Toyota Compact Cruiser EV: Already an Award-Winning SUV

In only its concept form, the Toyota Compact Cruiser EV gains the right attention as an SUV we want to drive. This little EV appears to be a smaller version of the long-gone FJ Cruiser with an electrified influence. Because the Compact Cruiser offers a rugged build, and impressive off-road style, it’s hit the ground running. Before this vehicle ever heads to the production line, its already brought in at least one award.

What award has the Toyota Compact Cruiser EV SUV won?

Silver Compact Cruiser EV, with mountains in the background
Toyota Compact Cruiser EV | Toyota

There are awards handed out to concept cars and this little Toyota SUV won one of them. MotorTrend tells us this little EV took home the 2022 Car Design Award for concept vehicles which is awarded by Auto & Design magazine in Milan. Hopefully, the rugged looks and FJ Cruiser inspiration make it to the production line.

Will this Toyota EV enter production?

Images of the new Compact Cruiser are nothing more than renderings and images so far. We expect this model to make its way to the Toyota lineup, but it could become nothing more than the inspiration for other models to expand the Toyota EV family. So far, we don’t have any details about the performance, powertrain, or features of this small SUV, but we do know two things.

  1. The Toyota Compact Cruiser EV is an all-electric model
  2. This little EV SUV has AWD

What makes us want the Toyota Compact Cruiser EV SUV?

Toyota Compact Cruiser EV SUV Concept
Toyota Compact Cruiser EV SUV Concept | Toyota

It must be the styling that draws us into the web of desire for this little SUV. Using styling resembling the FJ Cruiser, the Compact Cruiser EV shows us the rugged side of modern driving. The modern LED lights are offset by an old-school latter on the C-pillar that makes adding accessories much easier.

Will this SUV become a European-only ute?

Car and Driver tells us the Toyota design team in Nice, France penned the Compact Cruiser EV SUV. Does this mean it will only become a European offering? The small size and functional utility certainly give this little EV the right build for the small European streets. Although many might think Americans love everything bigger than the rest of the world, we have our fair share of compact crossovers that are big hits in the United States. Hopefully, if this SUV is produced, it will be offered globally.

The design is for an urban environment

Toyota Compact Cruiser EV made for an urban environment
Toyota Compact Cruiser EV | Toyota

Toyota told Car and Driver that the Compact Cruiser EV is geared toward “young, professional urban dwellers who enjoy active outdoor leisure interests”. Does this mean drivers can’t use the AWD system for off-roading? Is it meant only for foul weather use? It’s possible, but the FJ-inspired build will certainly tempt many owners to take this little electric SUV out on some trails.

Is the Toyota Compact Cruiser EV just another teaser SUV?

It wouldn’t be the first time that Toyota teased us with something we want but can’t have. In 2017, the FT-4X concept showed up and gave us the idea it would be the successor to the FJ Cruiser. Instead, that concept never made the move to the production line. Hopefully, the Compact Cruiser EV won’t suffer the same fate.

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