“I am not in Rome, Doug. I am in a rush.” A line from one of my all-time favourite movies, Snatch, by Guy Ritchie. It’s got nothing to do with the new Toyota, but every time I get into the new Rush I can’t help but mutter to myself Frankie Four Fingers’ (Benicio Del Toro) famous line.
You also might like: Another Phase of Life for Toyota’s Yaris
In fact, the name Rush lends itself to puns and social media hashtags, but this doesn’t alter the fact that it is going to be a sensible buy for so many people out there.
I’ve driven it on launch, and I’ve already spent a week with it, and it has ingratiated itself with me as a relatively affordable, incredibly spacious, attractive and comfortable vehicle that is a great entry into the world of SUVs.
Firstly, it is not related to a Fortuner, despite looking a bit like one (I’ve been asked this a few times already.) Secondly, it is not a replacement for the Avanza, as the Rush is limited to five seats and the more tedious Avanza has the advantage of seven. But it is related to the Avanza.
What’s under the hood?
The mechanics of the Rush are thus: It is rear-wheel drive, which means that the heavier the load the better the traction, and it is powered by the Toyota 1.5ℓ petrol engine that we have seen before in the Etios and Avanza. That means it produces 77kW at 6 000 rpm and 136Nm of torque at 4 200rpm. Buyers have a choice of either a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic. The engine utilises Toyota’s VVT-i system to boost efficiencies, and fuel economy is good with the manual Rush using 6.6ℓ/100km and the automatic version using 6.7ℓ/100km. I was surprised at how well the engine coped with the large body, the only downside being that the vehicle revs a bit high and could do with a sixth gear.
You also might like: Five Driving Tips to Help You Save Money at the Fuel Pump
One of Rush’s key features is the generous 220mm ride height, which combined with a 31-degree approach and 26.5-degree departure angle, allows easy traversing of mixed surface roads. An impressive 600mm wading depth affords Rush the capability to tackle most water crossings.
Tell us about the bells and whistles
Stylish 17-inch 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.
The only choice you can make when buying a Rush is whether you want the manual or auto, as there are just the two models with the same ‘S’ trim levels (well, you can choose the external colour too, I suppose – there are five options there). It’s well specced, with a touchscreen audio system, equipped with Bluetooth, USB and Android Auto Plus Show/Apple CarPlay functionality. Then there is dual-zone aircon, keyless entry and push-start ignition, an integrated Reverse camera and Park Distance Control (PDC) system, and automatic LED headlights.
A broad array of safety features are included in the Rush; the active safety systems include Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Hill Assist Control (HAC).
The 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.
But by far the most impressive feature of the Rush is the amount of space you get for the money: it is vast! It’s definitely big enough for seven seats, but because there are just five the load area is massive (over 600ℓ), and when the rear seats are folded down it’s a van back there. There are also a number of storage areas within the cabin, which is always nice for a family car.
And the price tag?
These days R300 000 isn’t expensive for a car, and the Rush therefore offers significant value for money, especially backed by Toyota’s reputation for reliability and resale value, as well as its extrensive dealer network. There is no way the Rush won’t do well, and it deserves to.
Toyota Rush Warranty and Maintenance
A six-service/90 000km service plan comes standard, backed up by a three-year/100 000km warranty. The service intervals are set at 15 000km.
Model Line-up and Pricing:
Rush 1.5 MT – R299 900
Rush 1.5 AT – R 313 500
To find out more by visiting the Toyota website.
You also might like: The new Suzuki Swift gets an update and we love it
A journalist by trade, features writer on occasion and now the digital editor of SA Country Life. The first chance she gets, Leigh will tell you about a podcast she was recently listening to and how you simply have to make the move from radio. In a previous life, she once taught English on Jeju which left her with an insatiable craving for kimchi.