The all-new Toyota Rush has just been launched, and the local motoring scene is abuzz over the newest SUV in town. Toyota Motor Philippines certainly hasn't wasted any time bringing its newest product to its customers. Just a day after it revealed the Rush to the media, it hosted the Toyota Rush Fair at BGC, which gave the public a chance to check it out and get behind the wheel.
We dropped by on the first day of the event to see what the public reception was like. Not surprisingly, the venue was packed with potential buyers of all ages and genders. We were also there to check out the manual transmission base variant. We'd already driven the top-of-the-line seven seater, so we wanted to see how the manual stacked up.
Like the G variant, the E MT Rush gives you a commanding view of the road and an Avanza-like ride that smoothens out when you have a group onboard. The steering is really light, especially for the SUV's size, with the 5.2m mininum turning radius making it easy to turn and maneuver. The clutch is also very pliable, and won't tire your left leg out even in heavy traffic. Its high biting point takes about a minute to get used to, but once you do shifting gears is easy—the shifter's throw is neither too long nor too short.
NVH levels are average, and you can easily hear the 1.5-liter engine whirring into its power band. Minus the fact that it's a five-seater, we could honestly see the E MT Rush become a favorite among customers, especially given the increasing dearth of manual variants in our market. Toyota clearly designed this manual to be easy to drive over long periods, and we might be seeing a lot of them serving as ride-sharing vehicles in the near future.
Take note, too, that base doesn't necessarily mean bare when it comes to the Rush. The P948,000 SUV comes with a seven-inch touchscreen display with Bluetooth connectivity, push-button start, rear parking sensors, and hill-start assist—just like the seven-seater.
Have you guys had a chance to check out the Rush yet? We'll have a more comprehensive review of the manual variant for you guys once a test unit becomes available, so stay tuned for that.