Instead of the Toyota Corolla Altis, the Toyota RAV4 compact SUV is more suitable for India, a TKM official has indicated. C-SUVs are seeing increasing popularity here since the launch of the Jeep Compass in 2017.
Compact sedans like Toyota Corolla Altis and Hyundai Elantra aren’t high-volume models in India because of being imports. The advent of locally manufactured compact SUVs like the Jeep Compass, Tata Harrier and MG Hector has made survival for compact sedans even tougher. TKM has understood that it’s time to consider a C-SUV for India now.
“We have been watching the market response and we witness that customer preference is evolving in the C segment from sedan to SUV,” Naveen Soni, Senior VP - Sales & Service, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, told Financial Express recently. “Considering such evolving market needs, we will decide on our further course of action,” he added.
Toyota’s global C-segment SUV is the RAV4. Just to give you a sense of its popularity, it was the world’s third highest-selling four-wheeler in 2019. Now in its fifth generation, the RAV4 sits on the company’s TNGA platform. It measures 4,600 mm/4,610 mm in length, 1,855 mm/1,865 mm in width and 1,685 mm/1,690 mm in height. It has a 2,690 mm wheelbase. Its dimensions are close to those of the Tata Harrier.
The costly platform and the lack of a diesel engine might make the decision about launching the Toyota RAV4 in India difficult. This model is available with the M20A-FKS 2.0- and A25A-FKS 2.5-litre petrol engines and the A25A-FXS 2.5-litre petrol engine with full-hybrid technology globally. However, TKM can test-market it at least. In fact, The Economic Times had reported last year that the company is exploring the Toyota RAV4 and a few other global SUVs to import them here in limited numbers without homologating them. Volkswagen and Skoda are already taking advantage of relaxed import norms.