The Toyota Rush Is No Hardcore 4×4 — And It’s Not Coming Here

It's strictly an overseas vehicle

Based on the overseas Daihatsu Terios, the 2020 Toyota Rush began production in 2017 for overseas markets.

After a viewer asked about an unusual Toyota they swore they saw in South Africa, we discovered that the mystery machine was a Toyota Rush. There was a bit of excitement as someone thought it was a Toyota 4Runner prototype. It’s not. Not in the slightest way.

While a bit unusual to behold, it’s not exactly a remarkable machine. The Toyota Rush is based on a Daihatsu Terios and is not built for off-highway adventures – despite its looks. The original Terios was a handy little off-road machine, but this new one was made for people moving and it rear-wheel-drive only.

Why the confusion?

If you were unfamiliar with the Toyota Rush, it would look like a lifted, off-road capable vehicle. The extra space underneath is indeed noticeable at 8.6-inches, and decent looking approach and departure angles, it certainly looks capable.

From all accounts, the Toyota Rush is comfortable for five, cramped for seven and very utilitarian. Oversea’s periodicals claim it’s under-powered and miserable at high speeds (gearing). Also, it’s supposed to be kind of rugged given some of the locations its sold to.

Here are some of the general specifications (these drive-train options vary in some markets):

  • 1.5-liter gasoline engine with Toyota’s Dual VVT-i technology
  • Max Output: 103 horsepower @ 6,000 RPM
  • Max Torque: 136 N-m (about 100 lb-ft of torque)
  • Four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission (depending on the market)
  • It’s small, with a 105.7-inch wheelbase, the U.S. Honda Civic‘s is over 106.” The Rush is 174.6 inches long, which is about six-inches shorter than a Honda CR-V.
  • It weighs about 2,800 lbs, which is pretty light for a seven passenger vehicle.
  • Five or seven passenger seating (depending on the market)

The Rush was launched in Malaysia on 18 October 2018 and is imported to dozens of countries either as the Rush, Daihatsu Terios, or both. Depending on the market, it sells for the equivalent of $19,000 – $35,000 USD.

Usually, by now I would say that it’s a shame that the vehicle featured isn’t slated to come here. In this case, I can say with great certainty, that’s okay – you can keep it.

Writer’s note: The one thing that IS a shame is the name: calling a vehicle “RUSH” is an affront to one of the greatest rock bands ever. On top of that, people would get the impression it’s fast or sporty… and it’s not.

Speaking of REAL off-road vehicles…

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.