This idea of a cool, hip and Gen-Y car for the younger folks isn’t new in Australia. It was tried last year with the Kia Soul which is yet to make a big impact on its target market. Last month the Soul found only 53 buyers (total year to end of April sales were 189). Toyota believes it’s brand reputation will mean better results for the Rukus. The Big T expects to sell 150-200 units per month.
The Rukus is sold in the United States under the Scion brand as the xB but Toyota Australia decided to keep the Toyota badge for this market. Partially because launching an all-new brand for just one model would not make all that much sense and also because Toyota’s image in Australia is in better standing with the younger crowd than in the United States.
Once you get over the look and exterior styling of the Rukus, you’ll quickly realise that it’s a rather well equipped and practical car.
All Rukus variants in Australia are powered by a 2.4-litre dual overhead-cam four-cylinder engine that outputs 123kW of power at 6000rpm and 224Nm of torque at 4000rpm. This is mated to a four-speed automatic (more on this later) and as such returns a respectable fuel economy figure of 8.8L/100km for the combined highway and city cycle.
- Six airbags,
- Stability and traction control
- Anti-skid disc brakes
- 16-inch alloy wheels,
- Cruise control,
- Keyless entry and ignition,
- Power mirrors and windows
- Engine immobiliser.
- CD player with six speakers, Bluetooth™ hands-free telephone and audio streaming (meaning you can stream music wirelessly from your iPhone/Pod directly to the car), USB and 3.5mm audio input.
- Leather-accented seats, steering wheel and gearshift knob.
- Nine speakers including a sub-woofer, plus a six CD-stacker linked to a 4.3-inch colour screen for the audio (no Sat-Nav or TV).
- Climate-control and push-button operation
Compared to the entry-level Kia Soul, the base Rukus is $6,500 more expensive but it does come with a much bigger engine plus a whole range of additional features (and a Toyota badge).
It’s hard to criticise the Rukus because it’s not meant for everyone – no doubt the older crowd will dismiss it quickly (but that’s a good thing!). My only solid concern is the car’s four-speed automatic gearbox which should really be a six-speed (there is no manual option in Australia either).
To put everything into perspective, Toyota doesn’t really want everyone to like the Rukus (it would almost defeat its purpose). It will no doubt find enough buyers to become an effective branding car. Finally a Toyota model which is not about volume.
2010 Toyota Rukus Specifications:
- Type – Petrol
- Capacity (cc) – 2362
- Code – 2AZ-FE
- Description – All-alloy in-line four cylinder with DOHC, VVT-i on inlet valves
- Bore x stroke (mm) – 88.5 x 96.0
- Compression ratio – 9.8:1
- Max. power – 123kW @ 6000rpm
- Max. torque – 224Nm @ 4000rpm
- Fuel system (petrol) – Sequential multi-point electronic fuel injection
- Fuel type – 91 RON ULP or higher
- Fuel tank capacity (L) – 55
- Fuel economy1 (L/100km) – 8.8
- Carbon dioxide (g/km) – 208
- Emission rating – Euro IV
- Max. speed (km/h) – 190
- Driven wheels – Front
- Transmission description – Electronically controlled, four-speed intelligent automatic with lock-up torque converter
- Transmission code – U241E
- Gear ratios – 1st – 3.943
- - 2nd – 2.197
- - 3rd – 1.413
- - 4th – 1.020
- - Reverse – 3.145
- - Final drive ratio – 2.740:1
- Type – Rack and pinion, Electric Power-assisted Steering (EPS)
- Turns lock to lock – 2.9
- Gear ratio – 14.5
- Turning circle kerb to kerb (m) – 10.6
- All around – Independent, barrel-shaped coil springs, low-pressure gas-filled dampers, multi-leaf linear control damper valves
- Front – MacPherson struts, wide-based L-shaped lower arms
- Rear – Torsion beam
- Front – Ventilated discs, 275 x 25mm
- Rear – Solid discs, 279 x 10mm
- Stability control – ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
- Rims – Alloy 16×6.5J
- Tyres – 205/55R16
- Spare – Spacesaver T135/70 D17
- Body type – Monocoque 5-door wagon
- Length (mm) – 4260
- Width (mm) – 1760
- Height (mm) – 1645
- Wheelbase (mm) – 2600
- Front track (mm) – 1525
- Rear track (mm) – 1520
- Ground clearance (mm) – 130
- Approach angle (degrees) – 15
- Departure angle (degrees) – 21
- Coefficient of drag (Cd) – 0.32
- Length (mm) – 1980
- Width (mm) – 1495
- Height (mm) – 1295 without moonroof
- Build 3: 1235 with moonroof
- Kerb weight3 (kg) – 1390-1400
- (Build 2,3: 1420-1430)
- Gross Vehicle Mass (kg) – 1855
- (Build 2,3: 1885)
- Cargo capacity (L) with rear seats up – 310
- Seating capacity (incl. driver) – 5
- Towing capacity – 500