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4th June, 2010

Toyota has launched its head-turning Rukus - a 'hip' urban alternative to small sports-utility vehicles and sports wagons. The Toyota Rukus challenges the norms of car design with a brazenly boxy shape that has become popular in Japan.

Toyota quips that Rukus - with rectangular lines and flat surfaces - is for people who "think inside the box".

Toyota's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said Rukus is designed to be different!

"Rukus is set to invade our automotive culture, just as it has done in Japan and the United States," Mr Buttner said. "It defies automotive design conventions, particularly the modern trend towards curvy, streamlined shapes. Suddenly, it's 'hip' to be square," he said.

Mr Buttner indicated the distinctive proportions of the Toyota Rukus provided an unusual effect - spacious on the inside and compact on the outside with a 0.32 coefficient of drag.

"Fans will be passionate about the shape, the space, the performance and the standard features," he said. "Its on-road footprint is similar to the Corolla hatch, while it has an added 40 mm of rear overhang to provide plenty of luggage space."

Straddling the market between a wagon and an SUV, Toyota Rukus is aimed at urban trend-setters and young couples and families.

"Rukus will appeal to many people who have never previously considered a Toyota. In that sense, it's the most un-Toyota vehicle we have ever introduced. It's not for everyone - and that's OK. It's an acquired taste," Mr Buttner said.

Rukus is the first all-new addition to Toyota's local line-up (as distinct from a replacement or derivative) since the first Kluger was launched in 2003.

Prices start at $27,490* with buyers able to raise a Rukus in three equipment grades known as Build 1, Build 2 and Build 3.

Despite its compact dimensions, every Toyota Rukus features the performance of a larger than expected engine - a 2.4 litre four with maximum power of 123 kW that consumes 8.8 litres/100 km**.

The Toyota Rukus accent is on safety as much as in-your-face styling and strong performance with six airbags, stability and traction control and anti-skid disc brakes all standard.

Other features in every Toyota Rukus include air-conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, keyless entry and ignition, power mirrors and windows and an engine immobiliser.

The quirky design details continue on the inside with centrally mounted gauges that - in stark contrast to the horizontal and vertical exterior lines - are round. The gear shift is mounted high, as are the sound-system controls, for ease of use. Audio and cruise-control switches are also on the steering wheel - and there are lots of handy storage spaces throughout the cabin, including underneath the luggage floor.

The Build 1 sound system has six speakers, Bluetooth™ hands-free telephone and audio streaming, USB and 3.5mm audio input and a CD player.

Moving up to Build 2 brings leather-accented seats, steering wheel and gearshift knob. The air conditioning and sound system are upgraded. Nine speakers for the sound system include a sub-woofer, and there's a six CD-stacker plus a 4.3-inch colour screen for the audio. The aircon gains climate-control and push-button operation. The Build 2 price is $29,990*.

Build 3 adds a power tilt-and-slide moonroof for a further $1,800* - enabling them to raise the roof in a Rukus.

Toyota anticipates sales of 150-200 a month - an important but relatively low-volume opportunity. The company is predicting that most sales will be conquests from competitors' niche vehicles, small hatches, small wagons and compact SUVs. Toyota expects many owners to dress up their cars, expressing their individuality by making their car stand out - even from the Rukus pack. They can make a start with Toyota Genuine accessories, which include a range of decals - stripes, flames and bricks - and other stylish touches.

"Beyond that, Rukus owners will be limited only by their imagination and what's legal," Mr Buttner said.

Rukus is covered by Toyota Service Advantage, providing fixed-price services at $130 each for the first six scheduled services.***


Build 1: $27,490*
Build 2: $29,990*
Build 3: $31,790*

NOTE: * All prices are manufacturer's list prices (MLP) and exclude dealer delivery fees and the state/territory imposed statutory charges.
** Fuel consumption data is based on ADR 81/02 combined cycle. Fuel consumption will vary depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle conditions and options/accessories.
*** For details of Toyota Service Advantage, consult a Toyota dealer.

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Toyota's new Rukus has a 10-year history that spans three continents. Development began in Japan with a model called the Black Box, which sparked a craze among young car-buyers with its upright rectangular design.

