Toyota's success in the SUV-style sphere looks set to continue with its newest Urban Cruiser.
Seldom has a car been more appropriately named, being, as it is, a big comfortable motor built for practical city use. Car manufacturers realised long ago that an SUV-style vehicle was likely to be more appealing to those wanting a bit more space, without becoming a full-on minibus.
Additionally, styling was often more important than performance – especially with those seeking nods of approval during the school run. It should look like an off-roader, but never actually go off road.
Toyota has embraced this concept and its Urban Cruiser is a prime example of the breed.
It looks as good as any SUV-style vehicle, with a few neat embellishments in the shape of two-tone effects on the bodywork and some thoughtfully placed air vents that give it a quality edge. All things notably missing in those people movers from the past.
When you get behind the wheel of the Urban Cruiser, or indeed in any of the passenger seats, this is one of those cars that feels a little like you’re in a living room.
It’s not quite as good as lounging on the sofa watching The Last of Us, admittedly, but it beats some of the more austere seating you find in many an ergonomic furniture shop.
Mind, you could still watch The Last of Us in your Urban Cruiser if you bring your tablet – to be watched safely pulled over, of course – and the car’s calming environment might make you a little less jumpy.
On the road, it’s fair to say this vehicle gives off a definite sense of tranquillity. Safe and enclosed, the ride quality is as good as anything in its class.
It isn’t a tearaway, but, as I say, that’s not what many who buy these sorts of vehicles are after.
The tech isn’t extensive, but there are still a few notable features, including a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The Urban Cruiser is a good, solid option and the car’s affordable price point only adds to its overall appeal – there's a lot of car for less than Dh80,000.
Just don’t be thinking of entering it in the Dakar Rally anytime soon.
If a car could talk, the Urban Cruiser would be telling you to leave stuff like that to its Land Cruiser siblings and, moreover, remember the “urban” bit of its title.