Port Elizabeth - Toyota’s Rush compact SUV, launched in South Africa this week, is in fact a sister car to the Daihatsu Terios, the previous generation of which was available in South Africa up to 2015.
In South African terms, however, the new Rush has more in common with the current Avanza, which is also made in Indonesia, and with which it shares a platform and its 1.5-litre petrol four, rated in this application at 77kW and 136Nm and driving the rear wheels (just like the Avanza) via your choice of either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.
Suspension is conventional with front McPherson struts and multilink rear, and it Rushes on 17 inch alloys shod with 215/60 rubber (including the spare!)
But the Rush is bigger all over than the Avanza: at 4435mm overall it is 295mm longer, although its 2685mm wheelbase is only 30mm longer than the Avanza’s. Most of the extra length is in the rear overhang, making room for a third row of seats (in Indonesia) - or 609 litres of retail therapy storage in SA-spec High derivatives.
It is 35mm wider at 1695mm and 10mm taller at 1705mm - but that last number is a bit misleading because the Rush boasts 220mm of ground clearance (along with 600mm wading ability), so that 10mm is more likely to be the extra airspace under the car!
Its styling shows a distinct family resemblance to the Fortuner with a cross-barred grille, uptilted headlights, aluminium-look bash plates at both ends and a body-colour spoiler. The same applies to the flight deck, with an instrument cluster that will make any Toyota fan feel right at home, next to a centre stack that carries a six-speaker audio system compatible with Bluetooth, Android Auto Plus Show and Apple CarPlay, controlled via a an 18cm infotainment touchscreen, automatic aircon, a USB port a 12V socket (there’s another for the second row of seats).
Rear parking sensors, a rear camera, satnav, hill hold, stability control and six airbags are standard, the plastics are black over beige, the upholstery black fabric, entry is keyless and starting by button.
|Rush 1.5 High||R299 900|
|Rush 1.5 High AT||R313 500
These include a three-year or 100 000km warranty and six free services, at intervals of a year or 15 000km, whichever comes first.