The trusty Toyota Avanza MPV has undergone a facelift and some improvements to give it better value. This Avanza is UMW Toyota Motor’s entry level 7-seater MPV, and is available in three variants: Avanza 1.5E, Avanza 1.5S and Avanza 1.5S+. The Avanza 1.5G variant is no long available while the new Avanza 1.5S+ replaces the previous Avanza 1.5X.
The Avanza 1.5E is priced at RM80,888, the Avanza 1.5S is RM83,888, and the Avanza 1.5S+ RM87,888. These are on-the-road prices without insurance.
The exterior changes is quite significant, with the two-tier LED headlamps with body-coloured trim giving the fascia a Vellfire-like appearance. In fact, the new Avanza has been touted as the “baby Vellfire”. The headlamps now offer better illumination for improved safety, and require less power to operate; they are also supposed to last longer. On either side, standard front foglamps provide supplementary lighting when needed.
Other cosmetic enhancements on the exterior include the chrome ornamentation on the rocker molding below the front doors, a shark fin antenna, as well as powered folding side mirrors (for Avanza 1.5S and 1.5S+). Wind noise is said to be reduced with the reshaped side mirror casing. And in my short test drive, it is apparent that it is quieter than my first-generation Avanza.
The rear roof spoiler with integrated LED brake light also contributes to better driving as it smoothens out the air flow over the rear of this MPV.
The Avanza comes standard with 15-inch light alloy rims. The Avanza 1.5E gets wheels with a bright finish while the 1.5S and 1.5S+ get the bolder two-tone design.
Other measures taken to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) include having the entire cabin side surface of the dash inner silencer covered with sound-insulation material to reduce the intrusion of engine noise. High damping urethane material is also used for the tunnel silencer and rear deck silencer to reduce intrusion of gear noise from the transmission and the vehicle differential.
Further, Toyota engineers worked with the original equipment tyre supplier to reduce road noise generated from tyres by about 1.5 dB, by changing the tyre construction and rubber characteristics.
In the cabin, Toyota has also improved passenger comfort and convenience. The dashboard receives a two-tone finish, complemented by a sporty new dark seat fabric with red accents. Coming standard is the digital air-conditioning system with more efficient and user-friendly operation. The system includes a Clean Air Filter for healthier cabin air quality.
The Avanza 1.5S and 1.5S+ are fitted with a high-quality meter cluster with red accent lines and smooth gradation for a sportier look. Meanwhile, the Avanza 1.5E gets a new meter design with blue accent lines.
More convenience comes in the form of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity in the 1.5S+ variant. This allows access to apps on your smartphone via the dashboard. The TFT display is a 6.75-inch capacitive touchscreen for easy viewing and operation. The audio system can also be controlled by the switches on the steering wheel in the Avanza 1.5S and 1.5S+.
Other convenience features include a compartment above the rearview mirror (in the Avanza 1.5S and 1.5S+) which can be used to store sunglasses, gate remote controller or small items. There are also two USB charging ports for charging of portable devices.
The Avanza has intermittent wiper modes for both front and rear for added safety. The front wipers are speed sensitive while the rear are automatically activated in Reverse gear.
Speaking of safety, the new Avanza 1.5S+ is equipped with a Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (BSM + RCTA) system as standard. Standard on all variants are reverse sensors to aid parking and reversing as well as dual SRS airbags. A reverse camera is also standard for the Avanza 1.5S+ and is optional for the Avanza 1.5E.
Further, the 1.5S+ also gets a front Digital Video Recorder (DVR) system. A rear DVR is also available as an option. Other optional accessories include a roof-mounted monitor for the 1.5S+. This is an 8-inch full-colour monitor which can be folded away when not in use. The high resolution display is compatible with the AVX audio system. Original Toyota accessories are professionally installed and covered by warranties.
The Avanza continues to be powered by the proven 1.5-litre 2NR-VE engine with Dual VVT-I, and a 4-speed Electronic Automatic Transmission. The engine has a power output of 105 PS and 136 Nm of torque.
Four exterior colours are availabe for the new Avanza and they are Dark Red Mica Metallic, Silver Mica Metallic, White, and Black Metallic.
We took the new Avanza on a short test drive. Check out the video below on our first impression.