Japanese coachbuilder Mitsuoka has given the Toyota RAV4 the retro American SUV treatment to create the Buddy. Mitsuoka’s treatment is much more dramatic. The Buddy’s heavily reshaped front end, for example, includes a Chevy K5 Blazer-style full-width grille, stacked two-piece rectangular headlights, a big chrome jaw/bumper and some new LED nostrils.
The Buddy is more recognisable as a RAV4 from the side but receives an array of additional body creases and chunky All-Terrain T/A tyres wrapped around 1980s-style steel wheels with chrome hubcaps.
The rear-end makeover is much more extreme. The RAV4’s tail-light clusters make way for upright items seemingly inspired by cars like the Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Cadillac Brougham, while the tailgate is decorated with a wide contrasting trim panel and chrome model lettering.
There are no pictures of the interior, so we don’t know if Mitsuoka’s brought more of a retro vibe to the inside.
Mitsuoka hasn’t made any radical powertrain changes and both front- and all-wheel-drive variants are available with power coming from either a 2.0-liter gas engine or a 2.5-liter gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain.