They aren’t necessarily the next-gen FJ Cruiser and Xterra we were hoping for, but they’re promising concepts nonetheless.
After decades of cute utes and soft roaders, it looks like off-road enthusiasts might have some small, affordable crossovers to look forward to.
The recent introductions of rugged-looking concepts like the Toyota FT-4X and Nissan Xmotion show that there is at least a hope for more vehicles like the Jeep Renegade, a subcompact that is fully capable of hitting the trails.
Now, just because these concepts exist doesn’t mean we’ll ever see a production model or, if we do, that it will look anything like the concept, but their existence does suggest show that these automakers are at least thinking outside the box.
After all, not everyone wants (or can afford) bigger, thirstier, and more expensive off-roaders like the Toyota 4Runner and Jeep Wrangler.
2017 Toyota FT-4X Concept
Introduced last year at the 2017 New York Auto Show, the Toyota FT-4X Concept – which stands for “Future Toyota-Four-Wheel Drive Crossover” – is a tall, boxy crossover that resembles an off-road-ready Kia Soul.
Although it rides on the same platform as the Toyota C-HR, this concept has ample ground and short overhangs, which would give it great off-road potential.
2018 Nissan Xmotion Concept
Just this month, the Nissan Xmotion – pronounced “cross motion” – Concept was unveiled at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
This concept not only displays a potentially future “traditional SUV” for Nissan, but also reveals a new design language and next-gen cabin and safety technology.
While Nissan has been lacking a rugged, family-sized SUV since the Xterra was killed off and the Pathfinder targeted mainstream crossover buyers, a production version of the Xmotion Concept could carve out a unique niche in the crossover/SUV market.