Shortly after the turn of the century, Toyota believed the US market was ready for this eye-catching two-box shape. It unveiled the bbX concept car, based on the Black Box, at the 2002 New York Motor Show.

The bbX fused innovation, versatility and fun-to-drive elements within a bold exterior shape. Its wide, flat surfaces and 90-degree angles provided maximum interior space with minimal exterior dimensions.

The production version was launched in the United States as the 2004 model-year Scion xB, a lightly modified version of the Japanese-market bB. Based on the Toyota Echo/Yaris platform, the car's boxy shape was an instant hit, especially among young urban trend-setters.

Toyota's designers took the iconic exterior to the next level with the t2B (Tall Two-Box) concept vehicle, shown at the 2005 New York Motor Show. It combined the attitude of the xB with an even bolder exterior while adding greater comfort and sophistication with innovative features and a passenger-friendly interior. The design goal was to provide a concept that would represent the enjoyment of owning your first car, and the mindset that your car is part of your lifestyle - not just a way of getting from A to B.

Design concepts from the t2B found their way into the second-generation xB, including its high beltline, rectangular grille, elongated headlamps and pronounced guards.

Introduced for the 2008 model year, it continued with distinctive styling and added some aggressive design cues. The new car was longer and wider than its predecessor with improved on-road capabilities and a more comfortable ride. The versatile interior allowed the driver to haul larger loads more easily and included abundant storage spaces.

Performance was improved by equipping the car with Toyota's 2.4 litre dual overhead-cam four-cylinder engine with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i).

An upgraded model - basically the version being sold in Australia - was launched for 2010. It brought an aggressive new look on the outside and added comfort and convenience on the inside.

A stand-out in design, the US car has also been awarded for its safety. In March this year, it earned a second consecutive "Top Safety Pick" award from the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety - the Institute's highest safety designation. To qualify for the award, a vehicle must earn the highest rating of "good" in the IIHS' front, side, rollover and rear impact tests and be equipped with electronic stability control.


Toyota is providing three different ways to raise a Rukus with three equipment grades - Build 1, Build 2 and Build 3 in ascending order.

All feature the performance of a 2.4 litre four-cylinder engine as well as a sequential-shift electronic automatic transmission.

Every Toyota Rukus is fitted with six airbags because the accent is on safety as much as styling. The safety story extends to stability and traction control, as well as four-wheel anti-skid disc brakes with brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution.

Other standard features include air-conditioning, alloy wheels, cruise control and keyless entry and ignition using Toyota's Smart Entry and Smart Start technology. Rukus sports front-window UV cut glass, rear-door and rear side door privacy glass and body-coloured exterior power mirrors, plus a one-touch feature for all four power windows. Other features are a multi-information display, 60/40 split-fold rear seat, front and rear cup holders and the security of an engine immobiliser.

Build 1 Rukus has a three-spoke urethane steering wheel with audio and cruise control switches, a urethane gearshift knob, six-speaker audio system and fabric seat trim.

Build 2 adds leather-accented seats, three-spoke premium steering wheel (with audio and cruise control switches), premium gearshift knob, climate-control air-conditioning and nine-speaker audio including sub woofer.

It is possible to 'ramp up' from Build 2 to Build 3 by adding a power tilt-and-slide moonroof - enabling owners to raise the roof in a Rukus.


Hiroya Fujita is Chief Engineer at Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in Japan, and is responsible for the overall development of Rukus. Mr Fujita joined TMC in 1980 as an engineer working on engine design. Through progressive responsibilities, he was promoted to assistant manager in 2000 and manager in 2005. In 2007, Mr Fujita was assigned to the Product Planning Division as manager of the Corolla series. He was promoted to chief engineer of the European Corolla Verso in 2002 and chief engineer of the Japanese-market Corolla models a year later. In 2005, Mr Fujita gained responsibility for the Rukus.

He has earned an undergraduate degree in engineering from the University of Tokyo.

Chief engineer Fujita resides in Anjo, Japan, with his wife, son and daughter. He enjoys rowing and is the general manager of the TMC Rowing Club.


Toyota's new Rukus is targeted at a youth-oriented audience - many of whom may never have previously considered buying a Toyota.

