Toyota SA's "Baby Fortuner" aka Toyota Rush


Honorary Master
Aug 9, 2009
Toyota SA contemplating "Baby Fortuner"

What if Toyota could launch a budget-positioned compact SUV with the 7-seater practicality of the Avanza – but clad in an eye-catching SUV package – in South Africa? The Rush, a Honda BR-V rival, has debuted in Indonesia… and is under consideration for the South African market.

Few local motorists will know that the Daihatsu Terios, a small SUV that was discontinued from the local market in 2015, was the sister product of a model named the Toyota Rush (even though Daihatsu is no longer represented in South Africa, the brand belongs in the Toyota stable). Now there is a possibility that the Terios could make a “comeback”, but as a Toyota product, should the Prospecton-based manufacturer decide to launch the new Rush in South Africa.

For the moment, the 7-seater rear-wheel-driven Rush will only be offered in Indonesia, but a Toyota South Africa Motors spokesperson has confirmed to the new Rush “has been earmarked for a market feasibility study (in South Africa)”, but added “we cannot at this stage confirm local market suitability yet.”

Sporty black cladding, distinctive tail lamp clusters and a raised ride height give the TRD Sportivo package a rugged look.

The most natural rival to the Rush (along with the Suzuki Ertiga and Mahindra TUV300) is the Honda BR-V and the Japanese manufacturer sells an average of just over 100 units a month out of a small dealer footprint. The Rush is 4.435m long, 1.695m wide and 1.705m high, which means its 21 mm shorter, 40 mm narrower and 39 mm taller and, by virtue of having a 2.685m-long wheelbase, the Toyota offers an extra 23 mm over the that of the Honda.

Apart from the fact that the Rush offers family car buyers the practicality of 3 rows of seats, many will be attracted to its “Baby Fortuner” appearance. Shown here in TRD Sportivo spec, the Rush’s front view is dominated by a large grille flanked by LED daytime running lamps and a high-set bonnet. The profile view admittedly looks a bit more generic, but flared wheel arches and black cladding make the newcomer appear purposeful. Top-spec versions could feature 17-inch alloys, electric mirrors with integrated indicators and LED tail lamps.

The top-of-the-range automatic version of the Rush features automatic climate control.

Inside, the cabin features a black-and-beige trim combination and familiar Toyota fascia architecture, replete with a 7-inch touchscreen-operated audio system, automatic climate control, keyless entry, start-stop button and 12V outlets for each of the 3 rows. Bear in mind that should the Rush come to South Africa, its trim specification may differ.

The Rush is powered by a 77 kW/137 Nm 1.5-litre petrol motor paired with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission that drives the rear wheels, as is the case with the Avanza. However, the former offers 220 mm ground clearance, which is slightly more than its sibling and, at least in Indonesia, 6 airbags, vehicle stability control and hill start assist – above ABS with EBD.

Although Toyota SA may appear being nowhere near introducing the newcomer to the local market, the Rush certainly makes a case for itself as a compact family car/small crossover that offers more practicality at a lower price point than the C-HR. So, watch this space, folks.

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Making Sugar
Feb 24, 2016
Most probably because it is, but we all know it would not sell in SA without the raised height and the SUV cladding. One thing is certain, it will be terrible at handling.
And make any kids inside and out side of it be violently sick and fathers forced to buy it to realize their life is over