It was no big secret that the Toyota Rush was coming to the Philippines.
Photo by Angel Rivero
Rush, Rush...hurry come to me!
Angel Rivero (The Philippine Star) - May 9, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — It was no big secret that the Toyota Rush was coming to the Philippines. After Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) announced weeks ago that it was bringing it into the country, many have waited in anticipation to have a personal look at the brand’s most affordable SUV model yet. And last Friday was its official welcome party — as the Toyota Rush was formally launched before the Philippine press in Okada Manila in Parañaque City.

No curtains had to be raised as units of the seven-seater 1.5 G variant stood like proud baby Fortuners around the event premises. The resemblance is uncanny — especially if viewed from a distance, and at a 45-degree angle. Sometimes, from the side, it looks like an Innova. And perhaps that’s what it is — a cross between an MPV and an SUV.

The most common question I’ve heard from people is whether the Rush is like an improved Avanza, or if it replaces it. Understandably, consumers may at first be a bit confused as to which market segment the Rush belongs in. And the answer is that it has joined the likes of the Xpander and the BR-V, in a relatively new but already burgeoning segment that straddles the line between people carrier and SUV. And why create such a subculture? Well, perhaps because the new TRAIN law has played its gravity on vehicle prices — pulling the tag of the Avanza further away from the top-of-the-line Innova. And clearly, this leaves an obvious price gap for another product to ‘rush’ into.

Therefore, with an entry-level price of P948,000 for the manual 1.5 E — it dances just above the Avanza and below the Innova. And perhaps like Little Red Riding Hood, it’s looking for something that’s neither smallish nor big... but ‘just right.’

The Rush is significantly wider, longer and taller than the Avanza; has a longer wheelbase, and comes with foglamps as default. Its headlamps and rear combination lamps now benefit from LED technology; and it also embraces the benefits of using keyless entry. 

Just like the Avanza, the Rush is a rear-wheel drive — quite unique for both their segments. It further stands out against its competition with its class-leading, 220-mm ground clearance — putting it in the league of larger-sized SUVs and crossovers.

At its heart is its 2NR-VE engine — a 1.5-liter VVT-i engine similar (but not exactly identical) to that of the Vios. Having said that, it is fair to assume that the Rush is expected to offer similar levels of fuel frugality.

The Rush offers ventilated disc brakes the size of the Innova’s in the front, and drum brakes in the rear. Its 1,705-mm height offers its occupants a high roofline that fortunately does not slant too much in the rear — giving third-row passengers in the higher-spec seven-seater more space to enjoy. The five-seater has a one-touch tumble, 60:40 split; while the third row of the 7-seater offers a 50:50 split tumble. Thus, boot space for the 5-seater can be as much as 514 liters; while the 7-seater can free up to 213 liters.

Inside the cabin this compact SUV sports a 7-inch touchscreen display that still offers the option of CD playback alongside modern USB, auxiliary, Bluetooth and Weblink (for IOS/Android) connectivity. The top-of-the-line variant comes with eight speakers, while the E variants come with six. Furthermore, there are a generous 13 bottle holders located within the vehicle.

Other extra bonuses of the Rush are a 5.2-meter turning radius and class-leading safety equipment with six SRS airbags, ABS, EBD, Stability Control, and even Hill Start Assist.

And to help consumers know more about the Rush, TMP also held a ‘Toyota Rush Fair’ just over the weekend at one of the parking lots in Bonifacio High Street. There, they displayed their three variants: the 1.5 G A/T, the midrange 1.5 E A/T, and the entry-level 1.5 E M/T, and offered customers nice promos and a chance to win in a raffle.

The Rush comes in six colors, namely: Black Metallic, Bordeaux, Red Mica Metallic, Silver Mica Metallic, Bronze Mica Metallic, and White.

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