The all-new Toyota Rush returns with a much more aggressive styling and a higher quality interior. Based on the Toyota Avanza/Daihatsu Xenia, the 7-seater dressed in SUV-styling also incorporates many expected modern safety features such as six airbags, electronic stability control, and hill-start assist.
With the launch event held at MAEPS, venue of the second round of the Vios Challenge 2018/2019, our test route took us from MAEPS to Cyberjaya and back, which consists almost entirely of highways connecting the two places.
Specifications for Toyota Rush 1.5G and Rush 1.5S
- Price: Estimated from RM 93,000 (1.5G) and from RM 98,000 (1.5S)
- Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder, longitudinal layout
- Power: 105 PS at 6,000 rpm
- Torque: 136 Nm at 4,200 rpm
- Transmission: 4-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
- Safety: 5-star ASEAN NCAP, Six airbags, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, VSC, Hill Start Assist Control, 7 seat belt indicators, ISOFIX
- Origin: Locally-assembled under contract by Perodua, Selangor
The all-new Toyota Rush now has many up-to-date features, such as LED head lamps (still no DRLs), large LED tail lamps, 17-inch wheels, two-tone aerokit , and keyless entry. Strong character lines on the sides and bumpers certainly project a strong sense of toughness in the all-new Toyota Rush.
We particularly like how the designers have placed ‘swellings’ on the bonnet, further emphasizing the tough character of the all-new Rush.
Toyota has certainly improved the quality of the interior. The dashboard and door panels have contrasting sections tastefully finished in white. Liberal use of faux stitching also lines the interior but done at strategic locations and simple patterns.
Toyota internal data says the cabin length has increased by 170 millimetres, resulting in an improved leg room in the second row and a more spacious luggage area.
The second row now reverts to the more common 40:60 configuration, as opposed to the 50:50 which compromised comfort for the passenger seated in the middle.
We also noticed the leather material covering the seats in the all-new Toyota Rush felt better quality compared to a Honda BR-V. In the extended short test drive, both seats on the front and second rows provided good shoulder and thigh support too, with a sense of additional bolstering at the edges of the seats.
There's a roof-mounted blower in the second row to cool occupants in the second and third row. One downside on the Rush's air-conditioning is that it doesn't have selectable blower direction, meaning that you can't divert air flow to your feet, or to the front windscreen. There is no front demister function so if your windscreen fogs up in the rain, you have to either switch the blower to fresh air mode or lower your windows slightly.
A brief stint in the third row gave a positive impression too. The seats felt comfortable, with spacious head room as well as leg room (We could tuck our feet under the second row).
How does it drive?
The test drive route consisted mainly of highways, travelling from MAEPS to Cyberjaya and back. As there are no changes to the naturally aspirated 1.5-litre engine and 4-speed automatic transmission that is also found in the updated Toyota Avanza Dual VVT-i, acceleration can be described as leisurely.
Cabin insulation has been given more focus in this generation, with tyre roar and wind noise well subdued. Engine noise is apparent at highway cruising speeds, as the gear ratios are tuned for acceleration. At 110 km/h, the tachometer is hovering circa 3,500 rpm, something a CVT-type transmission will never experience.
The fitment of premium-range Bridgestone Alenza tyres also contributed to a quieter cabin thanks to lower noise emission.
Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are a standard fitment in both variants. They provide a good aid (only visual) to alert of the presence of vehicles behind that might not be seen through the side mirrors.
We also managed to experience the Pre-Collision System (PCS) that is only available in the 1.5S variant. It performed as expected with full braking force applied as the all-new Rush approached a stationary object. Learn more about the all-new Toyota Rush' PCS system here.
Another feature that uses the hardware and software from PCS is the Front Departure Alert. A gentle beep sounds when the driver does not start moving once the vehicle ahead moves off as the traffic lights turn green. We wished the beep was louder, as it was barely audible even when the volume of the radio was turned down.
Moving to ride comfort, the all-new Toyota Rush’s ride is on the firm side, as the suspension was tuned to take into account a full load of seven occupants and luggage.
Thus, with only two people in the vehicle during the short test drive, the suspension is ‘under damped’ and exhibited a more firm ride.
Toyota also took us off the paved roads, onto a route that circles an old disused mining pool. The all-new Toyota Rush performed incredibly well here! Thanks to the long stroke suspension and 220-millimetre ground clearance, potholes were dealt with ease with our travelling speed of over 40 km/h.
Note: The all-new Toyota Rush is not available for viewing or test drives at Toyota showrooms yet, as production and deliveries are only scheduled for January 2019.
The all-new Toyota Rush looks great in the metal thanks to the large dual-tone wheels, matched with the bodykit and well-defined character lines. The two-tone interior definitely worked well here, uplifting the cabin ambience.
Overall, the all-new Rush improves on many aspects of the entry-level MPV that it is based upon. The higher quality finish and quiet cabin ambience can be seen and felt with ease. The safety features such as Blind Spot Monitoring and PCS together with 5-star ASEAN NCAP rating will surely attract many young families who prefer to be in the great looking SUV.