The company's senior executive director sales and marketing David Buttner said Rukus responded to a challenge issued by global president Akio Toyoda. Speaking at last year's Tokyo Motor Show, Mr Toyoda had urged manufacturers to get closer to young buyers by offering cars with "unique flavours" that are preferred by different people. "Toyota has taken the challenge to heart," Mr Buttner said. "Styling is an important part of a car's flavour, which helps explain why we are now offering this unique vehicle," he said. Toyota Rukus was aimed at urban trend-setters as well as young couples who have started or are about to start a family. "For the trend-setters, Rukus will be an extension of their personality - a car that's different and that stands out," Mr Buttner said. "They will also love the practicality of a car that's big enough on the inside to take their friends and all their gear. At the same time, Rukus is small enough on the outside to navigate congested city streets and then slot easily into tight parking spaces." Mr Buttner said young couples and families wanted the same style and package advantages as the trend-setters. Their lives aren't ending; they're just entering a new phase and need a car that will swallow prams, strollers, nappy bags, the weekly shopping and so on. Potential customers have told us they want this style of car. We've listened and we're responding," Mr Buttner said.


Toyota designers aimed for a "double standard" with Rukus - an eye-catching boxy shape that slips through the air as sleekly as possible. The CALTY design studio in Los Angeles, responsible for the Rukus exterior, overcame the apparent contradiction. They achieved both - a look that has become iconic as well as a drag coefficient of 0.32. Chief engineer Hiroya Fujita's over-arching design mantra was "Relax in Style". It drove him and his team to deliver a unique "tall poppy" style that is instantly recognisable. As a result, it endows Rukus with an unmistakable presence and appeal that he believes conveys something of the self-confidence of the driver.

Mr Fujita says he strove to achieve beauty in simplicity, doing away with showy trinkets. Designers therefore imbued Rukus with a simple and unique design that is based on horizontal and vertical lines rather than the rounded proportions that dominate the cars on our roads.

Inside, Mr Fujita strove for a vehicle that provides relaxation space and the reassuring feeling of being comfortably enveloped. Toyota designers sculpted proportions that promote a feeling of spaciousness and complement the car's distinctive exterior styling elements. A linear design runs through into the layered instrument panel. While Toyota Rukus is defiantly box-like in its proportions, the interior is brought to life by the dramatic contrast of having round gauges, air-conditioning vents and Smart Entry button.


Toyota believes the distinctive proportions of Rukus will attract new buyers to the brand. The bold, boxy styling offers an obvious and dramatic alternative to the largely anonymous rounded forms of many modern cars. Vertical and horizontal lines, accentuated by the narrow headlamps and radiator grille, dominate the visual impact of Rukus. Its eye-catching appearance is enhanced by the car's bumpers and a high belt line that stretches the length of the vehicle. A feature is the side-on contrast between the car's thick metal torso and its narrow glasshouse profile. This results in Rukus-distinctive proportions, providing an impression of slim-line windows sitting above large door panels.

Aerodynamics features include spats for each of the alloy wheels. Under the car, a series of covers - at the front, centre, rear and both sides - efficiently direct the flow of air.

Rukus has stylish, wide-set projector-type low-beam headlamps and halogen high-beam headlamps. The tail-lamps have a high-contrast blacked-out housing and a clear lens, to accentuate the detail of the lamps. LED indicator lamps are built into the exterior rear-view mirrors.

Rukus comes with the choice of seven exterior colours, including Ink and Dark Furnace Mica Metallic, and three new metallic colours labelled Amazon, Tungsten and Aura.


Toyota's Rukus straddles the market between a family car and an SUV with a wide, tall rectangular shape providing a roomy interior for five adults and their luggage. Compared with the Corolla hatch, with which it shares a 2,600 mm wheelbase, the rear overhang of Rukus is 40 mm longer. As a result, Rukus provides a handy luggage space of up to 310 litres (VDA) at the top of the rear seats. The ability to store tall items is notable with a cargo-area height of 855 mm, plus the assurance of four tie-down hooks to secure the load. There's also the option of folding down the 60/40 split-fold rear seats, which provides 1,331 litres of luggage space. Rukus features a convenient storage space beneath the cargo floor, which also conceals the space-saver spare tyre. The under-floor area is suitable for storing wet gear or loose items that could be hazardous in the cabin.

