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Toyota Rumion: badge engineered Ertiga to replace Avanza?

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Entering a partnership to reduce costs in developing vehicles, Toyota has badge-engineered a brace of Suzuki products for the South African market. First was the Starlet. Based off the Baleno, it replaced the ageing Etios and cooked up an absolute sales storm.

Next came the Urban Cruiser. The same car as Suzuki's popular Vitara Brezza, the duo share identical styling, colour schemes and interior appointments. Now, Toyota has chosen to add a third Suzuki-sourced product, the Rumion.

Based on the seven-seater Ertiga, the Rumion has appeared on the brand's website alongside the older Avanza. Interestingly, the Avanza is still priced slightly higher than the newcomer. On sale for over 15 years, it is possible that the newcomer will replace the ageing Toyota people carrier.

The range kicks off with the 'S' model. At R245 600, you receive all the essential features. While it does without alloy wheels (or even hubcaps, for that matter) you receive two airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchorages and ABS brakes with EBD.

The mid-range Sx is available with either five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, priced at R273 500 and R289 200 respectively. The spec level increases with the SX, which receives wheel trims and colour-coded door handles and mirrors. Up front, a chrome grille brightens up the front end. Above the S spec level, the SX also receives an alarm and steering wheel-mounted controls for the audio system.

At the top of the range sits the Tx derivatives. Also available either as a manual or an auto, the luxurious model is priced at R301 600 for the manual and R317 200 for the self-shifter. Being the range-topper, it is blessed with plenty of equipment, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel, wood-look dash trim, an audio system with a display and alloy wheels. Push-button start is also standard.

The trim levels mirror what Suzuki offers on the Ertiga, which is available in GA, GL and GLX trim levels.

All Rumion's are powered by the same 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine. With 77 kW and 138 Nm on tap, it will return fuel economy of 6.2 L/100 km (claimed). A four-services/60 000 km service plan is standard.

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