After comparatively little fanfare, the all-new Toyota Rush has officially been launched in our market. It's made available in two variants - the Rush G and the Rush S - with the former going for an estimated price of RM 93,000, and the latter going for an estimated price of RM 98,000, although final pricing will be confirmed towards the end of the year. Deliveries will begin in January 2019.
This is a highly important model for Toyota, especially within the ASEAN region, and over the last 10 years or so we have seen over 18,000 of these models sold within Malaysia itself.
The focus of the Rush has always been practicality, but this compact 7-seater model brings with it Toyota's 360-T, which will be used in all of its upcoming models. The 360-T is a blanket term for Toyota's complete suite of technologies designed to protect and provide advantages to drivers on the road. The three major elements of the 360-T are the Safe-T Plus (safety features and systems as standard), Connectivi-T (entertainment, connectivity, and safety), as well as Guaran-T (for peace of mind through the ownership experience).
The new Rush is powered by Toyota's 2NR-VE Dual VVT-i 1.5-litre engine that has been made available in a few of their models. It produces 105 PS at 6,000 rpm, with a maximum torque of 136 Nm at 4,200 rpm. It comes paired with the hardy 4-speed automatic transmission, as well as Automatic Stop-Start for better fuel consumption. Quoted efficiency is 15.6 km per litre, or 6.4 litres per 100 km, which qualifies it as an Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) under the current Malaysian National Automotive Policy.
It also happens to be rear wheel drive, which has been one of Toyota's sticking points when it comes to people haulers as it provides better traction once fully loaded with passengers or when travelling uphill. The steering is an electrically assisted unit, with a tight turning radius of 5.2 metres - a result of maintaining a long rack stroke for the rack and pinion system, and another advantage of rear-wheel drive vehicles.
Design wise, the Rush is much sharper looking than its predecessor. It comes standard with the R-Blade design aerokit for both variants, with the "R" standing for Rush. The body is also painted in a dual tone colour, with black elements on the lower half of the car for contrast and sportiness. LED headlamps surrounded by dark chrome offset the grille are standard, as are the 17-inch alloy wheels with a black finish, shod in 215/60 R17 tyres.
On the inside, things have become a little more premium with silver and chrome-plated accents contrasting heavily with the general black tone of interior panels. It's a more sophisticated look, which is rarely seen in this end of the Malaysian car market. Taking centre stage on the dashboard is a 6.8-inch capacitive touch screen head unit with Bluetooth and mirror functions for Android and iOS devices. It also has the Panoramic View Monitor which allows for easy manoeuvring with a 360-degree birds eye view courtesy of 4 cameras around the car.
The climate control system is split for the front and rear, with front occupants receiving air from the dashboard while a dedicated rear ceiling mounted blower has adjustable speeds and redirects cool air to rear passengers. The seating configuration is 2-3-2 over three rows, and access to the third row is easy thanks to one-touch tumble folding operation. The seats in the second row are a 60:40 split, while the seats in the third row are a 50:50 split. Cargo capacity stands at 217 litres, but can be expanded to 514 litres when the third row is collapsed. Heavier loads, up to 50 kg, can be mounted on the roof rails as well.
All that we've mentioned so far comes as standard across both variants. But if you spring for the higher-grade Rush S, you also get the:
- Pre-Collision System
- Leather Seats
- Automatic LED Headlights
- Front Fog Lamps
- Leather Steering Wheel
- Steering-mounted Telephone Switch
As for safety, the Rush comes with 6 SRS Airbags as standard, along with ABS, EBD, BA, and more importantly, VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) and TRC (Traction Control). These last two items were a source of controversy having been omitted from the Toyota range for the longest time, but they are now included quite nearly across the Toyota range, and are especially important among the rear-wheel drive vehicles in the range. Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also included for a little more active warning when on the road. As a result of all of these systems, the Rush scores a full 5-star safety rating in ASEAN NCAP testing.
The Rush is available in a choice of five exterior colours: White, Silver Metallic, Dark Grey Metallic, Blue Metallic, and Dark Green Metallic. It's assembled at the Perodua plant in Rawang, alongside the up and coming Perodua SUV. Bookings for both variants will be accepted at all authorised Toyota showrooms nationwide from today onwards.