Toyota Rukus drivers enjoy the openness of a layered dash panel arranged horizontally to emphasise the car's simple lines. However, in contrast to the dominant rectangular theme, four prominently placed gauges are round - the digital speedometer, tachometer, fuel level and temperature dials. The contrasting circular theme continues with the air-conditioning vents and controls - as well as the Smart Start button used in place of a regular key-operated ignition. The dashboard reveals silver-painted highlights, and the gearshift lever has a black surround. A wallet holder sits to the right of the steering wheel, and a wide tray area is located above the glove box.

The fully reclining front bucket seats have 240 mm of fore/aft slide adjustment, and the six-way adjustable driver's seat has 43 mm of lift adjustment. The front passenger seat is four-way adjustable. Toyota has integrated child restraint anchorage points into the rear seatbacks. Rukus Build 1 has textured grey fabric seat trim. Builds 2 and 3 have grey leather-accented seat trim.

Throughout the cabin, there are other handy storage areas - including between the front seats and in the dashboard. A low-slung open console box in Rukus Build 1 has four convenient compartments - one large and three smaller ones. Rukus Build 2 and 3 have a taller console box equipped with a console lid that can slide forward up to 90 mm for use as an armrest. It also contains a storage compartment accessible to rear-seat passengers. Occupants in all build levels have access to a pocket behind the front passenger seat. Bottle holders are incorporated into the front and rear door trims, and there are cup-holders in the fold-down rear armrest.


Toyota has embarked on an "orange revolution" for gauges that provide important information for the driver in the new Rukus. Four round dials in the dashboard feature orange illumination that offers high visibility in all lighting conditions. Orange is universally regarded as a safety colour which is used to set objects apart from their surroundings. The colour is commonly used for traffic cones and high-visibility safety vests on construction sites.

The four round dials in Rukus contrast with the dominant horizontal and vertical lines that characterise the styling of this new urban utility vehicle. The dials, mounted in the centre of the dash above the sound system, include both analogue and digital displays. The engine temperature, fuel and tachometer gauges are analogue. The fourth dial is a digital speedometer using a liquid crystal display (LCD) that also shows trip and odometer information.

An LCD Multi-Information Display is located to the right of the speedo, closest to the driver. It momentarily displays the "Rukus" vehicle name when the Smart Start button is pushed. It also displays the gear-shift position. Other information includes time, outside temperature, driving time, potential cruising range, average fuel consumption, average vehicle speed, and current fuel consumption. The driver can view the different information by pressing the "DISP" switch immediately under the display.


Unlocking and starting a Rukus has gone high-tech, which means no fumbling with car keys or scrambling to find the keyhole. Toyota's Smart Entry and Smart Start systems, which are standard on every Rukus, are perfect if you've got your hands full. The systems operate using on-board proximity sensors and the driver's electronic keyfob. All you need to do is carry the keyfob in your pocket or bag, which means there's no need for anything as mundane as a conventional key. Smart Entry allows you to unlock a Rukus simply by touching the inside of the front door handles - and it also enables you to open the tailgate. When you arrive at the car, receivers in Rukus will "recognise" the unique keyfob ID. All four doors will click open the instant you touch the inside of the front-door handle. This convenient feature is complemented by Smart Start, which provides engine starting at the push of a button.

A safety feature prevents the car starting unless your foot is pressing down on the brake pedal.

When you leave the vehicle, Toyota Rukus can be locked by pressing a small black button on the outside of the driver or front-passenger door handles.

The electronic keyfob can also be operated as a standard remote control as it contains the usual "lock" and "unlock" functions. As a back-up, a conventional key is concealed within the fob.

The Toyota Rukus is fitted with an engine immobiliser that prevents it from being started without the correct keyfob, helping prevent vehicle theft.


Rukus will keep its driver and passengers "chilled" - whether they're being blasted by the sound systems or the air-conditioning units.

The trend-setting urban design of Rukus extends to the first use by Toyota Australia of newly developed youth-oriented audio with joystick control. Sound systems in every Rukus come with at least six speakers, a CD player, Bluetooth™ streaming capability and hands-free mobile-phone connection.

