Review | 2023 Toyota Raize 1.0 Turbo | Rocket Bunny

Review | 2023 Toyota Raize 1.0 Turbo | Rocket Bunny

My obsession with small cars started as a kid. Despite being a relatively large family, both in number and in size, the only car models that we can actually afford were the small, budget offerings from brands. I can only imagine how other people see us as we parked and got down from our mini-compact hatchback! I've familiarized myself with larger cars since those days, but even though SUVs and midsized sedans offer so much more space and features, I can't help but feel even more enamored with what a small car can offer. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How much is the 2023 Toyota Raize Turbo?

    Pricing for the 2023 Toyota Raize 1.0 Turbo CVT starts at Php 1,051,000.
  • Can the Toyota Raize go to Baguio?

    Yes! The power in the Toyota Raize Turbo is more than enough to take you and your familiy to Baguio.
  • For me, nothing can beat a good hatchback. These days, though, it seems like I completely understand the need for crossovers, SUVs, and even pickup trucks. Part of growing up seems to be about carrying more stuff with you, both emotionally and in real life. Thankfully there are cars like those which we'll be reviewing today that still tugs on my small-car sensibilities but still offer a high ground clearance, macho, SUV styling, and practicality. It's the 2023 Toyota Raize 1.0 Turbo, the car I never knew I'd appreciate as much as I did. 

    Exterior

    The styling of the 2023 Toyota Raize 1.0 Turbo is unabashedly, "Toyota Macho". It borrows design cues from its larger Toyota SUV siblings such as the Toyota Fortuner and Toyota RAV4. Being a crossover SUV, it has the prerequisite black plastic cladding that blends well with the overall boxy shape of the Raize. I reviewed the naturally aspirated version of the Raize last year and I did say that I love the look it was trying to go for, but the top-of-the-line variant still takes the cake.

     

    Toyota Raize Turbo grille closeUp front, RAV4 vibes abound with the lower trapezoidal grill prominently displayed. Within the grill, there is a mesh pattern design giving the 2023 Toyota Raize 1.0 Turbo a sporty yet rugged appeal. The split-type LED headlamps with Daytime Running Lamps are mounted high up on the edge of the boxy hood to emphasize its SUV countenance. The LED turn signals are also sequential, which adds true value and surprise on my behalf considering the Raize's budget designation. 

    Toyota Raize Turbo Badge

    I really appreciate the two-tone Turquoise Mica Metallic/Black colorway of this particular test unit as it plays with the light in such a way that makes it stand out on the road. The 17-inch alloy wheels fill up the wheel arches just right in the height department, but I somehow wish that it had a wider offset or chunkier tires than the existing 205/60/R17. I'm not certain what can fit in there, but I think an additional 20mm of tire width would do wonders for the fitment if not much for the fuel economy. The Raize does have a respectable amount of ground clearance at 200mm or around 8 inches so it has that going for it. Kudos to Toyota For the blacked-out side mirrors with turn signals but the if I had to change just one thing with the overall side profile, that would be the chrome door handles, it looks too tacky for my taste and doesn't match the blacked-out roof which by the way gives us a callback to the old first-gen Toyota Fortuner. 

    Raize Rear SHot

    A lot of car companies would design the hell out of the front end of vehicles without giving much thought out back, with the 2023 Toyota Raize 1.0 Turbo, that isn't the case. Most small SUVs and crossovers look like sedans or hatchbacks on stilts but the Raize looks like a mini-me Land Cruiser. The proportionate sizes of the LED tail lamps, the black bar that runs across the rear end, connecting the headlamps, and the slight rear spoiler and mini windshield wiper all look "normal" sized from afar but coming closer reveals its true size. The Toyota Raize is a rebadged JDM Daihatsu Rocky and if you know Daihatsu, they're known for what's called kei cars.

    Toyota Raize Turbo Side Profile

    Kei cars are a wonderful creation brought about by harsh realities. Japanese roads especially ones in the suburbs are small and tight, in response Japanese carmakers, with the help of incentives from the government created this new class of small cars with specific engine and size configurations. The Toyota Raize is still much bigger than a kei car but knowing that the design has been maximized to be a proper small SUV and not just a watered-down version of its bigger brothers gives it real credibility and makes me love the design even more.

    Interior

    Toyota could have called it a day with the exterior appointments of the 2023 Toyota Raize 1.0 Turbo, but once I stepped inside, I had to do a double take of the badge on the steering wheel. This still is a Toyota, right? What happened to the Toyota I knew of the early oughts? The boring Toyota of the past is surely gone.

    Toyota Raize Turbo Cockpit angle

    The moldings on the door panels, the way the geometric lines flow through on the dashboard, the funky AC vents, everything looks so fresh and modern inside. The leather/cloth combo seats have a nice crosshatch pattern that gives the interior a youthful vibe even the leather-wrapped steering wheel looks fetching. I would have wished that it was fully adjustable for reach and not just rake, but I love how chunky it feels to my fingertips. The center console is functional and savvy with a raised shifter knob for ease of access and even has a nice ribbed pattern to break the monotony. The 2023 Toyota Raize 1.0 Turbo has an interior made out of hard-touch plastics but the design, the fit and finish, the quality, and most of all intuitiveness of the buttons and switches are a breath of fresh air for me from cars in the budget segment. 

