Toy­ota added the Rush to seven-seater mix, but it faces stiff com­pe­ti­tion from three mod­els at lower prices.

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN

THERE are four af­ford­able sev­enseaters for the fam­ily who know there will be spills in the back. With small en­gines and pre­cious lit­tle to choose from in the cabin, th­ese four are in a photo fin­ish when it comes to value of­fer­ings.

Toy­ota Rush — from R299 900

Toy­ota last week launched what some have taken to call­ing a mini For­tuner but in Ja­pan the Rush com­petes with the Dai­hatsu Te­rios, with the mod­els shar­ing un­der­pin­nings.

The 1.5-litre four-cylin­der DOHC en­gine, makes 77 kW at 6 000 rpm and 136 Nm of torque at 4 200 rpm. Power goes to the rear wheels (17inch) where a mul­ti­link rear sus­pen­sion prom­ises a smooth ride.

The Rush comes with a six-speaker touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem, 12volt sock­ets front and rear, and a boot that swal­lows a de­cent 609 litres. A re­verse camera and park­ing sen­sor aid the driver while key­less en­try and push-start ig­ni­tion add to the up­mar­ket feel. A six-ser­vices/90 000 kilo­me­tre ser­vice plan comes stan­dard, backed by a three-year/100 000 km war­ranty. The ser­vice in­ter­vals are 15 000 kilo­me­tres. Toy­ota has a in­tro­duc­tory price of R299 900 for a fivespeed man­ual Rush 1,5 and R13 400 more for the four-speed au­to­matic. This pre­mium price may be re­couped when its time to trade the Rush in.

Suzuki Er­tiga — from R202 900

The 2016 Suzuki Er­tiga re­cently had a facelift. The third row can now be folded in a 50/50 con­fig­u­ra­tion, as op­posed to the sin­gle back­rest of the out­go­ing model. The ra­dio has Blue­tooth as stan­dard but only the top-spec GL model has a park­ing sen­sor.

The Er­tiga’s 1.4-petrol en­gine makes 70 kW at 6 000 rpm and 130 Nm at 4 000 rpm. Power goes to the front through ei­ther a five-speed man­ual gear­box or a four-speed auto. A four-year or 60 000 km ser­vice and a five-year or 200 000 km pro­mo­tional war­ranty are in­cluded in the prices, start­ing at R202 900 for the man­ual and top­ping out at R245 900 for the GL auto.

Mahin­dra TUV300 — R232 995

The two-stage turbo in the mHawk100 Tur­bod­iesel 1 493 cc en­gine is the choice for steep hills. It makes 73,5 kW at 3 750 rpm and a sump­tu­ous 240 Nm be­tween 1 600 rpm and 2 800 rpm.

The big­gest fuel tank here at 60 litres and a re­al­is­tic con­sump­tion of 20 km/litre also gives the TUV 300 the long­est range, while a tow­ing ca­pac­ity of 750 kg makes it the most prac­ti­cal.

The last row’s seats fold down to face each other in the boot.

The three-year ser­vice plan is 10 000 km shorter than the three­year or 100 000 km war­ranty.

Honda BR-V — from R248 700

The 1.5 i-VTEC en­gine makes the smoothest power here — 88 kW at 6 600 rpm and 145 Nm at 4 600 rpm. Gears changes are Honda-slick and this 16-valve loves a spir­ited drive.

The ra­dio has four big speak­ers and Blue­tooth is stan­dard, as are roof rails and 16-inch wheels. A five-year or 200 000 km war­ranty is stan­dard, but only the Com­fort and El­e­gance mod­els have a two-year/30 000 km ser­vice plan, with ser­vices at 15 000 km. Prices are R248 700 for the Trend and R284 000 for the El­e­gance. An auto trans­mis­sion adds R15 900 to the price.

Honda’s BR-V is for dads who like a spir­ited drive be­tween the peo­ple lug­ging, at R248 000.

PHOTOS: SUP­PLIED

The Suzuki Er­tiga was made tough for In­dia and starts at R202 900.

Two mod­els of the Toy­ota Rush are for sale, with the man­ual listed for R299 900.

Mahin­dra’s TUV300 brings diesel power to the fight, at R232 995 for 240 Nm from 1 600 rpm.

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