Now that the all-new Jeep Wrangler is here, there’s a chance that some automakers may bring back small off-road ready SUVs to compete. Nissan recently hinted at a new Xterra and now Toyota is apparently looking at the idea of introducing a new 4×4 along the lines of the old FJ Cruiser.

Toyota, Toyota FT-4X Concept, New York Auto Show, Toyota CH-R, FT-4X Concept, Toyota SUV

In an interview with Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz hinted to Motor Trend that it a small 4×4, like the FJ Cruiser, but with a smaller wheelbase, might happen. “There’s room for an authentic small off-road SUV, “ Lentz stated. “Everyone moved out of that segment because of truck CAFE ratings. But we’re getting a lot of requests from folks who want another FJ or some variant.”

Toyota recently released several small SUV concepts that could hint at the small 4×4, like the FT-4X at last year’s New York Auto Show.

Toyota FT-4X Concept
Toyota FT-4X Concept

“There is room on the lower end, in terms of price or authenticity, for an off-road, frame-based SUV,” Lentz continued. “This would be for people going outdoors, but truly going offroad. This would not be all-wheel-drive for safety, this would be four-wheel-drive with ground clearance.”

Toyota is one of the few automakers who haven’t completely ditched the body-on-frame SUV segment, since it still sells the 4Runner. The 4Runner actually does pretty well. In 2017 Toyota managed to sell 128,296 4Runners.

Lentz’s comments basically hint that even though Toyota is saying that it is studying the idea of a small off-road SUV, it’s going to happen. The question now is, when?

Source: Motor Trend