UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) today launched the all-new Toyota Rush, which is available in two locally-assembled (CKD) variants – 1.5G and 1.5S – with prices estimated to start from RM93,000 for the former and RM98,000 for the latter.

Visually, the seven-seater has been completely redesigned and now sports an MPV-SUV crossover look that isn’t unlike the Honda BR-V. Styling cues at the front appear to be influenced by the larger Fortuner, and include a tapered, four-slat grille that is flanked by slim LED headlamps with notched indicators and LED daytime running lights.

The lower apron is segmented into the sections, with those in the corners being dedicated to the circular fog lamps (1.5S only) and faux inlets, and the middle one an actual intake. Viewed as a whole, the combination of blacked-out and body-coloured areas create a prominent ‘X design’ on the Rush’s face, which plays well with Toyota’s dynamic design language approach.

On either sides of the Rush, a rising crease from the front wheel arch culminates at the tip of the rear taillight, while body cladding fits the MPV-SUV persona being portrayed. Both variants come with 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped with 215/60 profile tyres by default, along with an ‘R-Blade’ bodykit that adds on silver touches on all sides.

Moving towards the rear, wraparound LED taillights meet with the black window trims that form part of the roof spoiler, while a scalloped section of the large tailgate is dedicated to the accommodate the number plate. More body cladding is present in the lower apron, joined by a skid plate in black (also found at the front).

If the new Rush looks larger than its rounder predecessor, your eyes aren’t fooling you. Dimension-wise, the new model is 4,435 mm long, 1,695 mm wide, 1,705 mm tall and has a 2,685 mm wheelbase, with most of those figures being more than the previous model’s 4,055 mm length, 1,695 mm width, 1,690 mm height and 2,580 mm.

Meanwhile, the BR-V, which is the Rush’s closest rival, measures 4,456 mm long (+21 mm), 1,735 mm wide (+40 mm), 1,666 mm tall (-39 mm) and comes with a 2,662 mm wheelbase (-23 mm). To those who may concern, the BR-V’s ground clearance of 201 mm is also less than the new Rush’s 220 mm.

The interior also receives a overhaul, and now sports a more contemporary and rather symmetrical design compared to before. Highlights include a silver and chrome accents that contrast with the primarily black interior, while leather upholstery is applicable to the 1.5S (fabric for 1.5G).

As before, the Rush offers seating for seven, distributed according to a 2-3-2 layout, with the second row following a 60:40 split; third row is 50:50. With the third row backrest folded down, there’s 217 litres of storage space, which is expanded to 514 litres when tumbled up.

Regardless of variant choice, you’ll get single-zone air-conditioning with rear blower vents, 6.8-inch DVD-AVX head unit with screen mirroring function, multi-info display, Panoramic View Monitor with four cameras, Toyota AutoTag built-in SmartTAG, four electrical outlets, keyless entry and start, digital video recorder (DVR) and no less than 13 cupholders.

In terms of the safety kit, the Rush impresses with its ‘Safe-T Plus’ package that includes six airbags, a blind spot monitor with rear-cross traffic alert, vehicle stability control and Pre-Collision System. The last item is exclusive to the 1.5S and operates like most autonomous emergency braking systems by first alerting the driver at speeds of 4-100 km/h (vehicles)/4-50 km/h (pedestrians) when an imminent collision is ahead.

Should no action be taken, the system will apply the brakes (operational speed between 4-80 km/h) to attempt to prevent or mitigate a crash. Also part of the Pre-Collision System are front departure alert that alerts when you the car moves ahead by three metres, and Pedal Misoperation Control. These safety systems, along with traction control, hill start assist, ABS with EBD and brake assist, and pedal misoperation control contribute to the Rush’s five-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating.

Under the bonnet, you’ll find a 2NR-VE 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine with start/stop. Unlike the previous 3SZ-VE powerplant, the new mill comes with Dual VVT-i for better efficiency and is the same unit found in the latest Avanza as well as the Perodua Myvi.

Output figures are 105 PS at 6,000 rpm and 136 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm, with drive going to the rear wheels via a four-speed torque converter automatic. The company claims a fuel consumption of 15.6 km/l, which qualifies the Rush to be an Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV).

Customers will get to choose from five exterior colours – White, Silver Metallic, Dark Grey Metallic, Blue Metallic and Dark Green Metallic. Each purchase also comes with a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty. For more information and detailed specifications of the all-new Toyota Rush, head on over to CarBase.my.

GALLERY: 2018 Toyota Rush 1.5S

GALLERY: 2018 Toyota Rush 1.5G