    Toyota Raize Turbo TouchScreen

    Given the vehicle class of the 2023 Toyota Raize 1.0 Turbo, it doesn't have gobs of space unlike larger mid-sized SUVs but in terms of leg space and headroom, it is very comfortable inside. The seats too are well-padded with proper support but it's a city car through and through. With my almost 6-foot frame, it's possible to fit 4 of myself in relative comfort inside which is more than I can ask for in the segment. Ingenious cubby-hole locations and a nifty shelf under the front passenger seat show that the designers care about maximizing the interior. 

    Toyota Raize Turbo AC

    The interior is also as smart and entertaining as it is practical. While I loved the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment on the naturally aspirated G variant, the 9-inches on this one just blows my mind. It has Apple Carplay and Android Auto, sure, but I thank Toyota for finally updating their infotainment software from the older clunky beta version to this more polished one. The screen resolution isn't the best, but the touch sensitivity is as close to tablet-like as it's ever been. Tunes are blasted out through six-speakers that might do better with an upgrade due to the lack of bass. The interior isn't the most futuristic and space-age but with the timeless, modern implementation, this is as funky as Toyota has ever been in a while.

    Toyota Raize Turbo Seats Folded

    Performance 

    Powering the Raize is a 1-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged engine. Dubbed the 1KR-VET, it makes 98 hp @ 6,000 RPM and 140 Nm of torque between 2,400 and 4,000 RPM. Considering that the Raize only weighs around 1,000 kg, it brings its power-to-weight ratio at par with even some compact sedans. Power delivery is surprisingly quick with the small turbocharger. The engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that provides smooth and responsive acceleration.

    Toyota Raize Turbo Quarter

    The performance of the Toyota Raize Turbo is impressive, especially considering its compact size. The turbocharged engine delivers excellent power and torque, which translates into quick acceleration and good overall performance. I didn't get to test 0-100 km/h times with this little bad boy, because this isn't really a performance car. What I can tell you is that whenever I needed the power to accelerate and climb the steep hills of Antipolo it overtake a slow-moving truck, I was never left needing more. 

    Toyota Raize Turbo rear quarter

    The Raize Turbo also handles well on the road, thanks to its well-tuned suspension and responsive steering. While the Macpherson struts up front and torsion bar rear suspension is tuned more for comfort and showcase a lot of body roll, it's not going to leave you jostling in your seats in tight corners. The compact SUV feels stable and planted even at high speeds, which is not something I can say for most cars this size. The best part of driving a small SUV is its ease of maneuverability especially in the city. The ride quality is comfortable, and the cabin remains quiet and refined, even on rough roads.

    Toyota Raize Turbo Shift Knob

    One of the standout features of the Raize Turbo is its fuel efficiency. The turbocharged engine is remarkably efficient, delivering a tested fuel economy figure of 11 km/l in the city and 22 km/l on the highway during my week of testing it. This makes the Raize Turbo one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs in its class, making it an excellent choice for drivers who prioritize fuel economy.

    Toyota Raize Turbo rear camera

    In terms of safety, the Raize Turbo comes with several standard safety features, including Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), as well as Proximity Sensors in the front and back and rear cameras. 

    Conclusion

    The 2023 Toyota Raize 1.0 Turbo ticks many of the boxes for those looking for a solid, affordable first car. Competition is stiff though, with the likes of the Kia Stonic, Hyundai Creta, Cherry Tiggo 2 Pro and Tiggo 5X, MG ZS, Haval Jolion Turbo, Geely Coolray, GAC GS3, and Changan CS35 Plus, all of which are small small crossover SUVs that are around that magic Php 1 million mark. 

    Toyota Raize Turbo Quarter Far

    Pricing for the 2023 Toyota Raize 1.0 Turbo CVT Php 1,051,000 making it as competitive as they come considering the performance, versatility and of course, looks of this small crossover!  What sets the Toyota Raize apart from the gaggle of competition in this overcrowded market isn't what you think it is, coming from Toyota, Yes, the brand is known for its quality, reliability, and durability, all a given to Toyota but I can't believe that I'll be saying this: The Toyota Raize has quite the quirky character!

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    Toyota Raize Promos, DP & Monthly Installment

    • 1.2 G CVT DP ₱115,000 MA ₱19,184 x 60 Months ₱936,000 SRP View Offers
    • 1.2 E CVT DP ₱126,000 MA ₱17,237 x 60 Months ₱841,000 SRP View Offers
    • 1.0 Turbo CVT DP ₱148,000 MA ₱21,786 x 60 Months ₱1.063 Million SRP View Offers
    • 1.2 E MT DP ₱149,200 MA ₱12,807 x 60 Months ₱751,000 SRP View Offers
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    Ground Clearance 160 mm
    220 mm
    -
    145 mm
    157 mm
    Seating 5
    7
    5
    5
    5
    Fuel Type Gasoline
    Gasoline
    Gasoline
    Gasoline
    Gasoline
    Engine 998
    1496
    1499
    1498
    1497
    Power 65
    102
    112
    114
    108
    Torque 89 Nm
    134 Nm
    150 Nm
    141 Nm
    140 Nm
    Transmission Type Manual
    Manual
    Manual
    CVT
    CVT
    Wheel Size R14
    R16
    R16
    R16
    R16

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