When world’s largest automaker makes a boat it naturally incorporates features of a land vehicle. Toyota’s marine arm has launched a new boat Ponam 31which they are calling “sports utility cruiser”. Toyota has a large share of the SUV market with their popular 4Runner and Land Cruiser and they have incorporated elements from their SUVs into the new boat. It is a 35 feet boat. Like some of their other boats this vessel is also a car inspired design and Toyota has tried to create a new segment by calling it a sports utility cruiser. They are perhaps hoping that it will help expand the market as the SUV, as a segment, had done for the auto markets.
Toyota claims that Ponam 31 blends comfort and performance in a boat which makes it equally effective for a leisurely sunset dinner cruise as well as an early morning fishing expedition. Ponam 31 has a rather stylish deck and very cozy interiors. In terms of performance the new boat, like its predecessors borrows from the Land Cruiser for propulsion. The engine of Land Cruiser Prado has been customized and tuned for the marine application. According to the manufacturers the engines pack a potent punch and are fuel efficient for their class. Even in terms of emissions, noise and vibration, the performance of the engine is above par.
The new boat has been built on an A5083 aluminum alloy hull which gives it strength and durability. Toyota also offers automated driving options with their Toyota Drive Assist and Toyota Virtual Anchor System that gives you highest level of control, however complicated the maneuvers. The central cabin has plenty of space on both sides. The cabin also has sufficient space for a sofa and table and can be arrange in a variety of layouts. The boat has an open-plan fly bridge that hosts up to five people above the cabin. Ponam 31 can accommodate 12 people comfortably which makes it ideal for a small group of family and friends. The price for the new boat starts at $277,000.