Subaru has launched its first compact SUV in Japan, and if it looks rather familiar, that’s because the new Rex is essentially a rebadged Daihatsu Rocky. As you’re probably aware, the Rocky has several close siblings, including the Toyota Raize as well as the Perodua Ativa. If you’re curious about the name, ‘Rex’ has been used by Subaru in the past for a series of kei cars that were sold in various markets.
Visually, the Rex is pretty much a copy of the Rocky inside and out, with the only changes being the use of Subaru’s Pleiades logo and a slightly tweaked grille (note the indents). Two variants are offered – G and Z – with prices ranging from 1.82 to 2.171 million yen (RM59,444 to RM70,908).
Both are front-wheel drive, feature a CVT and powered by a WA-VE 1.2 litre naturally-aspirated three-cylinder petrol engine rated at 87 PS at 6,000 rpm and 113 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. Following the WLTC, the combined fuel consumption is 20.7 km/l, while it is 23.6 km/l when using the JC08 standard.
Available equipment for the Rex includes 16- or 17-inch wheels, LED headlamps, LED fog lamps, a manual handbrake or electronic parking brake, a urethane or leather-wrapped steering wheel, a seven-inch digital instrument cluster, an optional nine-inch touchscreen head unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and fabric upholstery with red contrast piping.
The safety and driver assistance systems are part of the Smart Assist suite, with Subaru opting against using its own EyeSight branding. Features include a blind spot monitor, autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, high beam assist, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, road departure warning and rear cross traffic alert, with a panoramic view monitor and parking assist being optional.
Subaru clearly states in its release that the Rex is an OEM product supplied by Daihatsu and expects monthly sales to hit 150 units. With the launch of the Rex, there are now four version of the DNGA-based compact SUV on sale.
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