Raize the roof: 2022 Toyota Raize 1.2 G

Raize the roof: 2022 Toyota Raize 1.2 G

We’ve never been shy at ZIGWHEELS PHILIPPINES about our love for small cars. From tiny hatchbacks to crossover-inspired vehicles, there is something special and intimate about driving around in a car that feels like an extension of oneself and not a cathedral on wheels. The all-new 2022 Toyota Raize seems like the perfect car to fit that bill.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How many engine options does the 2022 Toyota Raize have?

    There are two engine options. The 1.0-liter turbo and the 1.2-liter naturally aspirated.
  • What is the expected fuel economy of the Toyota Raize?

    The Toyota Raize can get 9kpl in the city and 14kpl on the highway.
  • Toyota Raize Profile left wide

    For the past year, we’ve longingly kept the Raize on our radar to the point that every time we meet our friends from Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP), we kept asking them when they would release it.

    Well, now we have an answer: today.

    TMP finally gave in to the market’s demand for affordable small crossovers with the release of the 2022 Raize.

    We had the opportunity to test drive the mid-grade Raize 1.2 G variant and run it through its paces. Is it everything that we hoped it would be? 

    Toyota Raize Rear Profile Wide

    Exterior

    Before anything else, let’s get one thing out of the way. The Toyota Raize started life out as the Daihatsu Rocky in Japan. Since 2019, it has earned various design and safety awards and has experienced so much success that Toyota has decided to release it to various markets outside of its homeland. Daihatsu is a subsidiary of Toyota and shares similar design language details with the Wigo, but the design of the micro hatchback and the Raize such as the trapezoidal front grill are where it all comes to a screeching halt. 

    Toyota Raize on the road close shot

    Toyota transformed the Rocky, which is now known as the Raize, and one can find that it aspires to become just like many of the brand’s popular crossover SUVs. The aforementioned trapezoidal front grill is flanked by large LED headlamps. The overall front facia evokes a more squarish design exuding a macho vibe that one can’t find in most subcompact crossovers. 

    Toyota Raize Close quarter close right

    Measuring about four meters long, 1.7 meters wide, and 1.6 meters high, it’s certainly in the same ballpark as some of its competitors like the Ford EcoSport, Kia Stonic, Hyundai Venue, and Chery Tiggo 2. 

    Toyota Raize Rear quarter Panel mid

    Blacked out A-pillars and black plastic cladding gives me some major mini vibes and the side profile featuring a classic boxy look that I certainly like seems to gain a lot of inspiration from its bigger brothers like the RAV4 and Corolla Cross. 

    Toyota Raize Left profile close

    The 2022 Toyota Raize 1.2 G features 16-inch alloy wheels shod in chunky 205/65R16 tires and chrome-accented door handles, but what’s really interesting is the wraparound rear windshield design that I really loved in the Toyota Fortuner. So far everything is looking really good with the Toyota Raize. The side profile is definitely not boring and, dare I say, evokes a certain macho appeal.

    Like Baki the Grappler, it’s small but flexes its muscles with mucho gusto, which is quite an achievement, really!

    Toyota Raize LED Tail lamp

    There are more things to love about the rear end of the Toyota Raize. For starters, it gets smoked tail lamps that are nicely integrated with the backup light and turn signals. I like how the these rear lamps blend well with the piano-black backdoor garnish that runs across the length of the hatch. It would have been nice if that lit up and looked like a car from the movie Tron, but I’m just glad that it isn’t chrome. I’m a fan of the rear spoiler and little details like faux blacked-out air vents and shark fin antenna that just adds a little bit more to the macho and sporty vibe of the Toyota Raize.

    Toyota Raize Badge

    The first thing that I loved about the look of the Toyota Raize was the exterior, which is certainly a major consideration for small car buyers. Everyone knows how much I love small cars, and this Toyota’s smallest crossover embraces the fact that yes this is a small car, but that doesn’t mean the looks have to suck.

    Toyota Raize Rear Bumper Trim

    Interior

    The outside has everything I was looking for in a subcompact crossover. In fact, the interior might as well be a mess and I would have called it a win for Toyota, but to my surprise, Toyota brought its A-Game when it comes to the inside.

    Toyota Raize Dashboard shot

    The star of the show has got to be the seven-inch TFT multi-information display showing various driving information. This replaces analog gauge clusters that have been in cars for the past century. I guess this is Toyota’s way of welcoming us to the 21st century.

    Toyota Raize digital gauge

    The seats are fabric and have a nice geometric print on them. A pleasant surprise awaits the front passenger with the presence of an underseat tray, which doesn’t mean much but once one experiences it, one might start to ask why more companies aren't making this a standard fixture. 

