Amongst the melee of automotive manufacturers in India, Toyota is somewhat of a sleeping giant. Although the likes of the Innovaand the Fortuner are doing extremely well considering the segment they are priced at, the smaller and more mass market cars aren’t really making much of an impact. And that holds true especially in the private buyer space as compared to fleet markets. With the skew towards the SUV body style ever increasing, Toyota’s absence in both the compact SUV segment (Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster, Jeep Compass, etc) and more importantly, the sub 4-metre, subcompact SUV segment (Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford Ecosport, etc) is quite glaring. And while the Japanese automaker hasn’t really had a purpose built sub 4-metre SUV in its ranks until recently, a concept car at the Tokyo Motor Showdid catch our eye!
The SUV we speak about wasn’t at the Toyota stall though but at the Diahatsu stand. The SUV, called the Daihatsu DN Trec bears a rough resemblance to the likes of the older Daihatsu Terios and will most likely be the replacement for the same globally. The DN Trec is a sub 4-metre SUV, measuring in at 3980mm (length), 1695mm(width) and 1740mm(height) and can seat 5. While the SUV does feature futuristic styling like a pillar less design and suicide doors for the rear passengers, the production version will of course be a lot tamer. That said, while Toyota as a motherbrand is going gung-ho with advanced design on the likes of the CH-R, the Daihatsu DN Trec’s design language is a lot more familiar and a lot more palatable for the masses – exactly like on the Vitara Brezza!
The front is very upright and features a typically flat SUV design language that is accentuated by the likes of the slim grille that connects the headlamps and a secondary larger intake that gives the front end some mass. The rear too has a similar design with a lighting element joining the tail lamps – as we have seen in recent times with a fair few manufacturers. In profile, the DN Trec has quite the presence with the plastic cladding all around.
Although the interior on this concept car is quite fancy with a barrage of LCD screens dotted around the cabin, the dashboard design in general does showcase a future direction in terms of how a production ready car would look like. There are large single piece seats up front that are split by a high mounted gear shifter and a angled divider that also features the infotainment controls.
So would this work in India? Of course! A sub 4-metre SUV from a manufacturer like Toyota – if they do get the design spot on – is bound to work wonders and attract an even larger audience into the SUV bodystyle as compared to the likes of the premium hatchback segment. With Toyota’s history with the SUV in India, the Dauhatsu DN Trec would be perfect for a rapidly growing market. However, the Daihatsu brand need not make it to India as it is a completely unknown entity in our part of the world. What the Japanese manufacturer needs to do instead is to bring this SUV to India badged as a Toyota so it can feed off the popularity that the Japanese automaker enjoys.