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LIVING UP TO THE TREND Toyota Rush

The Rush used to be a tiny hatchback on stilts. Perfect for a city where you need to climb over speed bumps the size of small houses and squeeze through gaps meant for anorexic cyclists. Of course, we grow with the times and the times demanded we want SUVs. The Rush listened. It grew, it worked out at the gym and it pumped up. It is now and has been for the last few years, a car that resembles an SUV in many ways than one. The nose is long and pointy complete with squinty headligths that produce a mean and aggressive glare. The roof glides over the front, middle and voila, the third row of seats before subtly sloping down the back into a full tailgate. The wheels are tucked into very bulging arches that give it a purposeful haunch. With extra ground clearance it looks the part. And people love it. It has been selling all across Asia simply because it looks how you want it to look.


What sets it apart?
It has a 220mm ground clearance. They say it can wade through two feet of water. We except people living in Bashundhara to be overjoyed and buy this as their go-to ride. Every summer, when their streets become like Venice, this water wading Toyota can carry them safely across the muddy waters into civilisation, or as we call it, the rest of Dhaka. It is a Toyota after all so we feel it can survive quite a bit more.
The upturned bottom of the front bumper means you get a 31-degree approach angle to slopes. Want to travel to the remote areas of Bandarban or tackle those steep apartment parking ramps? No biggie. You will make it through without scraping.

It’s all about the judicious and copious use of space.

Inside
The cabin practical Toyota at its max. Everything where it needs to be and without fuss. Buttons are actual buttons and not silly touchscreens. You would want to take this car out on long trips and the climate and audio controls are where you need them to be without taking your eye off the road. Considering this is a revisit of a car I have test driven when it was launched, it has aged well. It has some nice soft-touch material thrown in for good measure.

Comfort
A big draw of this car are the seven seats. All the way in the back, seats are comfortable, firm but rather flat. Access is a little tight since you have to lower the middle row and squeeze in through the door. But it can be done with relative ease. Once you get in there, it is a cozy fit. Best for people with several young kids. You can space them out across the car so they do not fight all the way. I have two and it would be perfect to divide them up as such. And here is a cool feature you will surely appreciate: the centre row has its own roof mounted blower for additional cool air. And the AC manages to remain icy cold regardless of the heat we were from during mid-day traffic rush.

Driving characteristics
I love the nimbleness of the steering. It is rather low on feedback but then again, that can act as a plus in day to day driving. You point and it turns. The steering is very light making it a breeze to manoeuvre the Rush across typical Dhaka traffic. The dimensions are rather compact so turns are tight and parking is a breeze. The power comes from a 1.5 litre engine mated to a four speed automatic. It has 103 HP and offers 101lb-ft of torque. Unlike bigger more purpose built off-roaders, this only comes with 2WD powering the rear wheels. It pulls along quite well on the open road, while overtaking manoeuvres from 70/80kmph are a smooth affair if you judge you gap properly. Bumps are absorbed well enough even though it is riding on 17 inch wheels on the S Grade. Suspension is a little stiff but that helps to contain some of the body roll when fully loaded and going down a turn on a flyover ramp.

Fuel economy
Our test wasn’t long enough to give an accurate fuel economy reading. We pushed it mercilessly and left it started with AC on for most photo shoot takes. Yet it still showed a decent 7.2 km/l reading. Which you will improve upon normal driving.

What else?
The rear seats are not always in demand so you can lay those flat, creating a massive boot space. Even with the seats up, it has 609 litres of trunk space. It has a nice audio system equipped with eight speakers and an intuitive 7-inch touchscreen. Every row comes with a USB charger so your devices can be always juiced while you are stuck in traffic.

Verdict
The Rush looks good from almost all angles. The ground clearance makes it capable of handling poor road conditions and it has tons of safety feature including six airbags and a 5-star ASEAN NCAP crash rating. It will seat seven people of various sizes comfortably while still offering plenty of storage. It is not quite the real SUV which is a plus point here. It looks the part answering our love for the mini-SUV trend, it will take on the entire family and return decent mileage while holding a good resale value.

Specification
Engine: 1.5 Litre 2NR-VE 4-Cylinders, In-line, 16-valve DOHC with Dual VVT-i
Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
Power: 103 HP@ 6,00RPM
Max Torque: 136 Nm@ 4,200RPM
Drivetrain: Rear Wheel Drive
Price: Tk 41,00,00 (G) Tk 43,50,00 (S)
For details, contact Navana Toyota Ltd.

Features
Powered seats with memory function
6 Speaker Audio System
Automatic Climate control
2nd-row roof climate vent
11.9-inch android infotainment system.

Safety
6 Airbag
ABS with EBD
Speed-sensing door locks
Rear parking sensors
Rear parking camera
All around LED light

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