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Toyota has just cannonballed into the entry-level seven-seat MPV pool with their latest marvel – the Rumion. This is Toyota and Maruti Suzuki’s fourth offspring from their ongoing alliance. Toyota wanted to crash the party in every car segment across India, and boy, did they crash it! So, should you chuck an extra ₹50,000 at your friendly neighbourhood Toyota dealer instead of sticking with the tried-and-true Ertiga? Let’s find out!

The Rumion might share its skeleton with the Ertiga, but it’s got a face only a mother (or a Toyota enthusiast) could love. Imagine the Ertiga with a nose job – that’s the Rumion! Sporting a bigger, blingier grille that’s got a whiff of Innova Crysta about it, and some snazzy tweaks to the bumper, including fancy triangular fog lamp housings. The 15-inch alloy wheels, with a design fresher than morning dew, add a bit of zing too. Follow it in traffic, though, and you’d be hard-pressed to tell it apart from the Ertiga – unless you’ve got hawk eyes for the Toyota badge.

Step inside, and it’s déjà vu. If you slapped a blindfold on and plonked yourself down in the Rumion, you’d swear you’re in an Ertiga. The interiors are a carbon copy – same 7-inch infotainment touchscreen (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in tow), faux wood trims, and a dashboard that’s as analog as your grandma’s clock, complete with blue dials. Cooled cup holders, a nifty storage compartment under the armrest, and a 60:40 split seat in the second row keep things practical.

The third row? Accessible with a one-touch button and surprisingly roomy – Goldilocks would approve. Plus, with a DLO (that’s a big window in non-geek speak), there’s no chance of feeling like a sardine in a tin. Rear seat amenities include a dedicated AC blower, vents galore, and charging sockets to keep your gadgets juiced up. However, the Rumion could really use some modern-day sorcery – think wireless charging, Type-C ports, rear sunshades, and ambient lighting – especially since its rivals are already throwing these in.

Under the hood, the Rumion houses the Ertiga’s 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine. Churning out 102 bhp and 13.9 kgm of torque, it’s got enough oomph to shuffle this 1.2-tonne MPV around without breaking a sweat. Hit the start button, and it purrs to life like a contented kitten. Quiet at idle and smooth on the go, it’s happiest when driven gently. Push it past 3500rpm, though, and it starts singing a loud, less-than-melodious tune.

You get a choice of a five-speed manual or a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission. The auto ‘box, which we sampled, is responsive and smooth. It’s tuned for fuel efficiency but responds well when you put your foot down. For those who want a bit more control, paddle shifters are at your service. There’s even a CNG option, but that’s manual-only, folks.

Rumion: 6 Speed AT or MT

The Rumion’s ride quality is a highlight. It glides over potholes and uneven roads like a seasoned surfer riding a wave. However, with this cushy ride comes a bit of body roll – noticeable when you decide to channel your inner rally driver. It’s not a thrill-seeker’s dream, but it’s a master of a calm-cruise.

Starting at ₹10.29 lakh, the Rumion asks for ₹50,000 to ₹60,000 more than the Ertiga across its variants. Toyota justifies this premium with a longer warranty (3 years or 1 lakh km versus Maruti’s 2 years or 40,000 km) and shorter waiting periods. Sure, a few more bells and whistles would’ve sweetened the deal, but there’s no denying the Rumion’s capability and comfort as a people mover.

So, should you splurge on the Toyota Rumion? If you fancy a slightly fancier nose and don’t mind paying extra for quicker delivery and a beefier warranty, then yes, absolutely. If not, well, the Ertiga is still a solid choice. Either way, you’re in for a smooth, comfy ride!