Toyota induces ‘Rush’ of excitement with affordable Sport-ute

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Text and photos by Kap Maceda Aguila

THE wait is over. The buildup that began in February finally culminated in the grand launch of Toyota’s latest product, the Rush, at a Pasay City venue.

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) president Satoru Suzuki said in a speech that the Rush is envisioned to “[appeal] mainly to city dwellers who want a vehicle that can keep up with their active and exciting lifestyle — a car that is stylish and allows them to express themselves. We are optimistic that this new model will become a popular choice for first-time SUV buyers.”

This is TMP’s sixth SUV/crossover product in the country — joining the Land Cruiser, Prado, Rav4, Fortuner and FJ Cruiser. Significantly though, the company reveals this is its foray into the entry-level SUV niche. People on the lookout for a more affordable SUV or MPV should note the sub-P1 million tags of two of the Rush’s variants. The manual-transmission E goes for P948,000, while the A/T E is priced at P988,000. The top variant G (only available with A/T) breaches the million-peso mark, but by only P70,000.

Toyota boasts the Rush as a feature-packed vehicle despite its “entry-level” tag. The SUV has smart entry, a push-button start/stop system, dual air-conditioning, seven-inch capacitive touchscreen audio system, 17-inch alloy wheels, a built-in roof rail, and other niceties such as 13 total cupholders and, for the G grade, LED head lamps and rear camera. While the E variants have a five-seat configuration (and a trunk space of 514 liters), the G gets two additional collapsible seats.

The Rush makes its case as an SUV through qualities such as high ground clearance (220 millimeters), and generous approach and exit angles (31 degrees and 26 degrees, respectively). It packs a slew of active and passive safety measures such as six SRS air bags, ABS with EBD, traction control, hill-start assist, and an emergency stop signal.

Even as the Rush utilizes the platform of its Avanza MPV sibling, it is markedly larger in length (4,435 millimeters compared to the Avanza’s 4,190 millimeters), and surpasses it in width (up 35 millimeters to 1,695 millimeters), and height (up 10 millimeters to 1,695 millimeters).

There’s an impression that the Rush annexes not just the platform but the 1.5-liter power plant of its stable-mate, but a TMP official clarified that its four-cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC, chain-drive with dual VVT-I engine is “same as the Vios” but “sourced differently.” This gasoline-fed engine serves up 102 hp at 6,000 rpm and 134 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm, and finds expression via a four-speed automatic transmission or a five-speed manual gearbox. The power train drives the vehicle’s rear wheels.

The Rush is available in Black Metallic, Bordeaux Mica, Bronze Mica Metallic, Dark Red Mica Metallic, Silver Mica Metallic, and white colors.