Cars Toyota Rush drive

Published on February 4th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


TOYOTA Rush 1.5S test drive review

Why does Toyota need to compete head on with Perodua?

This is the question we asked and the answer we got was somewhat like this. Malaysians will look at the Perodua Aruz as a great value for money 7 seat crossover and then there will be another group of Malaysians (probably somewhat smaller number) that will want a Toyota version as the Toyota brand represents a premium image when side by side with Perodua. UMW Toyota Malaysia (UMWT) expects to sell around 3,600 units a year and the Rush will be assembled under contract at Perodua’s manufacturing plant.

The previous Rush (pictured below) which was launched in 2015 also had a 1.5L engine and it produced 109ps of power at 6,000 rpm and had a peak torque of 141Nm at 4,400 rpm. Its selling price was RM98k for the base manual and up to RM103k for the 1.5S auto version. This means the current 2nd generation Rush is some RM5k lower in selling price and with more safety features added.

BHPetrol RON95 Euro 4M

The Perodua Aruz shares almost everything with the new Toyota Rush. But if you are prepared to forsake the badge for something local, you will get rewarded not only with a smaller price-tag, but some Advanced Driver Assists as well!

Toyota Rush 2015 model

So, why are crossovers so popular?

Buyers with families make up a significant portion of the Crossover market. Crossovers are perceived to be bigger, generally allowing more interior room for kids, pets and all the accessories that come with them. They are also higher off the ground, allowing owners an added sense of safety and security. 

Additionally, Crossovers don’t generally have the ‘soccer mom’ or ‘auntie’ stigma attached to them. Avoiding this label is priceless to many female auto buyers.

Besides families, Crossovers are also popular among single adults, “early-nesters” (couples without children) and “empty-nesters” (couples who have grown-up adult children). 

The added space and utility are primary reasons why the childless demographic buys Crossovers. People with large dogs may buy a Crossover for the cargo room behind the seats. Many people without children have relatively active lifestyles, and a Crossover is one of the best types of vehicles to support their “always on the go” way of life.

Certainly, other reasons exist that can justify the added cost of Crossover ownership. Buyers must consider their personal situation to determine if a Crossover is the right type of vehicle for them.

What ever the reasons are, the demand for Crossovers like the Rush will continues to rise and you can sure that Toyota will continue to provide sensible motoring for Malaysians on a budget. 

Toyota Rush 2019
Toyota Rush 2019
Toyota Rush 2019

What powers the Rush

This all-new Toyota Rush is powered by the latest Toyota 16-valve DOHC 1.5-litre engine which has a maximum output of 105 ps at 6,000 rpm with 136 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm. With a proven and reliable 4-speed automatic transmission that comes with Automatic Stop-Start system, fuel consumption is better and can be as good as 15.6kms per litre. This qualifies it as an Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) under the current Malaysian National Automotive Policy.

The All-new Toyota Rush continue with rear-wheel drive for a greater variety of terrain conditions, offering better traction for uphill climbs when carrying heavier loads.

Other features include Electric Power Steering (EPS) which contributes to the good fuel efficiency, and tyres with the largest diameter in its class. Despite the large tyre size, the All-new Toyota Rush still has an agile turning radius of 5.2 metres.

The seating layout is 2-3-2 over three rows, with easy access to the third row. The cargo capacity is 217 litres but when required, the volume can be expanded to 514 litres by folding the rear seats. Additionally, for those who may have long or large objects (not exceeding 50 kgs); the edges of the roof have integrated low profile rails which the cargo can be placed on.

Toyota Rush 2019
Toyota Rush 2019
Toyota Rush 2019
Toyota Rush 2019

What about in car entertainment?

The new DVD-AVX audio system has a large 6.8-inch capacitive touchscreen and the unit can be linked to a compatible smartphone to ‘mirror’ the smartphone’s screen onto the audio display. This allows GPS navigation apps such as Google Maps and Waze to be used and viewed from the display screen.

Cabin features?

Other standard features include 13 cupholders, a Multi-Info Display, Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) for a 360-degree bird’s eye view of the vehicle, and a Digital Video Recorder (DVR). A Toyota AutoTag is also installed for electronic payment of toll while the Smart Entry system locks/unlocks the doors with just a touch of the button located on the outside door handles. 

Safety features?

Toyota places top priority on safety and has developed many new Active Safety systems which can help the driver avoid accidents. The combination of advanced safety systems plus computer-aided engineering and design has enabled the All-new Toyota Rush to score the highest overall rating of 5-stars from ASEAN NCAP (for both Adult & Child Occupant Protection categories). 

A new standard active safety feature is the Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). BSM helps the driver to be more aware of other road-users in the vehicle’s blind spot, reducing the risk of a collision, while the RCTA is able to warn the driver of approaching vehicles as the vehicle is reversing out of a parking bay.

Also new is the Pre-Collision System (PCS) which helps to reduce low to medium speed accidents due to inattentive driving (only available on the Rush 1.5S). The system, which uses a stereo camera, has four features: Pre-collision Warning, Pre-collision Braking, Front Departure Alert, and Pedal Misoperation Control. The system is designed as a driver assistance feature but gives priority to driver inputs which will override its functions.

The All-new Toyota Rush comes with a 5-year full warranty with unlimited mileage. 

Toyota Rush 2019 vs Perodua Aruz 2019
Toyota Rush 2019 vs Perodua Aruz 2019
Toyota Rush 2019 vs Perodua Aruz 2019

Price and variants

The selling price of this 2019 Toyota Rush is RM98,000 for the S variant and RM93,000 for the G variant. This Toyota Rush comes with 5 exterior colours choices – White, Silver Metallic, Dark Gray Metallic, Blue Metallic and Dark Green Metallic.  

Toyota Rush 2019 vs Perodua Aruz 2019
Toyota Rush 2019 vs Perodua Aruz 2019

Driving it

To start this is a family sensible vehicle, so do not expect quick acceleration or on the edge handling. It is a family friendly commuter vehicle that ticks all the boxes for a budget conscious owner. The ride height is good, the seating at the middle row is higher allowing for rear passengers to get a good view out and when the third row is not in use you get good cargo room. With 6 adults on board we could cruise on the highway and when overtaking was needed, it wasn’t responding as fast as a Toyota Vios due to the added weight. Still it is all about driving within the limits. 

So, should buy the Rush or the Aruz? Well, we will buy the Aruz because it is ‘apple to apple’ 97% similar to the Rush at a much lower asking price. The main reason why you might buy the Rush is for the Toyota branding. 

Toyota Rush Specifications

Engine: Inline 4, DOHC, Dual VVT-i

Capacity: 1496cc

Gearbox: 4-speed conventional automatic

Max power: 101hp @ 6000rpm

Max torque: 133Nm @ 4200rpm

Price: selling from RM93,000

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