There’s a strong market for entry level ASEAN-designed MPVs here in the Philippines. You get a lot of space for 7 people for the price of a subcompact sedan or hatchback, making the entry price point of a 7-seater vehicle definitely low compared to most markets around the world. This is especially important since most Filipinos like to travel in groups with their friends or families. The Toyota Avanza has always led the pack in terms of sales, which led to Suzuki battling it with the Ertiga’s refinement, and Honda battling the Avanza with the Mobilio’s sportier demeanor. This has led to Toyota updating the Avanza in order to keep buyers away from Suzuki and Honda.
The Avanza’s mid-cycle refresh is very easy to spot. First off, the large, bold grille. Toyota has been trying to diverge away from its boring image by making their cars more aggressive, a move which people will either love or hate in terms of design. There’s one thing we can all agree on. The new blue paint looks awesome in person, suiting the Avanza really well. New, two tone aggressively designed rims round up the exterior changes.
Inside, a bolder choice of brown has been used for the G variant. It looks really good and is less prone to the beige interiors we are accostumed to with Toyotas. The Avanza was often criticized for its terrible interior materials, therefore they improved the materials, making the interior feel more premium than ever before. Glossy interior trim elevates the interior’s ambience, though these are prone to fingerprints and scratches, while exclusive to the G variant is an integrated navigation ready touch screen system.
In a move that will surprise us car enthusiasts, the Toyota Avanza is powered by an all-new engine, a far cry from Toyota’s habit of carrying over engines from one generation to another. The new Avanza is powered by a 1.5 liter petrol engine now with Dual VVT-i. The new engine is more powerful by an astounding 2 hp compared to the previous engine, now at 104 hp. The 1.3 liter engine, meanwhile, is still carried over. Apart from a power increase, Toyota promises better refinement and better fuel efficiency out of the powertrain. Both engines can be mated to either a 5-Speed Manual or a 4-Speed Automatic, regardless of variant. The Avanza remains to be the only RWD MPV in the segment.
Safety has now been improved across the line-up. Dual SRS airbags and even ISOFIX child seat anchors are now standard across the line-up. The consumers are now becoming critical with a car’s safety features and this move from Toyota we commend. The high trim G variant, meanwhile, benefits from ABS and EBD, a feature in our opinion, should be standard on all vehicles.
- 1.3J MT: P667,000
- 1.3E MT: P756,000
- 1.3E AT: P797,000
- 1.5G MT: P869,000
- 1.5G AT: P910,000