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May 8, 2018

Review: 2018 Toyota Avanza Veloz

How much are you willing to pay for style? That’s likely the question facing any would-be Avanza Veloz buyer, Toyota’s new top-of-the-line small MPV. Commanding a P 65,000 premium over the Avanza 1.5 G, it offers unique bits (including the paint job) that finally won’t get it mistaken for a Grab car. But in this day and age when small 7-seater MPVs and SUVs fast becoming “the segment”, are these 2018 skin-deep changes worth it?

Sadly, the answer is a definite no. Granted there are those who will continue to swear by the Avanza’s “proper” underpinnings—body-on-frame, rear-wheel drive, the fact of the matter is there are much better choices out there. With the sole exception of being the company’s car plan, it just doesn’t cut it as a refined choice circa 2018.

It rides stiffly, crashing its way through almost anything but the smoothest of concrete. The ride does tend to iron itself when fully loaded, but anything less and it’s firm enough to jolt even the deepest of sleepers awake. The high center of gravity coupled with the tallboy proportions means you can’t get overenthusiastic through corners either. Twist the steering wheel and boy, are you in for a lot of understeer. Thankfully though, it manages to feel planted even at “speed.”

“Speed” is largely in quotation marks because it takes a lot of prodding to get the Avanza to accelerate to decent speeds. Dual VVT-i has given this 1.5-liter motor a more free-revving character, but the throttle has to be worked hard. Having to push 1,100 kilograms, this 102-horsepower and 136 Nm of torque engine merely feels adequate. While it can’t beat the laws of physics, it does have one ally in its corner: the gearbox.

The Avanza’s 4-speed automatic does manage to mitigate a lot of the powerplant’s weakness, multiplying torque to keep some pace going. From a standstill or even when accelerating from a slow speed, there’s a sense of urgency. It’s only when the speedometer reaches 80 km/h that progress grinds almost to a halt. The needle will eventually reach the century mark, but it will also fill the cabin with a booming noise. Despite having to squeeze the engine close to death, fuel economy remains fairly decent: 8.33 km/L.

Settling the Avanza’s performance, it’s time to talk about the Veloz’s unique styling. This is something Toyota’s managed to get right. While the Avanza’s always been a modern, but largely anonymous looking MPV, the Veloz finally gains a lot of Toyota corporate cues. With its X-shaped grille, large front maw of a bumper—it’s more Toyota now than a rebadged Daihatsu. At the back, the changes are minimal, but the taillight garnish extension and the new black chrome plate garnish do work to give it a bit more character. It works so well on the Veloz that it won’t be surprising for Toyota to adopt this design for the entire Avanza line in the near future. The design isn’t without its flaws though: the pillar-mounted antenna’s still there.

The interior is pretty much the same Avanza deal except the brightness has been turned down several notches. It’s done for the sake of sportiness, but what ends up is the cabin just being blacker. And more orange, at least for the gauges and stuff. Everything here is hard to the touch, though admittedly the new color scheme does a pretty nifty job of masking that; ditto the inconsistent panel gaps which become almost invisible to anyone but the most OC.

Overall, the interior feels well-wearing and judging by the condition of this particular test unit upon delivery, can take on heavy-duty hauling duties (there were bits of wood everywhere). The seats are more comfortable than their looks suggest and the driving position is somewhat odd, but comfortable for daily driving.

Depending on the quantity of people sitting in it at any given time determines whether or not one considers the Avanza spacious. If five’s the norm and seven the exception, it gets two thumbs up. The first two rows offer ample comfort even during long rush hour traffic. With all three rows in use, it still gets a thumbs up given the second row actually slides forward to accommodate the knees of those in the third row. Even then, the last row’s best imagined as a pair of emergency jump seats. Still, at least everyone gets their own headrests, even the often forgotten second row middle seat. Oh, and the third row folds up in a 50/50 split when not in use revealing a vast loading bay. Securing it requires a rudimentary hook to the second row’s headrest, though.

In as much most people would be willing to pay premium for a bit of style, in the case of the Avanza Veloz, that price is just a bit too rich. While the G grade may still get away as a practical small family workhorse, sprinkling magic fairy dust on a donkey won’t turn it into a stallion. The Avanza Veloz’s biggest problem though is from a Toyota sibling: the much-awaited Rush. Given the sex appeal of a small SUV over a small MPV maybe the Avanza Veloz’s final nail to its coffin.

