JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The Avanza was Toyota SA’s first budget people mover. It came with compact dimensions, simple – but fuel-efficient – engines, and seven-seats. The automaker says they found favour with business and leisure buyers.
It lasted for two generations, replaced now by the Rumion which, Toyota told The Corner, ”comes with a host of product improvements to meet evolving demand for the smaller MPV segment”.
Buyers sure to flock to the latest stripe on the Toyota flag will, of course, be asked by neighbours: ”What Toyota is that…?” to which the proud new owner will reply ”The Rumion, of course!”
Next will be: ”The what?”, followed by ”No! The Rumion…” Which will perhaps echo around the suburbs until a wife asks her husband as the new Toyota whispers past – and perhaps with a touch of jealousy: ”Is that a new model?”
”Yes,” he will reply. ” It’s a new Toyota What.”
FOUR-POT PETROL ENGINES
It could, equally, be a Suzuki: the Rumion is the third product of a Toyota/Suzuki strategic alliance, following the Starlet/Urban Cruiser – a marriage which achieved significant sales success.
”The newcomer,” Toyota SA told The Corner, ”has maintained the product concept: compact, a four-pot petrol engine, seven-seats, good ground clearance, but now with front-wheels drive for better fuel economy, better packaging, fewer components.
”The front carries large and tapered headlights over a large lower apron housing air vents and (some models!) foul-weather lights. A prominent crease line each side runs from front bumper to tail lights – large vertical LEDs with L-shaped lens extensions.”
Five body exterior colours are on offer: white, blue, grey metallic, red, and black.
Buyers of any unit will be moved by a 77kW/138Nm, 1500cc, engine spinning a five-speed manual or four-speed auto transmission, each capable of 6.2 litres/100km. Top speed is quoted as 175 and 170km/h, manual and auto respectively.
The Rumion will have three grades (and prices) – S, SX, TX. The S-grade was designed for people requiring functional use at a low price; the SX offers a balance between affordability and comfort, the TX is for leisure buyers seeking upscaled comfort and convenience.
The S has ”hard-wearing” (perhaps it’s for sales reps?)black exterior mirrors and radiator grille, colour-coded bumpers and high-mounted diode brake lights. The cabin has durable textile trim with a three-spoked urethane steering-wheel and 60/40 folding second-row seats.
Definitely for sale reps, then…
Big news is that the front seats have ventilated cupholders to keep drinks cold or warm. A 12V socket (front), power windows, tilt-adjustable steering-column, and aircon come with the package.
The mid-tier SX adds colour-coded door releases, colour-coded retractable external mirrors with power adjustment, chromed radiator grille, and a rear window wiper, remote central locking, rear demister, parking radar, rear aircon, yet another socket, park radar and rear aircon.
SX and TX models bring a double-DIN audio system with Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary interfaces with four speakers. Toyota Connect is available across the range (even on the S-grade sold without audio), wi-fi (including an initial 15Gb of data) and ”vehicle health” status.
The top-spec TX adds even more spex for families: keyless entry, push start (doesn’t sound good until you realise it means push-BUTTON start), chromed door releases, foul-weather lights, and auto aircon. The audio system is of the touchscreen variety – the screen doubling to give a view of the reversing camera.
STEEL RIMS, FANCY HUBCAPS
Wood-trim sprouts from the instrument panel – perhaps a bit dated in these days of Greens and deforestation, perhaps?
S-grade models will have steel wheel rims wrapped by 185-65 R15 rubber. SX units the same size but with fancy hubcaps; the TX units 15″ alloys, and all models have a full-size spare wheel.
Is it legal to sell a new car without a spare wheel, The Corner wonders?
Whatever, each grade will have driver and front-passenger deceleration bags, anti-lock brakes, and IsoFix crash restraint points. Given the features of these awesomely equipped automobiles, one might expect an immobiliser and theft alarm?
Whatever, you won’t be disappointed…
…AND SO TO THE PRICES
Toyota Rumion 1.5 S – R245 600
Toyota Rumion 1.5 SX – R273 500
Toyota Rumion 1.5 SX a/t – R289 200
Toyota Rumion 1.5 TX – R301 600
Toyota Rumion 1.5 TX a/t- R317 200
A four-services or 60 000km* service plan is standard with all Rumion units, service intervals pegged at a year or 15 000km*. A three-year or 100 000km* warranty is also part of the offering.
Customers can also buy an exended service/warranty plan from any of the 220 Toyota dealers across South Africa.
*Whichever comes first.