When Toyota patented the name Tj Cruiser earlier this year, many ought it to be the successor to the discontinued FJ Cruiser, which would be the FT-4X. Well, we’re all very wrong. Not only will the name be slapped onto an all-new model, it will also spawn a new genre in the motoring world, one we’d fittingly call a Sub Utility Van, which doesn’t sound all that silly following the rise of Sports Activity Coupes, really.

Rather, the Tj Cruiser conceptualises the idea of marrying the rugged design of an actual SUV with the practicality of a cargo van. The “T” stands for Toolbox – emphasising great utility – while “j” stands for joy. The Cruiser moniker on the other hand, is typically reserved for Toyota’s range of SUVs, but here it’s meant to express the powerful design of the Tj Cruiser. Visually speaking, you’d be hard pressed to disagree.

Being a concept, the design may well be far from final (fingers crossed). The hood, roof and fenders are made from materials with high scratch and dirt resistance (finished in a special coating), even when objects accidentally come into contact with them.

Now for numbers: this four-seat Tj Cruiser measures 4,300 mm long, 1,775 mm wide, 1,620 mm tall and has a wheelbase of 2,750 mm (that’s 170 mm longer than the Toyota Hiace!). It will be built with the next-generation TNGA platform as base and be powered by a 2.0 litre hybrid powertrain with an “EV Mode” button aft of the gearstick. Either front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive will be available when it makes to production.

The doors slide wide open to reveal a cavernous cabin, large enough to swallow items up to three metres long (like a surfboard, for example) when all the passenger seats are folded down. As you can see in the pictures, the seats are completely flushed when folded.

The back of the seats – which come with restraining belts – and the deck boards feature many anchoring points to properly secure items, which can be especially useful when transporting bikes and other large items. Also, the seat directly behind the driver’s can be flipped forwards to create an opening wide enough for storing groceries.

The Toyota Tj Cruiser concept is making its world debut at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show and will be on display from October 25 onwards. Is anyone a fan of this concept? Comment below!