2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V Review
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2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V Review

The 2023 Toyota Veloz isn't just a variant of the Avanza. Instead, it's now a completely separate model, but is it worth spending extra for?

What used to be a top-trim variant of the previous generation Avanza, the new 2023 Toyota Veloz is now its own separate model. The MPV segment has now included a host of pseudo-SUVs such as the Xpander Cross and Honda BR-V, and in a stroke of genius, Toyota did the same with the Veloz. With a tarted-up look and more tech features over the Avanza, is this the pseudo-SUV you should go for?


2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V Review Philippines

2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V Review Philippines

Riding on the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) platform that also underpins the Raize and the upcoming new Vios, the 2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V that we have here looks significantly different from the Avanza. While the proportions are largely similar, the unique front end with its mesh grille, slim LED headlights, and full-width LED taillights perfectly complements the chunky body cladding. The end result is an MPV that’s been gussied up to look like a shrunken RAV4. The 17-inch wheels certainly fill the wheel wells excellently, and in my opinion, the upgraded looks are already worth the Veloz’s price premium over the Avanza.


2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V Interior Philippines

2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V Interior Philippines

Likewise, the interior of the Veloz is significantly different from the Avanza. While the overall dash shape is similar, there’s a significant upgrade in terms of design flair and materials used. Speaking of materials, yes there’s a soft-touch padding on the dash, but the rest of the cabin feels like a Fisher-Price toy–cheap but durable. On the upside, there are splashes of white and black that give the interior a minimalist vibe, while the generous use of blue ambient lighting is a nice touch when driving at night. The synthetic leather upholstery, while it does look nice, feels durable to the touch as opposed to feeling plush.

Features and Infotainment

2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V Interior Philippines

2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V Interior Philippines

Moving on to the tech features it has, the 2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V is generously equipped with a 7-inch digital gauge cluster, wireless charging, smart entry with push-button start, and 9-inch infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto,  just to name a few. The infotainment in particular is an improvement over the Avanzas of old which used a locally-sourced touch screen that isn’t as good. However, you can immediately tell that the touch screen is made for right-hand drive (RHD) cars because of the location of the soft keys and the ribbon bar of the Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring. On the upside, all of its tech features are intuitive to use, though it’s odd that the track selection and volume controls in the steering aren’t clustered in one steering bank.

Space and Practicality

2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V Interior Philippines

2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V Interior Philippines

Tech and interior design aside, the space provided by the new DNGA platform is insane for such a small MPV. The driving position is also great thanks to generous adjustments in the seats and steering, while those at the back will be treated to sliding second-row seats with a huge range of adjustments. This lets you decide whether to have generous second-row legroom, a bigger cargo hold, or more legroom for third-row occupants. As for amenities, the second-row passengers benefit from their own blower and two fast-charging USB ports, while the third-row occupants have a 12-volt socket to contend with.

2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V Interior Philippines

Speaking of the third row, yes, it’s a space meant for kids, but surprisingly, I could fit just fine but only for short journeys. If you don’t need those third-row seats, you are provided with 498 liters of space. That’s a tiny bit less than competitors that offer more than 500 liters of space, but it’s not small by any means. Unfortunately, Toyota hasn’t provided numbers for when the third-row seat is in place, or when all seats are folded. That said, it’s also worth mentioning the Veloz’s (and Avanza’s for that matter) Long Sofa Mode. It’s a neat party trick that makes the Veloz an excellent place to lounge in.

Driving Experience

2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V Interior Philippines

Powering the 2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V is the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine as the previous Avanza, which means it still produces 105 horsepower and 138 Nm of torque. While the engine isn’t new, the Dual Mode CVT that’s fitted to the Daihatsu-based Toyotas is new, and it blends a traditional CVT with a mechanical gear that’s used during overtaking or at high speeds.

I wasn’t a fan of the previous Avanza when it comes to the driving experience, but with the Veloz’s new transmission, it somehow transforms this old 1.5-liter engine into a more linear and more responsive drivetrain. The CVT feels extremely responsive at low speeds–probably the most quick-witted in its segment. In addition, it also tries its best to mimic a traditional automatic with its fake gear changes–or at least some of it is fake because it sometimes shifts to the mechanical gear under hard acceleration. There’s a bit of shift shock when it does that like in a normal automatic, which I actually prefer since it makes the Veloz feel more engaging and less disconnected.

The CVT also makes the Veloz a lot more tractable when fully loaded. The four-speed automatic of the Xpander and Ertiga holds their powertrains back especially when loaded, but the CVT of the Veloz enables the engine to find its rhythm easily. The revs are kept low by the CVT at expressways, too, and along with the DNGA platform’s surprising level of refinement, chassis rigidity, and solidity, the Veloz is one of the best long-distance cruisers in its segment.

When it comes to ride quality, however, the Veloz isn’t as nice as the Stargazer. At high speeds and larger imperfections, the Veloz is perfectly fine. It’s when it comes to small bumps and at slower speeds that the Veloz feels unexpectedly firm and jittery. It’s not “matagtag” by any means, but compared to the Stargazer, the Veloz has a harder edge to its ride. On the upside, the ride gets better when you fill it up with people.

As for handling, you don’t really expect cars in this class to feel sporty, and the Veloz is no exception. I mean, the Veloz drives fine. It turns through corners well with a controlled amount of body roll, but the grip limits aren’t expectedly high and understeer at the limit is the order of the day. Drive it sensibly, and you’re rewarded with an MPV that’s refined, stable, and fuel efficient. At 13.1 km/l, it’s one of the most fuel-efficient in its segment, though the Stargazer is still the king in that respect since the Veloz was driven more on highways as opposed to the Stargazer which was mostly driven in the city.

Lastly, the 2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V is also fitted with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), which includes automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, blind spot warning, and rear cross traffic alert. While it doesn’t come with adaptive cruise control, the Veloz offers one of the most comprehensive suite of ADAS in its segment.


If you’re looking for an affordable MPV that’s well-priced and generously equipped, the 2023 Toyota Veloz is a very excellent choice, especially considering the price and the features you get. It’s significantly improved from the previous Avanza, but in its transition into a separate model, is the Veloz worth spending extra over the Avanza? Well, if you’re simply after the driving experience, then you’d probably be happy with the Avanza 1.5 G already since they drive largely similar. On the other hand, if you’re into the looks and the added flair of the Veloz, then I also think it’s money well spent.

Speaking of money, it’s also worth mentioning that the Veloz costs less than an equivalently-specced Xpander Cross or BR-V, yet at the same time, the Veloz is the better car in certain aspects such as its comprehensive suite of ADAS and its refinement. I also think it’s worth checking out the Hyundai Stargazer–which is our current class benchmark. Sure, it’s not dressed up as a pseudo-SUV, but it’s the best in the class in many respects.

More Photos

2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V Review Philippines

2023 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V Interior Philippines

Pricing and Rating

Exterior Design: ★★★★★
Interior Design: ★★★★☆
Space and Practicality: ★★★★★
Features: ★★★★★
Safety and Driver Assistance: ★★★★★
Acceleration: ★★★★☆
Handling: ★★★★☆
Comfort: ★★★★☆
Fuel Efficiency: ★★★★☆
Value For Money: ★★★★★

Price: P1,250,000*

Overall: 4.5 out of 5

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