Also standard are USB and 3.5mm audio inputs that allow connection to iPod™ and external media players and storage devices. The Toyota Rukus Build 1 has a single CD player incorporated into a unit that features youthful styling with a monochromatic LCD display and amber backlight. Build 2 and 3 versions are upgraded to nine speakers, including two rear squawkers and a vented sub-woofer. These two versions are fitted with a six-CD stacker and a 4.3-inch colour screen to improve image quality.

When it comes to cooling the cabin, the stylish air-conditioning control panel on all models is angled towards the driver, making it easier to use.

Rukus Build 1 features manual air-conditioning, operated by three dials on the control panel. Rukus Build 2 and Build 3 feature climate-control air-conditioning with push-button controls.

An orange-coloured LCD screen displays the set temperature, air-flow level and air-vent modes.


The line-up of Toyota accessories for new Toyota Rukus helps owners set a genuine foundation for customisation. If there's one Toyota model born to be accessorised, it's Rukus. The Toyota Genuine accessories further increase the versatility of the car.

In particular, new body decals in flame, brick or stripe graphics are highly visual and distinctive, helping Rukus owners stand out from the crowd. The translucent white of the decals lets a lighter shade of the vehicle's paint colour show through. The body stripe is also available in black - for a bold look on Rukus of any contrasting colour.

Rukus owners can protect the rear step of the vehicle with a new protective strip made from tough plastic, helping prevent bumps and scrapes on the paint when unloading golf bags, strollers and the like.

A variety of Toyota Racing Development (TRD) parts, including fuel cap, oil cap, push-start button and leather gear shift handle, make a statement about Toyota ownership. A TRD airbag-compatible seat vest is also available.


Toyota Rukus packs a mid-size car engine into a vehicle with the on-road footprint of a Corolla hatch.

The distinctively shaped Rukus has the same wheelbase and overall width as its Corolla sibling, but comes with the added power and torque of a bigger engine.

The 2.4 litre Rukus engine pumps out 23 per cent more power and 28 per cent more torque than the Corolla's 1.8 litre engine.

Equipped with Toyota's intelligent variable valve timing technology, it delivers 123 kW of power at 6,000 rpm and 224 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.

Even allowing for the fact that the Toyota Rukus has a larger body than the Corolla, it has a superior power-to-weight ratio, which translates into quicker acceleration and strong overtaking performance. Rukus puts its power and torque to the road through an electronically controlled automatic transmission that can also be operated manually with its sequential shift mode. The four-speed transmission has fuel-saving gear lock-up control. It also features shift control, which holds the vehicle in gear on winding uphill roads and provides a degree of engine braking during downhill driving. In sequential mode, the selected gear is shown on the driver's Multi-Information Display.

Toyota's designation for the engine is 2AZ-FE - an all-alloy powerplant that combines performance, driveability and smoothness with four-cylinder economy of 8.8 litres/100 km* on the official combined cycle.

Features include a drive-by-wire electronic throttle for optimum driveability and low emissions. A plastic inlet manifold reduces weight and heat transfer from the cylinder head, thereby increasing volumetric efficiency - the flow of air and fuel into and out of the cylinders - to boost power. The exhaust manifold is made of stainless steel, reducing the weight and warm-up time of the integrated three-way catalytic converter, which in turn reduces emissions.

Two balance shafts in the lower crankcase housing cut down noise and vibration, while 12-hole injector nozzles provide optimum fuel atomisation, leading to more complete combustion and as a result, lower emissions.

NOTE: * Fuel consumption/emissions will vary depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle conditions and options/accessories. Source of fuel consumption data: ADR81/02 combined cycle.


Toyota Rukus comes standard with a comprehensive braking package that includes stability and traction control as well as anti-skid brakes. Toyota's vehicle stability control (VSC) and traction control systems work together to help the driver retain control of the car, particularly in slippery and other low-traction conditions. VSC automatically applies the brakes to individual wheels. Where appropriate, it reduces engine power, helping to direct the vehicle where the driver intends to go.

