toyotas you can't get in Canada

Toyotas you can’t get in Canada

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Toyota is one of the biggest automakers in the world. Selling millions of vehicles each year, the Japanese manufacturer has a foothold on every continent and sells a wide variety of models all over the world.

Since different markets have different needs, however, Toyota has made it a mission to offer specific vehicles to match the countries they’re sold in. We could spend the day delving into obscure Toyotas from all over the world (like the Dyna, the Coaster, the Fortuner, the Prado, the Aygo, the Vios, the Avanza, the Zelas, the Etios…), but instead we’re highlighting a few of the oddest, most unique and coolest vehicles that Toyota doesn’t sell in Canada.

The Land Cruiser

Let’s start with what is probably the most well-known of Toyota’s forbidden fruits (at least from the dealership): the Land Cruiser. This full-size SUV is robust, can go anywhere and is renowned as one of the most reliable vehicles on the planet. And while you can’t scoop up a Land Cruiser at your nearest Canadian Toyota dealership—it’s only available in the US, and parts of Russia and the Middle East—you can get the next best thing: the Lexus GX. Underneath its luxury interior, it offers the same mechanical bits as the Land Cruiser.

Toyota Alphard and Vellfire

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Here’s something you might not have known: while the favourite means of transportation for rich CEOs here is limousines, the wealthiest people of Japan travel by minivans. Not your family-friendly Siennas, however; in Japan, Toyota offers a wide array of ultra-luxurious, ultra-comfortable vans designed to offer comfort above anything else. Vehicles like the Toyota Alphard and the Vellfire (a sportier version of the Alphard that is eligible for the “Coolest Name Ever” award) are hugely popular over there, because they offer a living-room-like interior and can drive around in impressive silence. A hybrid version is also available.

Toyota Century

The Century is another luxurious offering from Toyota that we don’t get here. The newest version has been recently unveiled, but the previous iteration had been produced unchanged from 1997 to 2016. And when we say unchanged, we mean it—it had a cassette player as standard equipment! Under its hood sits a 5-litre V12 engine, but not for power. This engine was chosen because it runs smoother than anything else. Inside, it doesn’t have leather panels, rather the seats are covered in wool because this material is quieter when you sit on it. This car retails for more than $100,000, and it looks like an old Buick in the best way.

Toyota i-Road 

The i-Road is an interesting vehicle. It’s intended as a city-dwelling three-wheeled vehicle using an electric powertrain and is especially popular in big cities around Europe where you can see them curiously leaning around turns. They don’t take much space, they are available in trendy colours like bright yellow or pink and are unlike anything else on the road.

Toyota Hilux  

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Let’s end this list with one of the many vehicles we wish Toyota would bring here: the Hilux pickup truck. This compact little workhorse is used throughout the world and has been relied on by people for generations (having been produced since 1968). This compact pickup has cemented Toyota’s reputation as a builder of indestructible vehicles in many occasions, most famously in Top Gear’s various shows where they tried unsuccessfully to destroy one by dropping a building on it. The UK show then made the Hilux even more famous by driving a pair of them to the North Pole. Later, one of the Top Gear trucks would also go on to climb a volcano in Iceland.

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