Close Ad

better late than never as toyota rush es back into the game

Better late than never as Toyota Rush-es back into the game

The Fortuner and Avanza had a lovechild with active safety and typical Toyota dependability to stake its claim in the seven-seater crossover segment

Dinesh Appavu Photo

Dinesh Appavu

18 Oct 2018

You can compare Toyota to an ocean-going oil tanker; it takes a while to change direction but once it does, it’s pretty much unstoppable. The new Rush launched today is a perfect example of that.

Granted, it’s a little late to the game but seeing the cards it brought to the table, it’s a fair assumption to say it looks like a winning hand.

The Rush is an important model for the marque in Asean. Safety is the name of the game here, with a standard equipment list ahead of any of its competitors. It all starts with what Toyota labels the 360-T; a blanket term for its safety and infotainment systems that will soon make its way into the rest of its models.

Three pillars support the 360-T; Safe-T, Connectivi-T and Guaran-T.

Safe-T Plus comprises the latest safety features made standard. This includes six airbags, ABS, EBD, BA, stability control, traction control, hill-start assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and a panoramic view monitor.

Two variants of the Rush are available and the flagship 1.5S gets a pre-collision system tacked on.

The system functions primarily from the stereo camera mounted on the windscreen and is able to detect vehicles up to 60-metres and pedestrians up to 30-metres. Four key features make up the pre-collision system; pre-collision warning, pre-collision braking, front departure alert and pedal misoperation control.

In the event of a risk of a frontal collision, the pre-collision warning alerts the driver with a buzzer. This can function within 4-100kph for vehicles and within 4-50kph for pedestrians.

If the driver fails to take action, the pre-collision braking activates to slow down the vehicle. This function can operate between 4-80kph. If the conditions allow, it is possible to prevent a frontal collision (if the vehicle speed is under 30kph). If it is between 30-80kph, damage control is all it can prevent.

Little surprise that the Rush gets a five-star rating from Asean NCAP.

Connectivi-T is centred around the DVD-AVX audio system comes with a 6.8-inch capacitive touchscreen that is Bluetooth capable and supports iOS or Android mirroring via a USB cable. Four electrical outlets (two USB and two 12V) are positioned around the Rush with one at the third row.

Lastly, Guaran-T brings a five-year warranty with unlimited mileage.

The Rush will be powered by the new aluminium block 2NR-VE 16-valve DOHC engine with Dual VVT-I, optimised combustion chambers, lightweight moving parts and low friction material. Here, it makes 104hp with 136Nm of torque. Stop-start helps it achieve 15.6 km/litre that gets it EEV certified.

That very same engine can be found in the current Vios. However, you won’t find the same transmission and driven wheels. A four-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels; something Toyota is keen to highlight as benefit over its competitors.

Being rear-driven, it should be better suited for a variety of terrain conditions and offer better traction for uphill climbs and when carrying heavier loads; something that should help it edge the BR-V over in east Malaysia. Additionally, it has a ground clearance of 220mm and can handle submersion depths of 600mm.

The interior gets a 2-3-2 layout with the second row divided 60:40 while the third row is 50:50. Cargo capacity with the third row folded is 217-litres but flip it forward and that grows to 514-litres.

A separate blower keeps cool air circulated to the second and third rows, fed by a dedicated vent which channels cooled air towards the rear blower. You’ll find a Toyota AutoTag device for use with a Touch ‘n Go card retrofitted to the Rush.

More importantly however, are the 13 cupholders situated throughout the cabin. Smart Entry is adopted for both front doors with just a touch of the button located on the outside door handles to lock or unlock it.

It might not be the best-looking in its segment but looks are subjective. Nonetheless, the lovechild of a Fortuner and Avanza could’ve turned out far worse and we’re glad that the aerokit and 17-inch wheels are there to smoothen over some of the jarring birth defects.

NVH was made a priority with the Rush. Among the measures implemented to enhance refinement include a high-rigidity sub-muffler and damping mount to help suppress engine vibrations while a high-rigidity lateral control rod helps to reduce differential noise. Yes, differential because rear-wheel drive.

Toyota will be contract-assembling the Rush locally at the Perodua factory in Rawang, Selangor. Quality assurance and accessories fitment are done at UMW Toyota Motor’s own Integrated Quality Hub (IQH) in Bukit Raja, Selangor.

Two variants are available; the aforementioned 1.5S and the entry-level 1.5G, with five exterior colour choices; White, Silver Metallic, Dark Grey Metallic, Blue Metallic and Dark Green Metallic. Prices start at an estimated RM93,000 for the 1.5G and RM98,000 for the 1.5S.