Subcompact SUVs, which often blur the line between crossovers and all-wheel drive hatchbacks, are growing increasingly popular all over the globe.

In the U.S., models like the Buick Encore, Nissan Juke, and the upcoming 2015 Honda HR-V constitute an expanding segment.

Soon, Toyota may join the gang.

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The Toyota C-HR concept that debuted at the recent Paris Motor Show will spawn a production small utility vehicle, according to Australia's Car Advice.

In an interview on the show floor, Toyota Motor Europe sales group executive vice president Karl Schlicht confirmed that the carmaker will build a vehicle based on the C-HR.

Toyota C-HR Concept - 2014 Paris Auto Show

Toyota C-HR Concept - 2014 Paris Auto Show

The C-HR is a three-door hatchback with an exaggerated version of the styling theme seen on recent Toyota models like the 2015 Camry and Yaris.

Much of that styling would be toned down for production, but the C-HR would still ride on the new platform previewed by the concept.

With steadily increasing fuel-economy rules and falling carbon limits globally, automakers see more versions of their smallest cars as one way to boost their corporate average fuel efficiency.

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The Toyota C-HR concept also featured a hybrid powertrain, which may make it to showrooms as well.

That powertrain will reportedly be based on the one Toyota will use in the next-generation 2016 Prius hybrid, which is expected to launch late next year.

However, the subcompact crossover will be distinct from the Prius "family" of models, wearing its own nameplate badge.

Toyota C-HR concept, 2014 Paris Auto Show

Toyota C-HR concept, 2014 Paris Auto Show

That suggests the crossover would be offered with conventional powertrains as well, as all hybrid-only models in the Toyota range currently wear the Prius badge.

It might not launch, however, until the anticipated Toyota RAV4 compact crossover adds a hybrid model--as its upscale 2015 Lexus NX counterpart will offer starting in December.

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The Toyota subcompact SUV likely won't appear until calendar-year 2016, and even then it's not necessarily guaranteed for U.S. sales.

But given that Japanese rivals Nissan and Honda will both offer subcompact crossovers by then--along with Buick, Chevrolet, and Jeep--it seems likely that Toyota will feel it needs to compete.


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