2018 Toyota Avanza Veloz
Ownership 2018 Toyota Avanza Veloz
Year Introduced 2017
Vehicle Classification Entry-Level MPV
The Basics
Body Type 5-door MPV
Seating 7
Engine / Drive F/R
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.5
Aspiration Normally Aspirated
Fuel Delivery EFI
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 103 @ 6,000
Nm @ rpm 136 @ 4,200
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission 4 AT
Cruise Control Yes
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 8.33 km/L @ 15 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,190
Width (mm) 1,660
Height (mm) 1,695
Wheelbase (mm) 2,655
Curb Weight (kg) 1,100
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension 4-Link with Coil Springs
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Tires Dunlop Enasave EC300+ 185/65 R 15 S (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 2
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control None
Parking Sensors None
Other Safety Features None
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps Front
Auto Lights No
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment Manual
Seating Surface Fabric
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40 (2nd row); 50/50 (3rd row)
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes
Climate Control Manual, Dual
Audio System Stereo
# of Speakers 4
Steering Controls Yes


  1. LMAO I wouldn't buy that thing even at 50% off

    1. I'm sure even avanza you can't afford it.

    2. of course, you can only buy a low class transport like motorcycles

  2. At 1,065,000? I'd rather get the Altis V AT at 1,105,000. Ignorant people buy cars like this and sacrifice a lot of refinement for those 2 seats that they really don't need. And do you really need that ground clearance? I've never bothered to own a car with high ground clearance because c-class sedans/hatches are the best value for money in my opinion with the same equipment as totl SUVs at 400-700k less.

    1. Depends on where you live/drive. If you're from around Forbes Park, or Ayala Alabang or some exclusive village where the roads are refined and the streets don't flood because of ignorant masses dumping garbage on the sewers, go for it. For the rest of the population, this will have to do.

      Screw Veloz though. Pony up a few more pesos gor a TOTL Rush.

  3. It must be a really sad case if an ancient 4 speed A/T is actually considered an asset here. Perhaps you can expound on whether or not the "proper" underpinnings make it any better than an Ertiga or Mobilio.

    Its sad that the Rush gets the exact same powertrain though. If it takes ages to reach the century mark with the Avanza, I wonder how the Rush fares.

    1. Mazda? Sophisticated dudes with love for driving? LMAO!

      More like annoying freaks who think their cars are above everyone else's.

    2. Freaks? Their cars are actually among the best if not the best in all regards except interior space. You sound like a butthurt hater.

    3. The best in all regards? You sound like a blind fanboy. How about noise insulation? Engine performance? The civic and the focus are better. And the infotainment system?

    4. The 2017 models have top notch insulation now compared to the 2014 models. Ever heard of the CX9 being so quiet for the segment? Engine performance, yes in a straight line, they're quicker but in real world driving? The Mazda's engine and transmission are better. The MZD connect is better in my opinion, with just muscle memory, you can control the screen and it feels upmarket while being safer as well. Your vision won't be away from the road. It does lack apple carplay and android auto but that's not a big deal because the bluetooth system connects seamlessly. And speaking of infotainment, every mazda has a better sound system than any honda.

    5. Haaah! Just received a message from my friend just today regarding the fading steering wheel of his Mazda 3 skyactiv. Apparently it's a well known problem among owners. So much for your Mazda, fanboy.

    6. So wow for the fading steering wheel. It's his hand's acidity or usage of alcohol prior to touching it. How about the Civic's numerous electrical and infotainment bug problems which are far more serious than that cosmetic problems.

    7. LOL that's not about alcohol use, i've read it yself in local Mazda groups. Mazda 3's steering wheel cover is just inferior. Face it.

      As with regards to the Civic, it doesn't have infotainment bug problems. You're inventing stories on your own. However, it has an inferior battery that makes some owners think that it has electrical problems. They just simply need to have it replaced under the 1 year warranty program.

    8. Mine doesn't have that steering wheel issue and i make sure that my hands and dry and clean prior to handling the wheel.

