Toyota Rush or Honda City: Cross-segment compare

Toyota Rush or Honda City: Cross-segment compare

We all love the Honda City, don’t we? Every nook or every turn you take, you run into one. Perhaps from the second generation or a recent one. It doesn’t matter. It is our national favourite car. It is decently priced too unlike other Honda offerings that command a premium. It has been Honda’s mainstay in the Asian countries. We all know which one sells the most in Europe or America. What if you were getting an SUV for a few more Ringgits than the Honda City’s price?

Toyota Rush or Honda City

We are talking of a Toyota this time, the Rush. The Toyota Rush is a compact SUV that sits above the stylish C-HR and costs nearly as much. So, should you ditch the comfort of a sedan and go in for a commanding view of the surroundings with an SUV? Is the Toyota Rush worth the extra moolah over the City? Let’s find out.

Powertrain compatibility


Let’s talk about Toyota first. The Toyota Rush gets a 3SZ-VE2 4-cylinder, In-line, 16-valve DOHC with VVT-I (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence) 1495 cc petrol engine. This engine is the same one used in the Vios but has a slightly different state of tune. There is a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual. The claimed mileage is 16 kmpl whereas the automatic will return 15.3 kmpl. Sizeable numbers for what is essentially a 1,260 kg vehicle. The fuel tank capacity is 45 litres. In some other regions, Toyota offers the Rush with a diesel engine too. However, those countries, as we know have a higher petrol-diesel price disparity and hence the need. It also helps that diesel unit give a higher mileage too.


The Honda City in the meanwhile also uses a 1,497 cc 4 cylinders, 16 Valve, SOHC i-VTEC engine that is good for 120 PS of power at 6,600 rpm. The torque number is 145 Nm @ 4,600 rpm. These numbers as is evident are higher than the Toyota Rush. Honda uses a CVT for the City. There is also a 7-speed dual clutch unit but that is reserved for the tech laden hybrid version. In short, the hybrid engine makes 139 PS of power and 170 Nm of torque. It can also propel the vehicle on pure electric power for 30 odd kilometre. In terms of efficiency, the hybrid returns 28 kmpl while the pure petrol turns in 17 kmpl. The fuel tank capacity is 40 litres. The vehicle weighs 1,188 kg at its maximum.

Body styles


Of course, these are different body styles. The Honda City goes with the traditional three box design whereas the Toyota Rush has the butch SUV styling. The City has LED lights on the top models as well as LED DRLs. There are 16-inch wheels on offer and we can also say this with a certain conviction that the City is one of the best looking sedans on offer right now in Malaysia. The cabin has got a touch panel AC unit that is a bit awkward to use at first but easy to get used to. There is lots of space on offer and the back seat also has a nice angle to it. This is a favourite with the chauffeur-driven lot too. The boot space of 510 litres is also the best in class. The plastics used though could have been of better quality. However, things are all glued together very nicely and one wouldn’t complain about this.

toyota rush front


The Toyota Rush in the meanwhile looks rugged. It gives you a feeling of the second generation Fortuner. Isn’t this something we all love? That our smaller, much more affordable vehicle mimics its bigger cousin. Projector lamps and the grille from the aforementioned Fortuner are a strong reminder of Toyota’s older design language. The glass area at the back is bigger and looks nicer too. Toyota offers 17-inch alloy wheels which are dual tone machined. In terms of cabin comfort, the Toyota offers seating for seven passengers whereas the City offers space for five. There is dual zone AC, rear AC vents, 2-DIN head unit CD player with tuner, MP3, Aux-jack, USB, Bluetooth and 6 speakers. The first and second row of seats are decent and comfortable whereas the rear one is much more compact. The Rush will also carry more luggage than the City, with the seats down that is.

Safety equipment

rush safety rating


In terms of safety, both cars are equipped nearly equally. The Toyota Rush comes with dual airbags, ABS with electronic brake distribution, ISOFIX mounts, retractable seat belts front and rear. The GNCAP has accorded the Toyota Rush with a 5-star safety rating. The Honda City in the meanwhile brings in six airbags, vehicle stability assist as well as ABS along with EBD. The Honda City also got a four-star rating in GNCAP tests. The Rush has also got the Grand Prix award 2016 from the ASEAN NCAP for the best child occupant protection.


The Toyota Rush though uses the same platform from the older Fortuner. The Global Outstanding Assessment chassis is renowned for safety as well as ruggedness. It is a ladder frame unit and promises a safe as well as off-road capability.

On-road behaviour and off-road manners


The Toyota Rush is the more apt one here to take on the off-road. It has got 4x4 assistance as well as electronic aids. That being said, it isn’t a full-blown off-roader. It, however, has a much better approach and departure angle than the Toyota C-HR which is primarily a tarmac vehicle. On the road as well, the Toyota Rush with its MacPherson strut with coil spring and stabiliser bar in the front and 5-link with coil spring and lateral rod at the back acquits itself well. A fully loaded Rush is one vehicle that will absorb all the ruts and potholes one throws its way. On its own with just the driver, in short, a relatively unloaded manner, the Rush will bounce around a bit. This is typical of ladder frame chassis cars. The steering is a tad heavy keeping in mind the construction of the vehicle.


For the Honda City, there is no going off-road. It is a sedan which has been built to excel on the road. And it does that to a great extent. For example, the handling of the Honda City is much more reassuring than that of the Rush. Top heavy and higher ground clearance go against the Rush here. The City though, with a full complement of passengers will sag down. It will perhaps scrape the worst of speed breakers. The steering is ultra light and stays dead for the most part. In terms of NVH, the Honda City has a slight advantage by being the quieter one here.

Variants and pricing

The Honda City is offered with the base S, the E, V (top spec) and the Hybrid trims. The Honda City S is priced at RM 71,308, the Honda City E for RM 77,063, the Honda City V for RM 83,865 and the Hybrid is surprisingly priced lower at RM 83,827. We like the fact that there is no other hybrid version of a sedan, hatchback or SUV in this price bracket. Kudos to Honda for achieving that.

 The Toyota Rush, as discussed, is a much bigger vehicle and is priced above RM 100,000. There are three trims on offer - 1.5 S AT, 1.5 G AT and 1.5 G MT. The prices are RM 106,700, RM 103,800 and RM 101,900 for the trims respectively.

Final words

The Honda City is the one wherein a customer can expect peace of mind and comfortable travel. The Hybrid trim will also ensure that there are lesser fuel stops and while doing all this, it looks good too. There are more airbags in the City and safety has also been taken care off. The Toyota Rush in the meanwhile does all that what the City does, an exception being a tad more thirsty for fuel. It, however, is priced higher than the City but can seat two more people and go the off beaten path. If you have the money to spend, the Toyota is the one to go for. It is also the newer car of the two here. The City is due for a generation change next year.

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