiser, has further fuelled the anticipation. Contrary to some speculations, this vehicle might be based on a robust ladder frame rather than adopting the architecture used for models like the Corolla.

Square vs Round Headlight styles - Image source: Best Car Web

Early illustrations, gathered from reputable sources, suggest a design closely aligned with the Compact Cruiser concept. However, there are whispers of alterations, such as the introduction of circular headlights and a rear-mounted spare tyre — a feature now omitted in the newer Prado models.

Regarding powertrains, there's some uncertainty. Some suggest a 2.0-litre petrol engine, similar to the one found in the Corolla Cross, possibly with a hybrid variant. There's also talk of a 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid similar to the one in the RAV4. On the other hand, a recent issue from Japanese car magazine Magazine X hints at the inclusion of engines known from the Prado and HiLux lines, like the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder. Interestingly, this engine might be paired with a hybrid system for select markets, implying electric-only driving capabilities.

This vehicle isn't to be mistaken for the new Prado hybrid model, which offers limited electric functionalities. Furthermore, a 2.7-litre non-turbo petrol variant is allegedly in the pipeline, and efforts for a fully electric model are in the early stages.

Manufacturing for the LandCruiser Mini is expected to be based in regions of South-East Asia, like Thailand, from where Toyota currently exports the HiLux to Australia. These vehicles will likely be targeted at Asian markets, with Japan receiving exports. It's hinted that electric iterations might originate from Japanese production lines.

While there's mention of the LandCruiser Mini being unveiled at the upcoming Tokyo motor show, official confirmations are awaited.


  • Toyota is potentially launching a 'LandCruiser Mini', a rival for the Suzuki Jimny.
  • The vehicle is inspired by the 2021 Compact Cruiser EV concept.
  • Options may include petrol, diesel, hybrid, or electric powertrains.
  • Design elements may include circular headlights and a rear-mounted spare tyre.
  • Production is likely based in South-East Asia with a focus on Asian markets.
Jacob Brooke
Jacob Brooke, a respected voice in the world of automotive journalism, brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to his reviews at CarSauce. His keen eye for detail and passion for all things cars shine through in his in-depth analysis and honest evaluations of the latest models of cars. Join him as he guides readers through the car-buying process and explores the exciting world of motoring.

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