Toyota’s New SUV Will Share Components With Mazda, But It Won’t Be Badge Engineered

Yesterday, Toyota announced it would build a new SUV at its joint plant in Huntsville, Alabama. While the company was tight-lipped about the upcoming model, new details are starting to emerge.

According to Car & Driver, Toyota’s SUV will share a number of “components and suppliers” with Mazda’s SUV which will also be built at the $1.6 (£1.3 / €1.4) billion plant. However, the models will be unique and Mazda told the publication they will be “developed independently by each brand.”

In essence, Toyota’s SUV won’t be a rebadged version of Mazda’s SUV. This is an important distinction because the US-spec Toyota Yaris is effectively a Mazda2 with different logos.

While Mazda and Toyota confirmed the two models would share some components, they didn’t say much else about the crossovers. However, it’s believed Toyota’s SUV will be a production version of the FT-4X concept which was introduced at the 2017 New York Auto Show.

That remains unconfirmed, but it wouldn’t be too surprising as the FT-4X’s chief designer had previously said the concept was 75% percent production ready. Like the C-HR, the FT-4X rode on the TNGA platform but had a more spacious interior and all-wheel drive. The latter is important to note as Toyota officials have acknowledged the lack of all-wheel drive is hurting sales of the C-HR.

Also Read: Toyota Announces New SUV For America, Will Be Built In Alabama

Mazda’s crossover is more mysterious, but the magazine believes it could be a new mid-sized model that might adopt the CX-7 moniker. If that’s the case, it would fit in between the CX-5 and CX-9.

The plant is slated to begin production in 2021 and the companies have previously said it will have the capacity to produce up to 300,000 vehicles annually. That capacity will be split between the two companies, so each to have the ability to crank out 150,000 units every year.


  • ME

    FT-4X would have to be smaller than the CX-7; if it were larger it would conflict with the next generation Highlander that will mirror RAV4 in both style and better off road capabilities. And even hurt 4 Runner sales.

    • Ben

      4Runner sales would be unaffected. People buy the 4Runner because it is a true SUV, not because of its size. If you wanted the room and for a slightly lower price, the Highlander is the better option. Unless the FT-4X is a body on frame vehicle, the 4Runner will continue seeing its gradual uptick in sales until the redesign.

  • PhilMcGraw

    It should also be noted that there was a quote that said the new SUV would be an “entry level SUV” meaning it most likely is something the size of the FT-4X and not something larger like the CX-7.

    • ME

      I would like an imported version of the Suzuki Jimny, oh well.

      • Ben

        Over Wrangler’s dead body…
        I swear, certain cars just own a certain segment or look and everyone is terrified to compete with them. The prime suspects would be Raptor, Miata and Wrangler. Nobody wants to get into a pissing match with those three.

      • PhilMcGraw

        I think it will be sort of like a Jimny, but less barebones. More in line with the Jeep Renegade.

        • ME

          I would like a 2 door, homage to the FJ.

  • Felipe Politano

    Come on… First of all, the CX-5 is plenty upscale and the CX-9 is nearly midsize, so the only way to go for a new CX-7 to squeeze between them would be a sportier, almost coupe-like SUV. At the same time, Mazda says the upcoming SUV “could become the brand’s best seller” and is securing a 150,000 yearly output for that single model… so… they had to be VEEERY optimistic to believe that a niche sporty crossover like this CX-7 would fit the bill.

    • Felipe Politano

      Besides, if Toyota plans on making an “entry level SUV” on site and sharing components with Mazda, then something like the new CX-30 makes a whole lot more sense.

      • PhilMcGraw

        The CX-30 will be on sale later on this year. Considering this new factory won’t be up and running until April 2021 that would mean that Mazda is planning another model to be built there.

        And from past statements that I have read, Mazda would like to tackle the market that the Subaru Outback occupies. So it would be a 2-row wagon-like SUV with a lot more space behind the 2nd row than the CX-5.

        • ME

          In Japan they offer a CX-8.

  • J. P.

    New Toyota Venza

  • Paul

    That front end shown is uglier than sin.

    • SteersUright

      It truly is.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    A Toyzda or a Mazdyota?

    • don’t know… Ask the Mazris or the Zupra, Scionbaru/BRZ86…

    • illogicalPotato


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  • Mazda should already have a CX-7. The old one was great too bad in Europe it barely appreared on the map, then a great diesel came out, but too late. Now they have the CX9 in the NA market, but in EU, no more 7 seats SUV. They should just make a 7 seat CX5, call it the CX7 and go against the CRV, 5008, Xtrail, Tiguan allspace… People want SUVs but still need more than 4 seats (ok 5 if you count the middle one). Having CX-5 and CX-7 would just be like Nissan with Qashqai and X trail, but who cares?

  • Honda NSX-R

    Electric crossovers?

    • ME

      I heard Mazda will introduce one next year. Maybe the small Toyota might be one as well?

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