Toyota Rush 1.5 manual review
For sheer family motoring value, the Rush is very hard to beat.
For years the Toyota Avanza has been a popular family vehicle, offering seven seats at a great price point. But not everyone needs seven seats, and many buyers were looking for a similar amount of space at a similar price, but with sexier SUV styling. Enter the Toyota Rush…
The angular design with upswept LED headlights and large trapezoidal grille is very reminiscent of the larger Toyota Fortuner, as is the side design with a noticeable crease line and raised ground clearance of 220mm (which is why it’s no surprise to hear the Rush referred to as a ‘baby Fortuner’).
The generous length of the Rush creates vast amounts of interior space, despite the compact and easy-to-drive width of the vehicle. Five adult occupants are easily and comfortably accommodated with plenty of room, but the standout feature is the cavernous capacity of the boot. Because the Rush has been configured as a five seater but has a fairly long wheelbase, the boot is huge and incredibly practical due to the square shape. And if you decide you need even more space, you can always fold down the rear row of seats (split 60:40).
The interior isn’t all about space though, and the Rush has been fitted with a host of comfort and convenience features – the dash is centred around a colour touchscreen infotainment system that offers Bluetooth as well as Android Auto Plus Show, Miracast and CarPlay functionality, and even built-in satellite navigation. There is also a reverse camera, automatic dual-zone air-con, keyless entry and pushbutton start, USB charging slot and a trip computer.
The Rush only comes in one specification level, ‘S’, with impressive finishes and built to survive the hardships of hauling a family. Large 17-inch alloy wheels are fitted with high-profile tyres to withstand the rigours of our potholed roads, and a full-size spare comes standard – a big deal these days.
For maximum cost effectiveness Toyota has used their 1.5-litre four-cylinder DOHC engine, which produces 77kW and 136Nm of torque, and utilises Toyota’s VVT-i system to boost efficiencies. This engine is also used in the Avanza, amongst others, and the scale of the numbers that Toyota produces allows the cost to be kept attractively low.
Buyers have a choice of either a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic – driving the rear wheels. Fuel economy is a strong focal point with the manual-equipped Rush using 6.6 litres per 100km and the automatic version registering 6.7 litres per 100km.
Safety, always a priority when it comes to family vehicles, has been addressed by six airbags as well as ABS braking, traction control, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Isofix car-seat anchors, while Hill Control Assist is there to help you pull off on an incline.
As a family SUV the Rush offers great practicality and versatility, not to mention style, at an attractive price – and there aren’t many cars on the market that can say the same.
Prices are R312 000 for the 1.5 manual and R326 200 for the 1.5 AT, both of which are very competitive when compared against those of rivals. Both Rush models come with a 6-service/90 000km service plan and 3-year/100 000km warranty.
Space, space and more space
Striking SUV looks
High standard specification levels