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The Mitsouka Buddy, a retro-style version of Toyota RAV4

Written by Daniel Andzhurov – July 22, 2021

Reviewed by Kfir Kedem

It looks like an American off-road model from the 80’s but it is actually a pure Toyota RAV4. The craziest creation that is known as Mitsuoka Buddy!


At first glance, this rustic SUV can be likened to an old-timer. However, a closer look reveals that modern equipment is hidden under the body. This is the work of the Japanese brand Mitsuoka, which created this SUV based on the Toyota RAV4!


13 cm longer than the RAV4

The latest creation of the Japanese is Mitsuoka Buddy. An off-roader whose design is inspired by Chevrolet pickups from the 80s / 90s of the last century. The rigid front comes with superimposed headlights and an impressive chrome grille which are both reminiscent of a Chevrolet Blazer or Tahoe. LED daytime running lights provide a modern touch to the model. To complete the retro look, the hood and fenders of the Toyota donor car have also been replaced. Furthermore, the rear has been redesigned, but with its vertical lights it looks like a modern Cadillac, rather than a Chevrolet model. The chrome bumper looks a bit out of place, and especially in the area of ​​the rear pillars, the Buddy fails to hide its resemblance to the RAV4 base. Other than that, the conversion of the off roader with retro wheels and off-road tires has been quite successful. With a length of 4.73 meters, it exceeds Toyota by 13 cm.


Technically, the Buddy remains a RAV4 and uses the "Japanese" drive. Customers can choose between a 171 hp petrol engine. (Front-wheel drive or al-wheel drive), as well as having 178 hp hybrid variant. Meanwhile, Mitsuoka also announced prices for Buddy. They start at around €40,000 for the petrol version, while the hybrid costs almost €50,000. Even if you have the money, you will have to be patient. Buddy's first series has already sold out - the second is expected in 2023, and reservations are already being accepted.


Auto Trendy’s take:

The Mitsouka brand expresses the importance of combining the old tradition with innovative technologies from current times. Well, we also know that people support this as the company’s first series has already been sold. We, at Auto Trendy, also respect these kind of “builds” as they have a realistic potential to be the only keepers of the classic automotive style in the future.