Toyota Avanza 2021 Review
It can be difficult to see why a car like the Toyota Avanza still exists in Toyota’s local line-up, especially with the Toyota Rush having been introduced and arguably being a snazzier version of the Avanza. That being said, the Avanza represents the lowest point of entry for a seven-seater vehicle when it comes to Toyota’s products, being as simple as possible and singularly focused in its design.
Not much has changed with the Toyota Avanza over the last few years. The first generation was brought into this world in 2003, while the second came forth locally in 2012. In 2016 there was the first facelifted variant, while 2019 brought a second facelift on what is effectively the same car. The range of variants has gone from three to four, and back to three as it stands now.
At its core, the Toyota Avanza is a seven seater, compact MPV. It’s powered by a singular engine and gearbox package, and really doesn’t have much in the way of outright luxuries to keep the pricing competitive. Surprisingly, the Avanza is not produced locally but rather imported from Astra Daihatsu Motor’s plant in Kerawang, Indonesia.
Indonesia is a very big market for the Avanza, where it is known as the Toyota Kijang and offered with an even smaller 1.3 or 1.0 litre powertrain. It is so popular in these markets that it proved to be the top seller for a number of years, and the most current facelift was also designed by a pair of Indonesians to cater to that market.
Toyota Avanza 2021 Specifications
The singular engine option for our local offerings of the Toyota Avanza comes in the form of the 2NR-VE, an ever popular powertrain that is found in everything from the Toyota Vios, to the Toyota Rush, to even the Perodua Myvi. This 1.5-litre petrol engine has technologies such as Dual VVT-I (variable valve timing) in order to improve efficiency and broaden the torque curve for better driveability.
The result is 105 PS at 6,000 rpm, and 136 Nm of torque from 4,200 rpm – a modest amount for a kerb weight of roughly 1,160 kilograms. That performance is delivered to the rear wheels via a simple four-speed automatic transmission that doesn’t have any paddles or sequential overrides.
On the note of being a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, much like the Toyota Innova there is a pretty strong justification for this. When MPVs are fully loaded and going up an incline, there tends to be less weight positioned over the front wheels, which in turn can prove problematic when trying to find traction. By keeping the driven wheels at the rear, this ensures better traction in these tricky situations. There is also the added benefit of less complexity in the front geometry, which allows for an impeccably tight turning radius of just 4.7 metres.
The Avanza is probably as compact as you can get for a seven seater that still has an actual amount of legroom rather than treating occupants like sardines. The wheelbase is 2,655 mm long, with a length of roughly 4,200 mm and a width of 1,660 mm. Unlike its larger sister, the Toyota Innova, the Avanza is a monocoque live-axle chassis rather than a body-on-frame layout akin to the Toyota Hilux. It is roughly 30 mm shorter in terms of wheelbase than the Toyota Rush.
Toyota Avanza 2021 Exterior
All three variants of the Toyota Avanza on offer are essentially identical from the outside, with the only difference being the garnish for the back door – silver for the 1.5E (AT) and dark chrome with red lens for the rest. They all come packaged with 15-inch dual-tone alloy wheels shod in 185/60 R15 tyres, along with Bi-LED headlamps, front fog lamps, body-coloured door handles, a shark fin antenna, and a roof spoiler with an LED high mount stop lamp.
In terms of the actual design, the Avanza is definitely a case of form following function. It’s as sculpted and styled as a box can be, with simple elements to differentiate it from a pure cargo or workhorse vehicle. At the end of the day, those purchasing the Avanza are doing so with purpose and intention, rather than for stylistic reasons.
Toyota Avanza 2021 Interior
Functionality is key with the Toyota Avanza, with a reasonable amount of comfort – though not many of the creature comforts you find in something like a Toyota Corolla. The door handles for the 1.5S (A) and 1.5S+ (A) variants are chrome as opposed to material coloured, all variants have an air-conditioning system for the front and rear, and both the second and third row of seats are 50:50 split folding with one-touch tumble for the second row. You can also get an optional roof-mounted monitor for the 1.5S+ (A) variant.
Toyota Avanza 2021 Safety Features
Safety is simple when it comes to the Toyota Avanza. You get two airbags for the front passengers, and ABS with EBD as the only electronic active safety system. It is sad that the Avanza doesn’t have traction or stability control, remaining one of the few Toyota models to come without it. There is ISOFIX for the second row, as well as a collapsible steering column. Specific to the 1.5S+ variant is a blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert functionality.
Toyota Avanza 2021 Strengths & Weakness
As is the case with many Toyota products, the Toyota Avanza’s strengths are simply in its reliability and robustness in even the more extreme conditions. The vehicle is designed to deal not just with urban sprawls, but less than ideal roads and steep gravel paths that you may find in countries like Indonesia. The pricing also definitely helps, being competitively priced as a seven-seater vehicle.
But the weaknesses are also glaring, especially when comparing it side by side with the Toyota Rush. The Avanza is ultimately a product designed for the lowest possible price point, to fulfil a purpose rather than adding in any lifestyle capacity. Gone are the days when a consumer looks at a vehicle specifically for its raw function, as even pick-up trucks are designed with lifestyle aspirations in mind.
Toyota Avanza 2021 Price
Things are kept simple when it comes to the pricing of the Toyota Avanza, with the entry level 1.5E (AT) coming in at RM 77,963, and the 1.5S (AT) priced at RM 80,848.50. The range topper is the 1.5S+ (AT) which runs you RM 84,848.50 – all prices being inclusive of the most current exemptions in place by the government. This makes it one of the cheapest Toyota products you can buy as well, practically on par in terms of range with the Toyota Vios and Yaris.
Toyota Avanza 2021 Features
The biggest difference in terms of features comes in the form of a 6.75-inch capacitive touch screen which is centre stage for the dashboard in the 1.5S+ (AT) variant. This also adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as Wi-Fi and Voice Recognition, USB, Bluetooth, and a reverse camera. Other variants get a simple 2-DIN head unit in its place. There is a four-speaker setup for the 1.5E (A), while the other two variants get a six speaker layout. The instrument clusters are slightly sportier for the 1.5S (A) and 1.5S+ (A) variants, as is the inclusion of a multi-information display.
Toyota Avanza 2021 Fuel Consumption
The manufacturer quoted fuel consumption for the Toyota Avanza stands at 7.7 litres per 100 kilometres, which translates to roughly 13 kilometres per litre. This depends more on how you drive it, as city usage tends to increase fuel consumption quite drastically and the four speed automatic has a fairly wide spread of ratios so you don’t get to utilize its highest gear as often.
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- Body Type: MPV
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 1496 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 7
- Price: RM 77,963 - RM 84,849
20 Oct 2017
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User Review of Toyota Avanza
Toyota Avanza was a durable car.
Perfect Family Car & Fuel Efficient
This vehicle is quite economical
Great family car with good performance