COTW: Toyota Avanza

Here in the Philippines, having seven seats in a car is a must for most families, that’s why MPVs maintain steady popularity. For us, this is because space is the golden feature we look for and because a car must be able to do multiple jobs at once. A family car in the Philippines has to be able to take your dad, mom, siblings, grandparents, and a week’s worth of luggage all in one go. 

Aside from being capable haulers and people carriers, MPVs must also be affordable. Taking all these into consideration, one nameplate pops into mind, and that is the Toyota Avanza. Historically, the Avanza took on the role of a much more affordable alternative to the much larger, diesel-powered Innova. Now in its third generation, the Avanza has grown up, matured, and has gained a more modern and angular face. Despite all this, however, the Avanza is still the affordable MPV Filipinos have come to love. This week, let’s shine a light on the least expensive MPV in Toyota’s lineup and see how far it has come.

Toyota Avanza Second Generation

For its third generation, Toyota completely redesigned the Avanza. Now based on the Daihatsu Xenia, the Avanza is boxier, wider, taller, and sleeker than before. If you may remember, most people had trouble distinguishing the first-generation Avanza from the second-generation because of its similar looks, with the new one, it definitely won’t be a problem anymore. 

Toyota Avanza Front

Thanks to the new design, the Avanza feels more attuned to the times, you might even mistake its price for being higher than it actually is. Despite being a people mover, the Avanza looks cut and handsome, it’s a good balance between looking practical and looking exciting, so for that, we have to give it props.

Toyota Avanza Engine

Under the hood, you’ll find two familiar engines serving as the beating heart of the Avanza, and these are the 1.3-liter 1NR-VE and 1.5-liter 2NR-VE engines. The difference between then and now is that the new Avanza has a front-wheel drivetrain and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) instead of a traditional four-speed automatic. While this decision might surprise those accustomed to the rear-wheel-drive setup, the switch to front-wheel drive is better in providing better handling and ride comfort.

As a car, the Avanza probably won’t see rough roads in its lifetime, so having front-wheel drive and a CVT is better while driving on the road and can save you from burning a hole in your wallet during trips to the pump.

Inside, the interior has also been given a revamp. It now boasts two-tone seating material with versatile seating adjustments, including the innovative "Sofa Mode." Owners will also appreciate the addition of an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system on the E and G models. Furthermore, all variants except the base model now come equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Other noteworthy features include push-to-start ignition and a 4.2-inch TFT Multi-information display, exclusive to the G model.

Toyota Avanza Trunk

So the looks are more modern and complemented by modern tech features, what else does the Avanza have in its sleeve? In terms of safety enhancements, the Avanza introduces new features such as a rear camera and sensors for the E and G variants. The top-spec G model further incorporates advanced safety technologies like Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Camera Traffic Alert. To top it off, the G variant ensures maximum safety with Vehicle Stability Control and six SRS airbags.

When you put the current Avanza side by side with the old one, you’d be forgiven for assuming the two cars have different nameplates. The current Avanza has taken all that we love about its predecessor and has given it a touch of refinement. What makes this new generation so great is that despite the major upgrades, it still gives buyers a lot of value for their money. Right now, the top-trim Avanza G sits at P1,059,000, considering that you get stability control, a rear camera, and a blind-spot monitor for that amount of money, we’d say the Avanza is a steal compared to its rivals.

Toyota Avanza Moving Shot

Are you considering buying the Avanza as your next family vehicle? You can check out its full specs and variants on the AutoDeal Car Guide. Once you’re ready to buy, you can connect with a professional sales agent by clicking on the “Get Quote” button. You can also check out the full Toyota Car Guide and explore other vehicles from the Japanese automaker’s expansive lineup.

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