International road-safety experts have said vehicle stability control can significantly reduce the risk of accidents, including rollovers and vehicles running off the road. Although Next Car's editor believes VSC will only assist drivers who drive in an unsafe manner. Hence, a good driver is unlikely to ever require VSC.

It also works in conjunction with the standard anti-skid brakes and traction control system. This technology is especially useful where different levels of grip are available between the right and left-hand wheels. Rukus also benefits from brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution.

Disc brakes are fitted at each wheel - ventilated 275 mm at the front and solid 279 mm at the rear.

Traction Control: TRC is designed to prevent the driven wheels from slipping when accelerating on marginal traction surfaces. It ensures the vehicle accelerates in the direction the driver intended. Rukus drivers will get the most out of TRC on marginal or dual-traction surfaces such as in winter driving conditions, on tarmac roads when rain has fallen after a prolonged dry spell, and when accelerating with one side of the vehicle on a low-traction road surface such as grass or gravel. If the skid control ECU detects wheel slippage, it reduces the engine output and also applies some braking pressure to the slipping wheel(s).

Brake Assist: Toyota Brake Assist (BA) is designed to help in emergency braking scenarios where the driver does not immediately apply the high pedal force needed to gain the shortest possible braking distance. BA interprets a quick, hard push of the brake pedal as emergency braking. It supplements the braking power applied if the driver has not pushed hard enough on the brake pedal. The Toyota system measures the speed and the force with which the pedal is pushed to determine whether the driver is attempting to brake rapidly. The system then applies additional hydraulic pressure to maximise braking performance. The timing and degree of braking assistance are designed to ensure the driver does not discern anything unusual in the braking operation. The system reduces the amount of assistance it provides when the driver intentionally eases the pressure on the pedal. The Toyota BA system may help drivers avoid potential road accidents.

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution: Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) is a sophisticated system designed to minimise stopping distances by maximising braking power to the wheels with the most grip. It replaces the conventional load sensing and proportioning valve. The system functions electronically rather than mechanically via an algorithm in the brake system's electronic control unit (ECU). The EBD system in Rukus can adjust the fore/aft and left/right brake balance according to vehicle load and cornering condition.


Rukus adopts Toyota's new-generation platform with key dimensions similar to the popular Corolla hatch. The platform gives Rukus a sure-footed "wheel at each corner" stance on the road and combines with a highly rigid body to deliver the capable chassis dynamics desired by Rukus drivers. The platform makes the most of Toyota's proven long-travel, all-coil suspension technology.

The front suspension consists of MacPherson struts, with wide-based L-shaped lower arms to maximise suspension rigidity and provide crisp steering response. A ball-jointed linkage stabiliser bar connects directly to the strut body to reduce body roll.

The rear suspension system consists of a V-shaped cross-section axle beam with two long trailing arms, in conjunction with coil springs and low-pressure gas-filled dampers. The torsion-beam rear suspension design includes a toe-correction function for improved cornering stability. The rigidity of the hydro-formed V-shaped cross-section beam system means Rukus does not need a separate rear stabiliser bar.

The Toyota Rukus has a substantial front cross-member to maximise suspension rigidity, plus a series of body braces and reinforcing panels to ensure rear suspension rigidity.

Rukus also features electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering.


Rukus hits the road with the precision, comfort and convenience of electric power-assisted steering and cruise control as standard equipment. Its power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering delivers several other advantages over hydraulic power-assistance, including fuel economy and environmental advantages.

Electric power steering (EPS) allows Toyota chassis engineers to tune the steering feel more finely to individual market tastes - with an individually-tailored, vehicle speed-sensitive power-assistance curve. EPS can provide fuel savings depending on road conditions and driving style. It eliminates the need for hydraulic pumps, pipes, pulley, belt and power-steering fluid, which reduces weight. As a result, EPS offers economic and environmental benefits. The system - powered by an efficient direct-current electric motor - reduces engine load and fuel consumption, compared with hydraulic power assistance. The electric motor consumes energy only when power assistance is required. The electric-assist motor is located under the dash - an ideal environment, away from dust and heat.

Toyota has honed and tuned Rukus Electric Power-assisted Steering (EPS) calibration specifically for unique Australian road conditions. The result is a responsive steering feel and impressive overall chassis dynamics.

