We drove Toyota Rumion for 600 kms in a day, all for answers to biggest question

₹10.44 - 13.73 Lakhs*
*Ex-showroom price
3.5 out of 5
3
Safety
3
Performance
2.5
Feature
3
Design
4
Comfort
3
Safety
3
Performance
2.5
Feature
3
Design
4
Comfort
Pros
  • Spacious cabin
  • Reliable drive quality
  • Frugal fuel sipper
Cons
  • Uninspiring looks
  • Plain cabin
  • More expensive than Ertiga
  • Comparisons with Maruti Suzuki Ertiga would be very obvious but does Toyota Rumion hold its weight on its own as a viable and affordable MPV?
Rumion
The Toyota Rumion looks nearly identical to the Ertiga from Maruti Suzuki that it is based on. It is available in five body colour options - Blue, Brown, Grey, White and Silver.
Rumion
The Toyota Rumion looks nearly identical to the Ertiga from Maruti Suzuki that it is based on. It is available in five body colour options - Blue, Brown, Grey, White and Silver.

Glanza or Baleno, Taisor or Fronx, Innova Crysta or Invicto? These are some of the obvious questions that pop up every time Toyota and Maruti Suzuki take a model from the other and present a re-badged version to customers in India. Rebadging a successful model and presenting it with a largely identical resume has its strengths and weaknesses but does it make sense to the most important factor determining success - the customer? This is exactly what we sought to find out when we recently took out the Toyota Rumion for a highway jaunt.

Launched earlier this year, the Toyota Rumion is a re-badged version of the enormously popular Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. And while the Glanza and Taisor still have some minor exterior elements that set them apart from Baleno and Fronx, respectively, the differences between the two MPVs were thinner still. So where is the sense for the Rumion?

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Watch: Toyota Rumion: Should you pick this MPV over Maruti Ertiga?

Toyota Rumion: Exterior design

The name ‘Rumion’ itself is a combination of two words - roomy and unique. And while it sure is roomy (more on this later), it surely isn't unique. Definitely not in the way it is styled.

The front grille and the lower half of the bumper is tweaked very slightly and a Toyota logo is plonked on the face. The alloy design too is different and the rear gets Toyota and Rumion lettering. And that's really that.

Rumion
The Rumion stands on 15-inch wheels and while the alloy design is new, the rest of the profile from the side and rear is same as that of the Ertiga.
Rumion
The Rumion stands on 15-inch wheels and while the alloy design is new, the rest of the profile from the side and rear is same as that of the Ertiga.

Same proportions, same dimensions, same cuts, curves and creases - heck, some cars appear unique at close inspection but the Rumion is almost identical to the Ertiga even at close angles.

Of course, that is not to say that the design language is shabby in any way. There is a comforting familiarity about the Rumion's visual language from the outside. It is just that there is hardly anything to set it apart.

Toyota Rumion: Cabin

Rumion
Rumion gets a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment screen, wireless mobile connectivity, two rows of AC vents, Toyota i-Connect and plenty of storage areas.
Rumion
Rumion gets a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment screen, wireless mobile connectivity, two rows of AC vents, Toyota i-Connect and plenty of storage areas.

Step inside the Toyota Rumion and even the slightest semblance of uniqueness disappear. Apart from a Toyota logo on the steering wheel, everything is just as what it is inside the Ertiga - same dashboard layout and materials, same infotainment unit, same steering wheel, same seat fabric and layout, same storage spaces, same charging options, same driver display - yes, same everything.

It is obvious then that the Rumion benefits from Ertiga's inherent strength of offering three rows of relatively roomy cabin. It is a people mover done in simplistic best. But to expect anything extra, anything a bit flashy would be undeniably ambitious. The Rumion's cabin is plain, much like that of the Ertiga. But much like that inside the Ertiga, it is also functional and has plenty of space for families looking to travel together.

Toyota Rumion: Drive

Rumion
The Toyota Rumion is a perfect balance between city drives and highway journeys, offering a comfortable ride experience for the most parts.
Rumion
The Toyota Rumion is a perfect balance between city drives and highway journeys, offering a comfortable ride experience for the most parts.

The Toyota Rumion is powered by a 1.5-litre petrol motor and also comes with the option of a factory-fitted CNG kit. There is around 103 hp and the same mild-hybrid technology found on the Ertiga has been carried forward to here.

The Rumion isn't an excitable MPV but is every bit the mile-muncher that the car it is based on has always been. The engine, paired to a five-speed manual gearbox, is peppy enough within city limits and the stick has relatively short throws to help matters.

During the course of our 600-km drive from Delhi to Rupnagar in Punjab, and back, we weaved through congested lanes of Najafgarh for around two hours to get an idea of what this Toyota MPV has on offer. Slotting in the right gear was no problem and the soft clutch press was easy on the leg. Of course, there is a torque converter on offer as well although we have not driven that version yet.

On expected lines, the Rumion was a stable affair once open stretches beyond Murthal dawned upon us, gaining pace through gradual step ups of the gear shift. On the flipside, there is hardly any urgency in the abilities of this vehicle and the engine groans when being pushed towards and through to triple-digit speeds. A sixth gear is sorely missed and while maintaining a speed of 100 kmph is fairly easy, anything more would be asking for a bit too much.

Instead, the Rumion is happy munching mile after mile after mile, keeping passengers comfortable and the driver reassured through a slightly weighted steering. There is some degree of body roll but that was always on the cards.

Toyota Rumion: Verdict

Rumion
The Rumion is the second MPV from Toyota in India, after the enormously successful Innova Crysta. But will it be able to taste the success its elder sibling continues to bask in?
Rumion
The Rumion is the second MPV from Toyota in India, after the enormously successful Innova Crysta. But will it be able to taste the success its elder sibling continues to bask in?

The Toyota Rumion excels and falls short on precisely the same points as the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. It is reliable, comfortable and with a calculated mileage of around 18 kmpl (City + Highway), it is frugal too. It has the essential features in its kitty and has plenty of room in its cabin. What it is not is excitable to drive, flashy or packed with features.

The Rumion makes a solid case but why should you choose it over Ertiga? Well, Toyota commands massive respect courtesy its robust post-sales quality. It is also a respected brand so that is there too. But the Rumion is also more expensive than the Ertiga. In conclusion though, check the waiting time of both models and if an urgent requirements, choose the one with the lower wait period. One way or another, you cannot go wrong with this trusty model or the model on which it is based on.

First Published Date: 06 May 2024, 11:40 AM IST
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