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January 13, 2012

Toyota Ready to Dominate 2012 with All-New Avanza

Photos courtesy of Toyota Press
In a series of slideshows before the unveil of all-new 2012 Toyota Avanza, Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMP) was keen to show that the MPV segment is growing at a steady rate in the Philippine market. At the same time, the SUV segment is down while passenger cars in general have remained fairly steady. According to TMP, this is due to the propensity for Philippine buyers to prefer a car that can fit their extended family while remaining fuel efficient for everyday driving. In short, TMP sees huge potential in their Avanza, a vehicle that's been one of the brand's best-selling since its introduction in 2006.

From the outside, the all-new Avanza is clearly handsomer than the model it replaces. The front facia alone puts it in sync with the global Toyota design language while the swept headlights, curved wheel wells and doors make it look modern. The window line remains large and straight, giving optimal comfort for all passengers. The top-of-the-line model receives 15-inch alloys while the mid and base models make do with 14-inchs (either alloys or steel wheels depending on the trim level).

Despite the small stature, the all-new Avanza offers livable seating for 7 adults (the only 5-seater Avanza is the base J model). The second row actually folds and tumbles via a single-action lever and offers a sliding base to properly distribute the available knee and leg room. Besides this addition, the Avanza now receives a much more modern dash design and an easy-to-read instrumentation cluster. The 1.5 G model receives a two-tone beige-and-black motif while the 1.3-liter models make do with a monotone black-on-black design. Other changes that round out the Avanza include a tilt adjustable steering wheel (with audio controls on the G model) as well as an integrated audio unit complete with USB and aux interface (again, the J model receives a basic CD/MP3 unit).

Though dubbed all-new, the Avanza still shares the first-generation model's hard points so the MacPherson Strut/4-Link Coil Springs set-up still remains. However, changes were done to improve the ride and handling. An electric power steering (EPS) system is now standard across the line which promises better fuel economy and low-speed steering response. Under the hood, the same 3SZ-VE 1.5-liter and K3-VE 1.3-liter engines remain. With 102 horsepower and 90 horsepower respectively, it won't necessarily make the Avanza fast, but Toyota does promise at least 12 km/L for the 1.5 and 12.6 km/L for the 1.3-liter. In addition, TMP has unveiled a 1.3-liter AT variant as well, the first time this choice was made available.

Prices for the all-new Toyota Avanza are as follows: 1.3 J MT (5-seater) - P 620,000; 1.3 E MT - P 703,000; 1.3 E AT - P 743,000; 1.5 G MT - P 828,000; 1.5 G AT - P 868,000.

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