Which SUV should Toyota launch in India: Rush or CH-R?

Japanese car giant Toyota has revealed that it’s seriously evaluating a compact SUV for the Indian car market. Toyota Kirloskar Motors Limited – the automaker’s Indian division – is expected to pick an SUV from globally available models. Two such options are the ladder frame-based Rush, which got an all-new model months ago, and the CH-R crossover. One of these vehicles could be brought into India as Toyota’s Hyundai Creta challenger in the Indian market.

Which SUV should Toyota launch in India: Rush or CH-R?

The all-new Rush – the compact SUV’s second generation version – was introduced in South East Asian markets a couple of months ago. It features a ladder frame chassis, three row seating offering space for 7 adults, and a 1.5 liter petrol engine with 104 PS-136 Nm. 5 speed manual and 4 speed automatic gearboxes are on offer, along with rear wheel drive and four wheel drive options. The Rush measures  4,435 mm long, 1,695 mm wide and has a wheelbase of 2,685 mm. At 220 mm, ground clearance is ample. If launched here, the Rush will be one of the largest compact SUVs on sale in India.

The international version of the new Rush gets a slew of features. 6 airbags, vehicle stability control, ABS, hill start assist and 7 seat belt indicators are among key safety features. Creature comforts in the SUV include auto A/C with digital display, power slot in every row, LED headlamps, 8 surround speakers, smart start/stop button with smart entry and a 7″ touchscreen system with Internet support. If launched here, the Rush is likely to be priced between 9-12 lakh rupees.

Which SUV should Toyota launch in India: Rush or CH-R?

Coming to the CH-R, the crossover is based on the Toyota New Generation Architecture (TNGA). A premium crossover, the CH-R sells in many European markets, and if brought to India, is likely to be priced in Jeep Compass territory. Sharply styled, the CH-R is more of a high-riding hatchback than a full fledged SUV.

Toyota is actively moving away from diesel engines, and is instead opting for petrol-hybrid options across the globe. The CH-R is representative of this change, and is available only with a 1.2 liter turbo petrol (115 Bhp), and a 1.8 liter petrol-hybrid powertrain (122 Bhp). Transmission options include a 6 speed manual gearbox and a CVT automatic.

Between the Rush and the CH-R, the former seems more likely for the Indian market given its positioning mainly in emerging markets. Also, pricing the Rush in the Rs. 10-15 lakh bracket would be easier. Toyota India’s MD Akito Tachibana hinted these things in an interview to the Times of India. Here is what he said,

Globally, we have some options in compact SUVs through models such as Rush and CH-R. We are considering what models could be more suitable for India. These things (pricing and positioning) will be finalised as we identify and start work on the model to be launched here.