Toyota Rumion first drive review | Why you should buy it over a Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

The Toyota Rumion is a Maruti Ertiga with slightly different clothing and a ₹50,000 dearer price tag. Here's why you should buy it
The Toyota Rumion is the badge engineered verison of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga
The Toyota Rumion is the badge engineered verison of the Maruti Suzuki ErtigaShot by Rohit G Mane for evo India

Toyota has entered the entry-level seven-seat MPV segment with a badge engineered version of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. Dubbed the Rumion, this is the fourth product to pop out of the Toyota-Maruti Suzuki partnership, which came to be because Toyota wanted to expand its presence in all the popular car segments in India. The Toyota Rumion gets a nose job, an extended warranty and shorter waiting periods. But should you really put an extra ₹50,000 for it, at a Toyota dealer, over the tried and tested Ertiga? Let's find out.

Toyota Rumion exterior styling and interior

While the overall shape and dimensions of the Rumion are exactly the same as the Ertiga, it gets a slightly different front-end which looks fancier. There's a bigger grille upfront, which resembles the one on the Innova Crysta, and a few tweaks to the front bumper including triangular fog lamp housings and a revised radiator vent with a chrome surround. In profile, the MPV gets 15-inch alloy wheels with a different design. Apart from this there aren't any cosmetic changes to the Rumion at all. The rear is identical and if it weren't for the Toyota badging, you'd have a really hard time to tell it apart from the Ertiga, if you were following it in traffic. But I have to say, those tiny tweaks do give it a slightly more premium appeal than the Ertiga. The Rumion is available in five colours — Rustic Brown, Iconic Grey, Spunky Blue, Cafe White and Enticing Silver and Toyota also offers a whole host of optional chrome extras if you want to dress it up.

If you hide the Toyota logo on the Rumion's steering wheel and ask anyone to distinguish it from the Ertiga's interior, they'll fail since it is the same. Yep, there are zero changes on the inside. Taking centre stage on the dashboard is a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen which supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Then there's faux wooden trim on the dash, steering wheel and front doors. The Rumion gets an old school analogue cluster with blue dials which I really like. It also gets cooled cup holders on the centre console and a storage compartment under the centre armrest. The second row of the Rumion sports a 60:40 bench split-seat with recline-able backrest and slide-able bases to aid comfort. The area has good legroom and enough headroom for adults upto 6 feet tall, but three abreast will certainly be a squeeze back there.

The third row of the Rumion is accessible from the kerb side, with a one touch button that tilts and slides forward the seat in the second row. And surprisingly there's also enough space for medium-sized adults at the very back. Moreover, the Rumion also has a big DLO which makes sure passengers don't feel claustrophobic. In terms of rear seat features, the Rumion gets a dedicated air-conditioning blower in the second row, with four vents and one 12 Volt, 120W charging socket for the second and third row each. All-in-all, the interior of the Rumion is definitely a no-nonsense, comfortable, place to spend time in, but it could certainly do with more kit like wireless charging, Type-C ports, rear sun shades and even ambient lighting. Especially when you consider the fact that its rivals offer more.

Toyota Rumion engine and transmission plus ride and handling

Powering the Toyota Rumion is the same 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine which does duties in the Ertiga. This mill produces 102bhp, 137Nm of peak torque and it feels sufficient to move this 1.2-tonne MPV and everything that it will lug around. Once you thumb the start/stop button, it comes to life and starts purring away in the background. It's very quiet at idle and once on the go, doesn't make a clatter at all. It picks up pace rather well and doesn't feel stressed. The engine likes to be driven at a sedate pace though, because once it gets past the 3500rpm mark, it becomes highly vocal and progress takes a lot more time on the other side of 80kmph, especially when the car is loaded to the brim. The mill can be paired to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission. I sampled the automatic and I have to say it backs up the smooth engine with its effortless shifts. The transmission is tuned to maximise fuel efficiency so it upshifts early, but it also responds with quick downshifts when you put your foot to the floor. Moreover, the paddle shifters give you better control over it, when you're in the mood for a spirited drive. The Rumion also gets the option of CNG, but only with manual ‘box.

Its laid back drivetrain and its smooth ride quality is definitely the Rumion's forte. It swallows everything that you throw at it and takes bad roads in its stride like a champ. It does a really good job of ironing out sharp potholes and even undulations in the road. But the superb ride quality means a good dose of body roll, which is evident the moment you throw it in a corner. Although it doesn't feel dangerous by any means, the Rumion isn't a car which likes to be driven hard. It's a car that likes to settle in the #ChillOfDriving rather than indulging into the #ThrillOfDriving.

Toyota Rumion price and verdict

Starting at ₹10.29 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) the Toyota Rumion demands ₹50-60,000 more across all its variants in comparison to the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. And Toyota is trying to justify that extra money by offering a longer warranty on this car. There's a 3 year or 1 lakh kmwarranty as standard on this vehicle, while Maruti Suzuki offers only a 2 year or 40,000km warranty on the Ertiga. And the Rumion also has another trick up its sleeve — shorter waiting periods and quicker delivery times. Sure, it would've been even better with more kit on the inside and more changes on the outside, but there's no denying the fact that the Toyota Rumion is a very capable and comfortable people transporter.

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