Engineers from Melbourne-based Toyota Technical Centre Australia (TTCAu) tailored an EPS calibration for Australian-specification Rukus, after a local testing programme with a US-specification model. The Australian-developed EPS calibration combines well with the taut, sporty Rukus chassis. The local calibration provides better on-centre feel and quicker steering response. Toyota achieved the effect by re-mapping the EPS' electronic control unit. The ability to tune EPS electronically highlights EPS' advantage over conventional hydraulic power-assisted steering. EPS means Toyota can tune a car's steering to suit the demands of various markets without changing steering hardware - and Rukus has benefitted greatly from this development.


Toyota has been anything but passive in building high levels of safety into the new Rukus.

Extensive safety assurance for Rukus has included a wide range of crash tests with real-world conditions in mind. Toyota's full-frontal, offset barrier, side impact and rear moving barrier tests - actual and simulated by computer - ensure Rukus meets or exceeds Australian and international standards.

The distinctive profile of the Toyota Rukus was developed around a high-strength skeleton - a rigid central safety cell and a frame designed to absorb and distribute energy in the event of a crash.

Inside the boxy shape are six airbags to protect occupants - SRS driver and front passenger airbags, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain-shield airbags.

Additional features that absorb and distribute impact forces include:

  • High-tensile steel for the outer centre pillars, door hinges, belt line and outer rocker panels
  • A reinforced central roof beam
  • A brace between the dashboard and the A-pillar
  • A lower brace designed to reduce deformation of the suspension towers
  • A horizontal beam in the floor tunnel
  • An impact-absorbing pad on the lower part of the dashboard to reduce impact on legs and ankles, and
  • Stiffening bulkheads in the rocker panels.

Toyota also designed Rukus with pedestrians in mind, adopting a hollow-frame bonnet that helps reduce injury, and placing the bonnet lock behind the radiator support.





Capacity (cc)





All-alloy in-line four cylinder with DOHC, VVT-i on inlet valves

Bore x stroke (mm)

88.5 x 96.0

Compression ratio


Max. power

123 kW @ 6,000 rpm

Max. torque

224 Nm @ 4,000 rpm

Fuel system (petrol)

Sequential multi-point electronic fuel injection

Fuel type

91 RON ULP or higher

Fuel tank capacity (L)


Fuel economy1 (L/100km)


Carbon dioxide (g/km)


Emission rating

Euro IV


Max. speed (km/h)



Driven wheels


Transmission description

Electronically controlled, four-speed intelligent automatic with lock-up torque converter

Transmission code


Gear ratios - 1st


- 2nd


- 3rd


- 4th


- Reverse


- Final drive ratio




Rack and pinion, Electric Power-assisted Steering (EPS)

Turns lock to lock


Gear ratio


Turning circle kerb to kerb (m)



All around

Independent, barrel-shaped coil springs, low-pressure gas-filled dampers, multi-leaf linear control damper valves


MacPherson struts, wide-based L-shaped lower arms


Torsion beam



Ventilated discs, 275 x 25 mm


Solid discs, 279 x 10 mm

Stability control

ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)



Alloy 16x6.5J




Spacesaver T135/70 D17


Body type

Monocoque 5-door wagon

Length (mm)


Width (mm)


Height (mm)


Wheelbase (mm)


Front track (mm)


Rear track (mm)


Ground clearance (mm)


Approach angle (degrees)


Departure angle (degrees)


Coefficient of drag (Cd)



Length (mm)


Width (mm)


Height (mm)

1,295 without moonroof

(Build 3: 1,235 with moonroof)


Kerb weight3 (kg)


(Build 2,3: 1,420-1,430)

Gross Vehicle Mass (kg)


(Build 2,3: 1,885)

Cargo capacity (L) with rear seats up


Seating capacity (including driver)


Towing capacity4



Fuel consumption will vary depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle conditions and options/accessories. Source of fuel consumption data: ADR81/02 combined cycle.


Some vehicle dimension figures are approximate and may vary due to options and accessory fitment.


Kerb weight is nominal and may vary depending on options and accessories.


Towing capacity subject to State regulations, towbar design and towing equipment.


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