Toyota expands its local line-up with the launch of its new Rush compact SUV in South Africa.
The Rush measures 4.4m long, 1.6m wide and 1.7m with a wheelbase of 2.6m.
A single petrol engine variant is available though can be ordered in either manual or auto guise. And the price? The manual is priced at R299 900 while the four-speed auto model retails for R313 500.
Power is provided by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine with outputs of 77kW/136Nm. The engine can be mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed auto, driving power to the rear wheels.
Fuel consumption is rated at 6.6 litres/100km for the manual variant while the auto version has a claimed 6.7l/100km with CO2 figures of 156g/km and 158 g/km respectively.
Chassis and suspension
Following the front engine, rear wheel drive layout (FR), the suspension system consists of McPherson struts up front and a Multilink design in the rear. The suspension setup has been engineered to offer good rough-road damping and be complaint on mixed surfaces (tarmac, gravel and dirt).
One of Rush’s key features is its 220mm ride height, which combined with a 31-degree approach and 26.5-degree departure angle, allows easy traversing of mixed surface roads. It has a 600mm wading depth for tackling water crossings.
Stylish 17" alloy wheels with forward-slanting stylised spokes add to the rugged image. The wheels are shod with 215-60-R17 tyres and a full-size spare wheel is also provided.
In terms of design, the new Toyota Rush features a prominent angular design with pointed, upswept LED highlights and large trapezoidal grille. The grille features wide horizontal slats finished off in dark grey and a centrally mounted Toyota emblem. An inverted contour line separates the upper and lower airdams and creates a triangular space which house the foglights. A silver-hued skid plate and twin hood bulges complete the front façade.
It sports a matching black roof rails and body-colour spoiler.
The rear design centres on the LED-equipped rearlight clusters, which carry strong horizontal lines and a similarly inverted contour line flowing from the bumper to the rear diffuser area.
Buyers have a choice of five exterior colours - white, silver, ruby metallic, bronze metallic and black.
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.
High-contrast 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 supportive seats are finished in highly durable, patterned black fabric with complementing black fabric inlays on the door panels. The rear seats feature three independently-adjustable headrests and 60/40 tip-forward function.
A cavernous 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.
Convenience and versatility
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 exterior features list include power adjustable and - retractable side-mirrors, auto LED headlights, roof rails and foglights.
The 6-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.
Safety and security
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.
Warranty and maintenance
A six-services or 90 000km service plan is standard, backed up by a 3-year or 100 000km warranty. Service intervals are 15 000km.