Toyota has launched an all-new model in the five-door hatchback market. The new RunX range consists of six model variants, and for performance freaks the highlight will be the RSi. Toyota has launched an all-new model in the five-door hatchback market. The new RunX range consists of six model variants, and for performance freaks the highlight will be the RSi.

Although the RunX is a self-standing model range, it shares a number of design attributes, its drive train and platform with the ninth generation Corolla.

It is a five-door hatchback with a long wheelbase and short overhangs. The large headlamps are in a four-lamp configuration.

The six models in the RunX range are grouped in three engine sizes and four specification levels: ‘R’ (baseline available on the 140i only), RT (140i and 160i), RS (safety specification available on 160i only), RX (160i luxury specification) and RSi for the top of the range 1,8-litre model. All 140i and 160i models feature five-speed manual transmissions. The RunX RSi is fitted with a six-speed transmission.

The baseline specification level includes power steering, transponder key immobiliser system, r/f remote alarm; central locking with selective unlock feature, headlamp on buzzer; whiplash reducing front seat design and height adjustable driver’s seat.

Wheels fitted to all models except the RSi are 6JJ X 15 alloy rims fitted with 195/60R15-88V tyres.

The RT specification level is offered on 140i, and 160i models and adds air-conditioning, integrated radio/CD player combination with four-speaker system and a multi-function trip computer.

The RSi model offers all the luxury of the RX specification with a number of additional items such as Toyota’s ‘Optitron’ backlit instrument panel. Alloy wheels are 6JJ x 16 and are fitted with ultra low profile 195/55R16-87V tyres.

The most significant difference of the RSi model is in the engine. The 2ZZ-GE with VVTL-i (variable valve timing and lift) produces 141 kW at 7 800 r/min and 180 N.m of torque at 6 800 r/min. Maximum torque is 180 N.m at 6 800 r/min. Toyota describes the vehicle as having sportscar-like performance, but is still at home in traffic and day to day running. According to Toyota, the VVTL-i valve system allows over 75 per cent of this torque to be available from as low as 2 000 r/min.

Power and torque figures for the 1,4-litre engine are 71 kW at 6 000 r/min and 127 N.m at 4 800 r/min. The 1,6-litre engine delivers 81 kW at 6 000 r/min and 146 N.m at 4 400 r/min.

High tensile steel is used in the body shell to provide a rigid and lightweight construction.

RunX is a product of what Toyota engineers call a “tall but compact” design philosophy. It has an overall length of 4 175 mm and a width of 1 695 mm. The height is 1 470 mm. The wheelbase of 2 600 mm illustrates the short overhangs that are a feature of the RunX hatch.

“Toyota now has full representation in a very competitive market segment,” said Toyota president and chief executive Johan van Zyl.

“The RunX fills a gap in our product line-up and will appeal to the more outgoing, youthful and performance minded buyers,” he said.

"Besides the five-year/90 000 km service plan, the warranty package on the RunX is three years or 100 000 km. Warranty protection against corrosion perforation is three years, while roadside assistance is provided by the Automobile Association (AA) over the warranty period,” he said.