Economical to own, easy to drive, durable and trustworthy. What’s not to like?
Toyota has earned over decades, a loyal following for not only its reliability but also the popularity of its older models.
It’s not the most flamboyant marque, that’s for sure, but the car maker has brought us a spectrum of motoring goodness, all the way from the cheaper and cheerful urban carriers all the way through to serious sports machines (not to mention the 2j engines that power so many of our drift and spin heroes).
Enter the new Toyota Rumion, here to take the spot of the Avanza, which has been a reliable and reasonably sized people mover for two generations.
The Rumion is the third product from the Toyota-Suzuki alliance, after the Starlet and Urban Cruiser.
Leveraged on the success of the Avanza, the Rumion remains a four-speed 1.5-litre petrol with a seven-seat capacity despite its compact dimensions. But hey, we are used to sitting knee to knee when it comes to transport.
The move to a front-wheel drive layout, however, brings with it improved fuel economy.
The MPV segment has often been looked on as the ugly ducklings on the segment (the narrow Avanza for instance), but the Rumion brings some design cues. The trapezoidal front end with three slats for instance, combined with the style lines on the bonnet, give it a grown-up look. Black inserts create depth and perspective.
Under the bonnet, there’s a trusty little 1.5-litre K15B powerplant that delivers 77kW and 138Nm, with an option of four- or five-speed transmission, dependant on the grade. At a quoted 6.2 litres per 100km/h, fuel consumption is in line with the urban sippers so on trend at the moment.
The line-up comprises three grades, the entry level S, SX and TX, The S is functional and comes in at R245 000, and brings features such as adjustable steering wheel, air conditioner and ventilated cupholders. Basic but all that’s needed.
The SX manual, at R273 500 adds some flair with colour-coded door handles, chrome treatment up front, remote central locking and park distance control, plus a nice audio system.
The top-spec TX, at R301 600 for the manual, is aimed at the leisure buyer looking for more comprehensive comfort. It adds keyless entry with push start, touchscreen audio system, a reverse camera, six speakers and wood-trim on the instrument to add that touch of luxury.