Despite the prevalence of SUVs and crossovers, brands like Toyota still believe MPVs play a significant role in the market. Aside from the Vios, Fortuner, Hilux, and Hiace, Toyota also dominates the MPV market with the Innova and the Avanza.
Over in South Africa, Toyota has launched yet another model to expand its MPV lineup. However, their latest 7-seater MPV doesn't look like a Toyota at all. This is the all-new Toyota Rumion, and it's essentially a rebadged Suzuki Ertiga.
Don't expect to see any major styling changes to the Ruminon over its Suzuki counterpart. Toyota simply decided to replace the badges on the grille, tailgate, and wheels of the Ertiga. It does have a different front grille, but that's about as far as Toyota went in revising the exterior design.
Even the interior of the Toyota Rumion is lifted straight from the Ertiga. From the dashboard, flat-bottom steering wheel, dual gauge cluster, digital automatic climate control, faux wood trim, and touchscreen infotainment, the Rumion is a Suzuki through and through.
Under the hood, the Rumion is powered by the familiar 1.5-liter K15B four-cylinder engine that makes 103 PS with 138 Nm of torque. It is paired to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic transmission.
So why did Toyota decide to rebadge the Ertiga as the Rumion for the South African market? This is the result of Toyota and Suzuki's cross-supply agreement back in 2018. The agreement sees both companies supplying hybrid and standard gasoline vehicles to each other. So far, Toyota has rebadged the Baleno hatchback as the Glanza and the Vitara Brezza as the Urban Cruiser. Meanwhile, Suzuki has rebadged the Corolla Wagon as the Swace for the European market.
With the Rumion serving as the latest badged engineered Toyota, we will not be surprised to see more rebadged Suzuki and Toyota models in the future.