      Regarding the civic's problems, try reading online.

    9. Im aware and i read online, i only see inferior battery problems aside from isolated cases of various reasons.

      Many Mazda 3 skyactiv owners have been complaining of the fading steering wheel leather cover, wait til your's reach around 2-3 years then you'll see.

    10. This article is suppposed to be for Toyota Avanza/Veloz. Why the crap are you bantering about your self-proclaimed sophisticated Mazda cars. It's not even selling here well in the Philippines as compared with their counterparts/competitors.

    11. ^ Ganyan sila kayabang sir. Mazda fanboys has a reputation in general of being Obnoxious here in the forum.

    12. Marami pa rin palang matatabang utak dito 'no.

    13. Tell that to the honda fanboy who pointed out mazda in the first place. Not selling well? They've even overtaken Subaru in terms of sales numbers and the CX5 sells more than the Rav4, while the 3 sells more than the Impreza. I find honda fanboys more unpleasant with their overpriced underequipped cars.

    14. See how rabid mazda fanboys are? Automatic honda fanboy agad yung nag point out daw o. LOL. Kitid ng utak ng mga to.

    15. Yun na nga. Honda ang topic dito, pilit ipinapasok at ipinapasikat Mazda nila. Ang tanong ko lang, ang daming innovative technologies ng Mazda (even won some awards for it) plus their free 3-year Yojin PMS, why it is not selling as others? And believe me, I am talking about the overall sales of Mazda not their 2, 3, 6, CX3, CX5, CX9 or whatever. And check out your prices before saying to others na overpriced and under-equipped ang brand na iba. Such baseless accusations.

    16. *Toyota instead of Honda.

    17. They're simply not the target market. Toyota and Honda are aiming for the mass market, which prioritizes practicality and comfort while Mazda on the other hand sacrifices some practicality and comfort for a sportier drive which only a small minority of buyers have on their checklist. Well, from the looks of it, Toyota until recent all new models are under equipped while being overpriced(Fortuner vs Montero, ahem ahem). Honda on the other hand has more equipment but their offerings are the highest priced due to their market strategy of pricing it higher for a perceived "premium image". If you look south, the CX5 is the top selling SUV in Australia. However, the new Mazda 6 and CX5 are following suite in the comfort aspect and are losing their sporty drive as a matter of fact.

      In terms of not selling well as the others, it's the same with Subaru, with its main selling point of AWD and best safety which only a small minority prioritizes. That is why despite having great cars, Subaru isn't selling as well as Toyota, Honda or the other brands geared towards comfort and practicality. Subarus are known for being practical and comfy rides but their high maintenance cost puts off buyers, in Mazda's case, the availability of parts.

  4. Such a shitty car, don't be fooled by Toyota. Be informed and be aware.

    1. The low end car models of Toyota are total shit and their base and mid models as well. At least somehow they saved Vios packing it with CVT but still shitty.

    2. Agree. I had a 2015 Vios 1.3E A/T way back supposedly as an alternate coding vehicle, it was such a gas guzzler i sold it after a few months of purchase.

  5. 4AT used clearly means this car is definitely underpowered. The account of the author clearly speaks for itself, therefore the Rush will not be too far off. Toyota is fooling consumers by saying the Rush is an SUV when it should be either an MPV or a crossover!

    1. ^Second the motion to that! Still there's a lot of Filipinos who are foolish enough to buy such vehicle. And yes, Rush should be an MPV and not a so-called or wannabe SUV.

    2. MPV, yes. Crossover? Nope

  6. Ininto nga Toyota. Pinadami lang ang line up para more choices daw, Kuripot naman sa modern features.tapos pag luma na nagyeyellow ang front lamps niya. ��

    1. Tama sir. Kahit rear view camera hindi magawang standard unlike sang iban car manufacturer. Agree ako sa front lamps nila. Ang first car namin na lancer 1996 di nag yeyellow ang front lamp samantala ang corolla nila na 1996, nagyeyellow ang side turn lamps nila.

  7. Have they fixed the harsh ride and poor sound insulation?

  8. So many stereotypes being thrown around in the comments section.

    I will choose brand X car and be a dick about it.


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