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Toyota Rumion review, first drive - the better MPV to bet on?

Kenneth John Updated: March 27, 2024, 01:49 PM IST

It's a familiar face in slightly different clothing and a more desirable badge. Meet the Toyota Rumion, a badge-engineered Maruti Suzuki Ertiga that will help Toyota stay relevant in the affordable 3-row MPV space. The Innova has gotten quite pricier over the years owing to its unprecedented reliability and that has left a hole for Toyota to offer a more affordable 7-seater option. The Rumion is the third product Toyota has borrowed from Maruti Suzuki under their existing alliance after the Glanza and Urban Cruiser Hyryder. Let's take a look at why you should fork out that extra bit of cash for the Rumion over its fraternal twin that has dominated this segment ever since we've known it.

Let's quickly discuss how much that extra bit is. At the time of writing, the Rumion starts at Rs 10.44 lakh for the manual transmission and Rs 11.94 lakh for the automatic (ex-showroom Mumbai). For comparison, the Ertiga has a much cheaper base model priced at Rs 8.69 lakh (manual) and Rs 11.23 lakh for the automatic. The top-end Rumion we drove is priced at Rs 13.73 lakh while a top-spec Ertiga will set you back Rs 13.03 lakh. So, that makes the Rumion about Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000 more than its direct Ertiga variant.

Exterior

At first glance, the Rumion looks identical to the Ertiga in every aspect. The easiest way to tell the cars apart is obviously the Toyota badge that rests proudly on the grille. And speaking of the grille, the Rumion takes inspiration from the Innova Crysta's grille and is considerably bigger than the one seen on the Ertiga. It's also got a thick bezel of chrome around it around it that in all fairness gives it quite an upmarket touch. Staying at the front, the bumper too has been revised with a triangular fog lamp housing and a bit more chrome around the refreshed air dam.

The 15-inch alloy wheel design is possibly the biggest giveaway though on this top-spec NeoDrive V. Apart from these updates, the remainder of the Rumion is identical to the Ertiga. Even at the rear, apart from the badging, the car hasn't been retouched by Toyota whatsoever. Although the Rumion is 25mm longer than the Ertiga, that extra length is incorporated in the bumper and does not translate to a longer wheelbase which continues to sit at 2,740mm.

Interior

Hop into the driver's seat of the Rumion and you will be surrounded by a very familiar space. Infact, if you cover the Toyota logo on the steering wheel with your palm, there's quite literally no way to tell if you're in the Ertiga or the Rumion. The dashboard design and the beige colour scheme in the cabin are identical to the Maruti Suzuki. Which isn't really a negative per se and actually works in its favour. The bright colour seats really liven up the cabin, there's an ample amount of storage space and even the seats are comfortable enough for those long road trips.

The 7-inch touchscreen works quite well and supports wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, so it's quite easy to use. The analogue gauge cluster is very clear and the small display in between the dials shows every bit of information that you would deem necessary. The fake wood panel that wraps the Rumion's dash is quite a neat touch. My favourite bit though is the ventilated cup holders which actually keep your drinks cool and when not being used can be turned off to double as a cubby space.

As with the Ertiga, the middle row is fairly spacious. Thanks to the wide windows and high ceiling it's pretty relaxing over long distances. The second row is adjustable for recline and fore-aft movement, making it easy to strike a compromise for all three rows of passengers. The roof-mounted blowers are perfect during these hot summers. The third row is also big enough for youngsters or smaller adults isn't ideal for someone like me who measures 6 feet. Although I'm sure I could do shorter distances in the third row even though the sitting position is a little more knees-up than I would prefer.

Fuel Efficiency

The Rumion is considered to be a mile muncher and the engine and transmission are tuned keeping fuel efficiency as a priority. Even the auto engine stop-start feature contributes to the Rumion delivering a healthy 9.5 kmpl in the city and 17.6 kmpl out on the open roads.

Driving

Just like almost everything else, the Rumion derives its power too from the same 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that is available in the Ertiga. This engine is good enough for 103PS and 137Nm of peak torque. You get 2 transmission options in the form of a 5-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic. There's also a single CNG variant on offer, but only with the manual. We drove the car equipped with the torque converter automatic and it's safe to say that by no means is the car in any sort of hurry.

It prefers taking its time in building speed and that seems fair. The power delivery is quite smooth and at city cruising speeds it has a very relaxing nature. Tying put your foot down and the Rumion starts to stress. That is a challenge out on the highways as making sudden overtakes, takes more time than it should. Not to forget, higher up in the revs the engine gets a bit noisy as well.

The ride quality is what made the Ertiga so popular among buyers and that too has been carried forward into its Toyota sibling. The Rumion delivers a smooth and comfortable ride, making it suitable for both everyday commuting and long-distance travel. Its suspension efficiently absorbs bumps and road irregularities. It even takes on larger potholes with a sense of grace in its stride. The Handling of the car does take a toll though as there is a considerable amount of body roll when taking on corners at higher speeds.

Verdict

The biggest aspect that separates the Rumion from its Maruti Suzuki twin is its warranty. Baring that Toyota badge does come with an upside. The Ertiga comes with a standard 2-year or 40,000 kilometre warranty whereas the Rumion on the other hand comes with a standard 3-year or 1 lakh kilometre warranty. Both brands also offer an extension of up to 5 years on the warranty. The Rumion also supposedly has much shorter waiting periods. So at the end of the day, is that convincing enough to put down that extra bit of money? We think it is.

Images by Anis Shaikh

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 8.35 Lakhs
Displacement
1462cc
Transmission
Automatic
Max Power(ps)
87.55
Max Torque(Nm)
136.8
Mileage
20.30 Kmpl

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