Toyota X-Van Gear: Is This the New Wave SUV?
Toyota debuted three new van concepts, which we’ll get to in a sec. But the one we want to focus on is what it’s calling the X-Van Gear concept. You can call it a tall SUV or a van, but it looks more SUV-like. It is an interesting concept that could be a harbinger of other SUV remakes to come because it blends more van-like interior space with a more rugged and upright SUV.
For most SUV designers, a combination of Land Rover and Jeep are the favored design cues. That blocky and industrial off-roading style is becoming more conspicuous and is now seeing more exaggeration. You see it in the X-Van Gear, but also the Kia EV series of SUVs. But while the Kia EV3, EV6, EV9, etc., have lower profiles, the X-Van adds height.
Is the Toyota X-Van Gear concept a van or an SUV?
It features sliding doors minus any B-pillar obstructions. Seating is Davenport sofa-like with an overall simple, boxy shape devoid of fussy detail and any clutter. With the front seats spun 180 degrees, it takes on a mobile home feel. Admit it, can’t you see yourself lounging with the fam at an off-road stop or camping adventure?
Also, the middle seats can fold down to create tables for eating, playing cards, or whatever. In all, the seats can be configured in several different ways. So, it goes beyond an SUV because it becomes a more manageable space with an increase in visual room to breathe. Adding to visual height is a three-piece sunroof.
With all of this going for it, we see the X-Van as a template for future SUV design. It still looks like an SUV but with some of the advantages of a van. And it also sheds the negative perception of a van as a mommy car. You can almost see all future vans giving way to this design with these proportions.
What is the Toyota Global Hiace BEV concept?
Toyota also sprang two other vans that are more in the tradition of what vans have been. They are the Global Hiace BEV concept and the Vellfire Spacious Lounge concept. As for the Hiace BEV, it captures the look of future commercial vans with similar size and proportions to current ones.
With only a single seat, it places an emphasis on carrying cargo. That means items up to 11.4 inches on a flat floor. The Hiace BEV also incorporates a unique cart system to aid in loading and unloading.
What is the Vellfire Spacious Van concept?
The Vellfire/Alphard van is Toyota’s Japan-only van. From the outside, though looking somewhat futuristic, it has no modifications from a stock version. What it has inside differs from the stocker, however.
There, the third-row seats are gone, with the more accommodating second-row seats shoved to the rear. In this configuration, it is more of a business van or limousine. This also adds space for things like a refrigerator, cabinets, and a coat rack for hats, raincoats, and more. Not exactly earth-shattering, but it’s a nice business executive approach to these unique vans.