THERE comes a time in life when you start thinking of which family car to purchase. You might not need to look any further. The Toyota Rush is that ideal family car.
The new Toyota Rush is an Avanza-based kind of SUV. It looks like a baby Fortuner. This alone will see it doing well in this country. It is built by Daihatsu Indonesia. Daihatsu is now owned by Toyota. It is Japan’s oldest car manufacturer.
The LED tail lights and headlights give it a modern look. It is mounted on gorgeous 17-inch wheels. I must say I fell in love with the wheel styling. This baby Fortuner has large horizontal grille slats and a body-colour spoiler. Toyota certainly are out to impress. My test drive enabled by Toyota Zimbabwe.
The short gear ratios make it easy to drive in town. I am not so sure on long stretches. I am yet to test drive it out of town. Suffice to say it is an urban nippy car after all. It is made with the urban jungle in mind. With FIVE gears it is suitable for city driving. I however feel that 6th gear would have been good for long distance driving. Something tells me that the next version will have a 6th gear. Under the Rush’s hood is the 109-horsepower 1,5-litre dual VVT-i petrol power plant that can also be found in the Avanza.
Fuel consumption is good. Seven litres will give you 100kms but, again, this is down to driving technics.For whatever criticism it might come under, it makes up with practicality. It is a seven seater. When you fold the third row seats it creates one of the biggest boots in its class. You can carry mountain bikes, boxes of groceries you name it. You can carry your family of 5 and your kids friends in this car if using the 3rd row. A vast 609 litres of luggage capacity is provided, whilst offering seating for five. The rear seats can also be folded forward independently to further boost cargo space.
This baby-looking Fortuner has large horizontal grille slats, LED headlights and a body-colour spoiler. Inside, it borrows elements from the Fortuner and current Avanza. The centre stack carries a six-speaker audio system compatible with Bluetooth, Android Auto Plus Show and Apple CarPlay, controlled via an 18-centimetre infotainment touchscreen, auto aircon, a USB port a 12-volt socket.
It is fitted with rear-parking sensors, a rear camera, satnav, hill hold, stability control and six airbags are standard. Compared to the larger Fortuner, the plastic bits are coloured in black and the upholstery is black fabric.
Inside, the upper dashboard houses a touchscreen audio system, equipped with Bluetooth, USB and Android Auto Plus Show/Apple CarPlay functionality. The audio unit also offers a user-customisable layout and “apps”.
The lower dashboard contains the dual-zone electronic climate control, 12-volt accessory connector and storage area.Colour blocking taupe trim and chromed accent pieces are utilised on the facia and door panels. The instrument cluster features large, highly legible graphics with a cool blue semi-circular motif and chrome surrounds. A centrally-mounted multi-information display relays user-selectable information to the driver, which includes a colour Eco indicator.
The front door pockets make provision for two bottles, whilst the rear doors feature a cupholder integrated into the door handle which is supplemented by a traditional low-mounted bottle holder. A 12-volt power outlet is also provided for rear occupants, bringing the tally to two.
The centre console provides three more cupholders, accessible from both front and second row seats, while a 6,4-litre glove compartment and driver-side storage binnacle, place items out of sight.
The six-speaker touchscreen infotainment system not only offers the aforementioned Android Auto Plus Show, Miracast and CarPlay functionality, but in addition features built-in satnav. Occupants can also use their native smartphone apps such as Apple Maps, Google Maps and Waze (dependent on device) alongside music-streaming apps such as Apple Music, Spotify and Google Music.
An integrated reverse camera and Park Distance Control (PDC) add both convenience and safety. A keyless entry system with door-handle mounted access button and push-start ignition allow drivers ease of entry and use.
The Rush is fitted with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Hill Assist Control (HAC). Its passive safety systems comprise a total of six airbags which protect occupants in the event of a collision – driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags are provided. Interfacing with the smart entry system, an alarm and immobiliser, as well as auto door lock function control vehicle access.
Handling-wise the Rush drove pretty good considering it is a 7-seat SUV. The handling was okay. It has smooth submissive steering making it easy to control the Rush.
The Rush is powered by a 77 kW/136 Nm 1,5-litre petrol motor paired with either a 5-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission that drives the rear wheels, as is the case with the Avanza. Safety features include ABS with EBD, 6 airbags, vehicle stability control and hill start assist.
It is backed up by a 3-year or 100 000km warranty.
Engine Capacity: 1,5 cc
Fuel Type: Petrol
Power: 77kW (109 bhp)
Torque: 136 Nm
Fuel Consumption: 7 litres/100km