Toyota’s Rush has recently been launched her in SA into the popular “small SUV” market.
It’s built on the same platform as the Avanza and assembled in Indonesia. The Rush combines typical SUV features such as a raised driving position, higher ride height and a spacious luggage compartment while offering seating for five.
The Rush is basically a “re-worked” version of the Daihatsu Terios.
For those who don’t know Daihatsu is still going strong in the overseas market.
As with the Avanza it’s powered by a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol four-cylinder, good for 77kW and 136Nm with a choice of either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission.
Toyota claims a fuel efficiency figure of 6.6 L/100km for the manual while the automatic is said to consume 6.7 l/100km.
Compared to the Avanza the Rush is slightly larger and much better looking in my opinion. Measuring in at 4435mm long, 1695mm wide, 1705mm tall and with a wheelbase of 2685mm the Rush is not really as compact as it might seem. An added bonus is its 220mm ground-clearance which add to a commanding driving position. With its raised ride height, the Rush will comfortably tackle gravel roads and can also wade in water up to 600 mm.
Even though the Rush is large enough to accommodate a 3rd row of seats, here in SA we have to settle for 2 rows of seats only, but on the upside you get a 609 litre boot. Keeping in mind that the boot is quite large, there is still a spare wheel as well.
The Rush runs with 17 inch alloys and 215/60 “Tekkies” which adds to better road holding compared to the Avanza.
On the safety front you get a total of 6 airbags as well as ABS, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Hill Control Assist (HCA).
From a styling perspective the Rush resembles its big brother the Fortuner, but don’t be fooled by the looks, the Rush can handle gravel roads but does not have the “go-anywhere” capabilities of the Fortuner.
The Rush is decently kitted with tech which includes Bluetooth, Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay, an 18cm infotainment touchscreen, auto aircon, USB port, 12V sockets front and rear.
But wait, there is more! Apart from the features already mentioned, the Rush is also equipped with electric and retractable side mirrors, auto-off LED headlights, integrated reverse camera with park distance control, keyless entry and a push-start ignition.
The Rush handles itself well on road, it’s by no means a BMW M-Car but it feels composed. Even though the steering is electrically assisted there is still loads of feedback. Power delivery is as good as you can get from a 1.5 but does not feel too strained. The manual transmission’s gear ratios are short but makes the Rush feel nippy but needs a 6th gear.
What about the price?
The Rush is well priced at R299,900 for the 1.5 High Manual and R313,500 for the Auto
Both of the models includes a 3-year/100 000 km warranty and a 6-year/90 000 km service plan.
Buyers can choose between 5 colours including Tusk White, Quicksilver, Ruby Metallic, Liquid Bronze Metallic and Graphite Black.
The Rush’s biggest rival is the Honda BR-V, but the BR-V has a trump-card in the form of a 3rd row of seats.