    Toyota Raize UNder Seat Tray

    Ergonomics is the most important feature of a car’s interior, because good ergonomics usually correlates with good visual design. And the Toyota Raize does not disappoint.

    Toyota Raize High Shifter

    Forget about the Wigo or the Rush, and enjoy the nicely sculpted dashboard with a well-thought-of center stack and AC vents that aren’t tacky at all, a huge eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There's also a 12V socket with a USB port up front.

    Toyota Raize 8 inch touch screen

     More clever details abound, such as the shifter being mounted high up for better driving ergonomics — more on that later. And under the side AC vents up front, there are clever little cup holders to keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks, well, cold too. Leg, foot, and head space is fairly adequate although, don’t expect three people to sit comfortably at the back despite what the number of headrests suggest. 

    Toyota Raize Rear Cargo Space

    The rear cargo space fits a healthy 369 liters of cargo space, which is more than enough for the bi-weekly trip to the supermarket, with a nifty, weight-saving tonneau cover that’s made of fabric so putting items on top might not be the best idea. If extra space is needed, the seats fold in a 60/40 split. The resulting fold won’t be totally flat, so stuff might jostle around if not secured properly.

    Toyota Raize Rear Flat fold down seats

    Driving performance and safety

    Under the hood lies a 1.2 liter, three-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine that makes 87hp at 6,000rpm and 113Nm of torque at 4,500rpm. On paper, the power figures and configuration don't seem much and, in real life, that seems to be the case. It calls for perspective, really. How much power do potential owners need? It won’t set the drag strip on fire, for sure but for city driving and the occasional jaunts out of town, I’d say it’s just perfect. The ride is certainly solid — much better than picking a small hatchback, that’s for sure. 

    Toyota Raize profile

    The suspension setup that consists of MacPherson struts upfront and a torsion beam in the rear, paired to the diminutive size of the crossover, provides good road feel without being too "wallow-y" and it takes road imperfections like a junior champ.

    Toyota Raize on the road rear wide

    Here’s a bit of modern tech that I’m surprised isn’t being talked about that often. Powering the front wheels are either a standard five-speed manual transmission for the entry-level E variant or Toyota’s all-new dual-mode CVT system. Traditional CVT systems rely on a belt-driven mechanism instead of gears to transfer power to the drivetrain.

    Toyota Raize Push Start Button

    This removes the need for actual gears, but companies would program “simulated gears” to simulate shift shock and improve on experience. This helps with power delivery and fuel economy, but the downside is that it subjectively reduces driving dynamics and creates an odd droning noise at cruising speeds.

    Toyota Raize Side mIrror

    I understand that the CVT isn't really what car enthusiasts call their transmission of choice but this guy, as well as millions of other car buyers, really can’t tell the difference. Even when pointed out to me, I couldn’t find much to say about CVTs other than they help make the drive smoother and save on the pumps as well. Speaking of fuel economy, one can expect 9kpl in the city and 14kpl on the highway.

    Toyota Raize Push Seatbelt indicator

    Safety features include dual airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, hill start assist, standard seatbelts with force limiters, backup camera with rear parking sensors and Isofix anchors. 

    Toyota Raize Backup Camera

    Pricing and conclusion

    Pricing for the Toyota Raize 1.2 starts at P746,000 for the entry-level E variant with a manual and P816,000 for the CVT. This unit, the mid-variant G model, comes at P906,000 and is only available with the CVT but has the aforementioned entertainment, safety, and convenience features. Available colors for the G variant are Silver Metallic 4, Grey Metallic, and this test unit, Red 2.

    Toyota Raize quarter view wide

    If more power is needed, the top-of-the-line Turbo model is available with an optional White Pearl colorway for an extra P5,000 that promises loads of fun with the turbocharged three-cylinder engine. That, however jacks up the price to P1,031,000.

    Toyota Raize on the Road

    This puts the 2022 Toyota Raize squarely against rivals such as the Hyundai Venue, Kia Stonic, Ford EcoSport, Chery Tiggo 2 Pro and can even be a viable option over larger crossovers like the MG ZS, Geely Coolray, Cherry Tiggo 5X, Changan CS35 Plus and even the new Chevrolet Tracker.

    Toyota Raize on the road 4

    At the end of the day, the Toyota Raize raises the question of how much car one really needs. How much power does any small family need in order to zip around town in relative comfort, style and with a respectable ride height — without breaking the bank?  At this point, the Toyota Raize 1.2 G isn’t the first small crossover in the market, but it most certainly changes the game. 

    Photos by Kent Flores

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