1 May 2010
BY THE time the Rukus reached Australia, was four years into its model cycle elsewhere in the world. For that reason, although Toyota targeted young buyers, the Rukus had reached middle age before even entering the Aussie marketThe Rukus shared its wheelbase with the Corolla hatch, at 2600mm, but had an additional 40mm rear overhang and was 25mm longer overall at 4260mm.
At 1645mm, the Rukus was 135mm taller than the Corolla and just 50mm short of the RAV4. At 1760mm wide, the Rukus was the same width as a Corolla but narrower than the 1815mm RAV4.
The three Rukus models – ascending through grades Build 1, Build 2 and Build 3 – shared the same body and mechanical package.
The 2AZ-FE alloy in-line DOHC four-cylinder petrol engine developed a peak of 123kW of power at 6000rpm and 224Nm of torque at 4000rpm and had been seen in a variety of other Toyota models including the Avensis, Camry, Corolla, RAV4 and Tarago.
The Euro 4 compliant Rukus achieved an average of 8.8L/100km and emitted 208g/km CO2 and the only transmission offered was a conventional, electronically controlled four-speed automatic sending drive through the front wheels.
The Rukus’ suspension was an all-coil, front MacPherson strut and rear torsion bar design with ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes while wheels were 16-inch alloys with 205/55R16 tyres.
Cargo space behind the 60/40-split rear seat was 310 litres (expanding to 1331 litres with the seats down) while the tall body design allowed a SUV-like cargo area height of 855mm.
Inside, the Rukus was equipped with plenty of storage space and cupholders – even including a wallet holder – plus a cargo area that provided storage space under the floor.
An open lower centre console box in the Rukus Build 1 featured four stowage compartments while the Rukus Build 2 and 3 had taller console boxes fitted with a sliding armrest and also a storage compartment for rear-seat passengers.
Safety features on all models included six airbags, stability and traction control and ABS brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution.
Standard equipment on the entry-level Build 1 model included air-conditioning, alloy wheels, cruise control, keyless entry and ignition, front-window UV cut glass, tailgate and rear door privacy glass, body-coloured exterior power mirrors, one-touch power windows, trip computer, six-speaker audio with MP3 and iPod compatibility, plus audio and cruise control steering wheel controls and fabric seat trim.
Build 2 aded part-leather seats, a ‘premium’ three-spoke steering wheel (with audio and cruise control switches), ‘premium’ gearshift knob, climate-control air-conditioning and nine-speaker audio including sub woofer. Build 3 was based on Build 2 but with the addition of a power tilt-and-slide sunroof.
The Rukus Build 1 had grey fabric seats while Builds 2 and 3 had grey leather.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
When it was new