- Toyota starter-pack for off-roaders
- Pity about having no all-wheel drive
- Handsome little outdoor lifestyle guy
JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – The progression of the SUV from niche speciality vehicle to mainstream model has been one of the most significant automotive trends of the 21st century.
SUV, derived from Sport Utility Vehicle, has come to refer to any vehicle that fulfills a cross-functional role, has an elevated driving position, increased ride height and sufficient cargo/utility space.
As such, they’ve infiltrated all sectors of the traditional car market, are offered in multiple shapes and sizes, and have even pioneered entirely new segments.
The new boy on the block is Toyota’s Rush – a small SUV aimed for what the automaker calls ”the new age urban adventurer”.
THERE’S EVEN A SKID PLATE
The Rush leads with what Toyota calls ”a prominent angular design” with pointed, upswept, diode headlights and a large trapezoidal grille that has dark grey, wide, horizontal slats behind a central Toyota emblem.
An inverted contour line separates the upper and lower air dams and creates a triangular space for the foul-weather lights. There’s also a silver-hued skid-plate and bonnet bulges.
In profile the Rush demonstrates emphasis on ground clearance and space; black trim and lower panel garnish, Toyota says, ”add a rugged element”. A decorative crease line flows from front to rear, black roof rails and body-colour rear roof spoiler add to function.
The rear has diode light clusters and five body colours are available: white, silver, red metallic, bronze metallic and black.
The cabin layout includes a touchscreen audio system equipped with Bluetooth, USB and Android Auto Plus Show/Apple CarPlay functionality. ”This high-tech audio unit,” Toyota says, ”also offers a user-customisable layout and apps.”
Below it are controls for dual-zone aircon, 12V accessory connector and storage.
High-contrast taupe trim and chrome accent pieces are utilised on the facia and door panels to add an air of brightness to the cabin and create an inviting space.
The leather steering-wheel is three-spoked, carries a tilt function, and has switches for various functions in support of an instrument cluster with graphics inside a with a ”cool blue” semi-circular motif and chromed surrounds.
A central multi-information display relays user-selectable information to the driver, including a colour ECO indicator.
The seat is fabric-clad, those at the rear having adjustable head restraints and 60/40 folld-down, and there’s lots of niches for bottles and bits… oh, and another 12V power socket.
A fun wagon needs luggage space for country weekends so Toyota has provided 609 litres of boot space behind the five seats.
The audio system is hooked to six speakers and satnav. It can also handle smartphone apps such as Apple Maps, Google Maps and Waze (depending on device) alongside music-streaming from Apple Music, Spotify and Google Music.
In an SUV you could just as possibly come up against a rock as a parking arcade pillar so Toyota has provided a reversing camera and parking radar. Access employs keyless entry, ignition is push-button.
Helping you to hold on to your Rush is an array of safety features; on-road assistance systems include stability control, anti-lock brakes, and hill-start assistance while passive safety will be handled by six crash bags. Doors lock automatically on start.
Under the bonnet is a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder, DOHC engine capable of 77kW / 136Nm of torque and hookable to either a five-speed manual or four-speed auto transmission. Power goes (what a shame!) only to the rear wheels. The manual transmission can deliver 6.6 litres/100km,the auto 6.7.
Given that the Rush can expect to go off-tar, it has a 22cm ride height, 31-degree approach and 26.5-degree departure angle, and 600mm wading depth. Once again, what a pity 4×4 is not standard but handy that the miniwagons ride on 17” alloy wheel rims shod with 215-60-R17 tyres. Spare is full-size.
WARRANTY AND MAINTENANCE
A six-services or 90 000km service plan is standard, backed up by a three-year or 100 000km warranty. Service intervals15 000km.
…AND SO TO THE PRICES
Toyota Rush 1.5 – R299 900
Toyota Rush 1.5 a/t – R313 500