By Theodore Opara
DETERMINED to give Nigerians the best cars in all segments, Toyota Nigeria Limited has introuced the all new Rush SUV into the market. This is coming 22 years after Toyota Rush was first introduced in some other markets.
Speaking at the unveiling, Managing Director of Toyota Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kunle Ade Ojo, said that the Rush was being introduced into the Nigerian market to fulfil customers’ yearnings for a Toyota SUV that would compete with others in that category.
From its history, Toyota Rush, right from its 1st Generation Rush (1997 – 2006); 2nd Generation Rush (2006 – 2017) and now 3rd Generation Rush (2018 – ) has been a top ranking and high performing SUV all over the regions where it has been available. Models available in Nigeria, however, include: 1.5 Automatic Fabric mid-grade; 1.5 Automatic Fabric High Grade and 1.5 Automatic Leather High Grade.
Ade Ojo described the Rush as a response to the yearnings of teeming customers who had continually sought for a vehicle that would bridge the gap between the upper class SUVs and their salon category.
Describing the Rush as a befitting vehicle imbued with the trappings of the Toyota Superior Quality, Ade-Ojo said the Rush will favourably compete within its segment on the platform of elegance, price and the enviable Toyota family heritage.
He said “a heritage built on trust, the will to continually satisfy customers and customer safety which is paramount. As a corporate and responsive organization Toyota (Nigeria) Limited will continually strive to yield to the aspirations of our dear customers by enriching our stables with magnificent vehicles, offering attractive variants and surpassing customer expectations.
“The inclement economic landscape of our dear nation Nigeria has not deterred us. In fact, it has positively impacted on our creativity in responding to the demands of our customers all over Nigeria and we will continue to push the frontiers of technology to keep them satisfied and also uphold our culture of excellence.”
The TNL boss further explained that the Rush fuses dynamic energy with sharp elegant styling, adding that “It is available in three variants, the Rush is equally imbued with magnificent interior beauty and comfort. It is targeted at aspirational individuals that love the comfort and status of an SUV with excellent drive and affordable price. It is no exaggeration that the rich pedigree of this model already imbues it with outstanding attributes peculiar only to all its siblings in our model line-up.”
In his presentation at the launch, Marketing Manager of TNL, Bayo Olawoyin, stated that, in terms of design and utility, Toyota Rush is fun to drive, safe and possesses bold and high quality interior with attractive fuel economy. Overall length, according to him is 4453mm with overall width and overall height as 1695mm and 1705mm respectively. The minimum ground clearance, however, is 220mm.
The engine is 1.5L DOHC/petrol 16valve in line 4cylinder; powertrain is Front Engine Rear Wheel Drive; tyre size is 215/65R16 (mid-grade) 215/60 R17 (High) with 7 seats
For total safety, the brake is equipped with the ABS (Anti-lock Brake System) and VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) functions. In sudden braking, the maximum braking power is produced without locking tires, a system that helps prevent a lateral slip of the vehicle, secure steerability, and maintain tire grip.
This system, according to Olowoyin, suppresses deflecting or spinning of the vehicle in cornering, or unstable behavior caused by a rapid change of road surface. As part of safety features, a three-point seat belt is provided also for the center seat in the first row of rear seat to ensure safety for all passengers
In addition to SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) front air bag, SRS side air bag and curtain shield air bag are installed to ensure a high level of passenger safety.
At the exterior level, the Marketing Manager said that some of the Unique Selling Points is Toyota Rush’s bold yet fresh design language that never fails to make an impression; impressive features like projector headlamps, dual-tone grille, LED taillights and more that makes the Rush a head turner and long cabin and robust body to enhance dynamic styling
At the interior level, Olowoyin pointed out space as a USP, stressing that Toyota Rush not only offers great boot space but also grants impressive headroom and legroom, allowing occupants to take long journeys at ease. Others USPs, he listed include: good Visibility and the fact that the Rush is designed in such a way that it gives the driver a great view of the road ahead
Meanwhile, Toyota Rush was first introduced in 1997 and was available in 5-door estate form and was called Terios Kid or Toyota Cami. Supply of Rush was restricted to the Japanese market initially until after a few years. Toyota Rush is manufactured in Indonesia from where it is supplied to most of Asia and the African continent..