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The Daihatsu CUV Concept is the eighth and last of the Japanese small car specialist’s new unveilings at the Indonesian International Motor Show 2013. It joins the DR-Estate coupe, UFC-2 MPV, NC-Y and NC-Z small car pair and the Ayla GT, Luxury and X-Track concept vehicles at the Daihatsu stand, which is certainly the standout star of the entire show.

It’s clear to see that the Indonesian market is high on the company’s radar, it pulling out all the stops at the nation’s premiere car event. Why wouldn’t it? Indonesia contributes to over 70% of Daihatsu’s total production volume outside its home market in Japan, coming out of a dedicated R&D and manufacturing centre on the outskirts of Jakarta.

Making its world debut at IIMS 2013, the CUV Concept points at the future of Daihatsu’s small crossover offerings. It’s already being touted as a thinly-veiled preview of the next-generation Terios, which some may know as the model that spawned the Perodua Kembara and later, the Nautica. In Malaysia, a stretched version of the mini SUV is marketed as the Toyota Rush.

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In concept form, the Crossover Utility Vehicle has a bold appearance with a sleek front end, coupe-like roofline and a squat, planted-to-the-floor stance that’s not unlike the Range Rover Evoque’s. It’s a small car that’s under four metres long, and the shiny wheels – as huge as they appear – are only 18-inch items. That’s tiny in show car terms.

The short rear doors are hinged at the rear (suicide doors), and open up to a fancy four-seat interior. There’s no B-pillar in sight to promote the cabin’s sense of space, as well as to improve ingress and egress. The rear opening features a split tailgate – a design input added in to supplant the intended “lifestyle crossover” image.

In Indonesia, it created quite a buzz; the country being a huge MPV and SUV-led market. We haven’t had an affordable small SUV here in Malaysia for a long time now after the demise of the Perodua Kembara, and the Nautica that replaced it was priced out of contention for the masses. Could this be the vehicle to answer the our wishes?