Story & photos by Randy S. Peregrino
AFTER months of teasers, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) finally rolled out the compact seven-seater Rush as the newest addition to its broad line up of exciting vehicles. Representing a revolutionized platform, the new vehicle is categorized as a mini sport-utility vehicle (SUV) offering the kind of functionality as an entry level to the segment. There are two grades available sporting the same engine displacement in various trims. These are the top spec seven-seater 1.5 G and the five-seater E grades. There’s also an optional TRD kits (sold separately) to provide that sportier look.
At a glance, you could easily assume that the Rush looks like a baby Fortuner. But its distinctive exterior profiles suggest a more dedicated character for the vehicle. Up front, the fascia highlights Toyota’s signature “keen look” coming from the slim yet stretched standard LED headlights with line guide (exclusive to the G grade) united with chrome grille along with the fog lamps with triangular housing. The mounting pattern of air vents and chin with polished trim are one of the vehicle’s SUV-like design elements. Another distinctive part of the vehicle is its aerodynamic bonnet with several contours on top. Meantime, exclusive to the top spec model are the halogen projector-type head lamps with daylight running lights and sport radiator grille.
On the flanks, there are black mouldings and more patterns of flowing curvatures toward tail end. Just like the Fortuner, the roof line slopes toward the end. There are also black trims at the bottom panels highlighting the similar robust look for the Innova Touring Sport variant. Bordering the belt line and dark window frames are the chrome lines for accentuation, which also matches the metallic roof rails. As for the equally stunning rear end, it also has curvy profiles complementing the rear spoiler and bumper garnishes. The broad and overlapping tail lights, meantime, is also LED type with line guide. Supplementing the overall exterior robustness with high ground clearance are the two-toned and multispoke 17-inch alloy rims (exclusive to the G grade).
Inside is where you’ll see more of the Rush’s SUV-like character, let alone its well-laid out dashboard with pillar-like lower center panel and the sunken center console. Emphasized in the middle is the standard 7-inch capacitive touchscreen infotainment with CD/MP3, AUX, USB, Bluetooth, Voice Control and Weblink for iOS/Android. The G grade’s leather helm is embedded with audio and telephony switches. What gives more life to the cabin are the white accents all over with stitching design along with the chrome and polished trims everywhere. Also, there’s more cup holders in all rows plus the abundant supply of 12-volt plugs for gadget charging.
What is more, the push start system also came in standard. The comfy seats, meantime, offer a unique dark fabric material with motifs. The 60:40 second-row benches provide an easy tumble method to access the third row with 50:50 roll-over-to-fold seats. Even with all seats setup, rear cargo still provides 213 liters of capacity. Meanwhile, the five-seater E grades have 514 liters of space.
Under the hood is the same reliable, fuel-efficient and transverse four-cylinder NR petrol engine series utilized in newer Avanza models. Propelling the Rush models is the 1.5-liter 2NRVE motor with Dual VVT-i dishing out 102 hp at 6,000 rpm with 134 N-m of maximum torque at 4,200 rpm. The motor is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission (gate type) and also offers a five-speed manual gearbox option for the E grade.
Function-wise, all models are equipped with Vehicle Stability Control features, such as Hill Start Assist and Traction Control. One of the Rush’s best steals are the standard safety elements available in both grades. These are the multiple SRS airbags (driver, passenger, front side and curtain shield), Anti-Lock Brake System with Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Child Protection Lock, ISOFIX plus and the high mount LED brake lamp.
The 1.5 G A/T is priced at P1.070 million, while the 1.5 E A/T is being offered at P988,000. As for the E five-speed version, it’s being offered at P948,000. There are six available radiant colors to choose from, namely: Bordeaux Mica, Silver Mica Metallic, Bronze Mica Metallic, Black Metallic, Dark Red Mica Metallic and White.