Published on October 10th, 2015 | by Subhash Nair


New Toyota Avanza Brings Big Improvements

UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd, the distributor and assembler of Toyota vehicles in Malaysia, announces the introduction of the latest Toyota Avanza with significant changes, including two brand new engines. With design changes and numerous improvements and refinements, the new model is expected to continue being among the most popular MPVs in the country (Non-National segment).

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As before, the Avanza line-up consists of four variants – Toyota Avanza 1.5S Automatic, Toyota Avanza 1.5G Automatic, Toyota Avanza 1.5E Automatic, and Toyota Avanza 1.3E Manual. Four exterior colour choices are available for the new model: White, Silver Mica Metallic, Black Metallic and Dark Red Mica Metallic, the last two being new colours.

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The powerplants for the latest Avanza are from the new NR series. Featuring Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence), the engines are more efficient and have cleaner exhaust emissions than before while also generating higher output. Noise and vibrations are also lower, thanks to various measures taken in the design and use of sound-dampening materials.

Dual VVT-i is available in both the 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre engines. For the 1.5-litre engine, power output has been increased to 105 ps while the maximum 136 Nm of torque is now available at 4,200 rpm. The 1.3-litre engine has a more significant increase of maximum power output to 97 ps, with torque increased to 121 Nm.

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Besides numerous measures in the design of the new engine, the optimisation of reduced oil pressure in the transmissions as well as use of electronic throttle control have improved fuel consumption from a range of 5 to 15% (depending on road, traffic, driving conditions and driving style). Additionally, if the driver wants to maximise fuel economy, there is an Eco Drive Indicator which creates better awareness of fuel-efficient driving.

The latest Avanza retains the simple, yet dynamic design of a small MPV. It is almost the same size as the previous generation but has a 50 mm increase in the front overhang which gives a sleeker profile. Following the present styling concept seen in other recent Toyota models such as the Vios and Corolla Altis, the Avanza’s front has a sharper and more dynamic look. The S Grade has a sportier front grille and bumper design while the G and E Grades are styled to give a luxurious and high-class look.

The new headlamps expand outwards from the middle and merge into the sides. The ‘Eye Line’ of the upper part provides a visual sense of continuity from the upper grille garnish. Foglamps are also provided for the Avanza 1.5S and 1.5G.

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Customers who would like a sportier look can include the custom-designed aerokit at the time of ordering their new Avanza 1.5G, 1.5E and 1.3E. The bodykit includes a front bumper spoiler with integrated day running lights, rear bumper spoiler and side skirts.

There are new designs for the alloy wheels for all variants (except the Avanza 1.3E which are equipped with steel wheels). The Avanza 1.5S and 1.5G are fitted with 15-inch wheels with a machined finish that enhances their appearance, while the Avanza 1.5E has 14-inch wheels with a simple radiating design for a light and dynamic appearance.

Spaciousness with comfortable room for seven persons has been one of the strong points of this popular Toyota MPV. The previous two-tone theme has been changed to a new black-based interior theme with contrasting silver ornamentation to give a sportier ambience. The modern embossed texture for the seat upholstery enhances the image of high quality comparable to that of a passenger car.


The new dashboard design has more silver ornamentation to give a more luxurious appearance. The meter panel has high quality and detailed graphics with excellent night visibility, thanks to the use of white as the colour for illumination at night. For the Avanza 1.5S, the meter panel has a sportier and stylish design.


The Avanza 1.5S and 1.5G also come with a Multi Information Display incorporated on the right side of the meter panel. This keeps the driver informed of the fuel consumption (average and real-time) and the estimated range possible for the amount of fuel remaining in the tank.


For entertainment on the move, the 2-DIN system with CD-player and tuner has USB, AUX connectivity and can also play MP3 media while the Bluetooth function is now standard for all 1.5L variants. Customers who wish to upgrade their system can opt for either the optional DVD-AVX or DVD-AVN audio systems. Both come with large touchscreens and reverse camera displays and the DVD-AVN includes an internet browser (requires a wifi internet connection by the user) and GPS route navigation.


Being a MPV, versatility is expected of this vehicle and the Avanza fully meets this expectation. There are nine seat layouts possible to suit different requirements – to carry more passengers or more cargo. The second row can be easily folded with a one-touch tumble operation while the third row now has two separate seats that can be folded individually for additional flexibility.


There is plenty of storage space provided around the cabin with bottle holders incorporated in the front and rear door pockets. The driver’s area also has enhanced storage spaces and there is more space on the centre console for small items. This will be welcome as people carry various devices nowadays and need a place to keep them. Every effort has gone into providing a comfortable atmosphere for all the occupants to enjoy their journey in the new Avanza. The dual-blower air-conditioning system with independent rear blower adjuster and additional vent located on top of the dashboard directs cool air towards the intake of the ceiling-mounted blower to enhance its cooling performance. The airflow reaches the rear end of the cabin to ensure the passengers in the third row will be comfortable.


A strong point of the Avanza’s steering system is its class-leading minimum turning radius of 4.7 metres. This makes it easier to park as well as being more maneuverable on narrow or congested roads. To provide ride quality and handling comparable to a passenger car, the Avanza has independent MacPherson front suspension and a 5-link coil spring rear suspension that is better for heavier loads. Revisions made to the suspension settings provide improved handling and stability as well as ride comfort. The driver will also notice improved steering feel and better straight-line stability at high speeds.

Although priced affordably, the Avanza offers a high level of Passive Safety, especially with respect to collision impacts. Its new body structure has passed Toyota’s tough in-house crash standards referred to as ‘Global Outstanding Assessment’ (GOA). It is also expected to achieve 4 stars in the ASEAN NCAP frontal collision crash (at 64 km/h). All variants have two SRS (Supplementary Restraint System) airbags for the front occupants. The driver also receives additional protection during a frontal collision as the steering column is collapsible. The seatbelts for all occupants are now the 3-point Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) type which gives better restraint over the upper body. Parents will be happy to know that the Avanza has childproof locking systems on the rear side doors as well as two ISOFIX points on the second row for ease of installing compatible childseats. Additionally, for extra safety, the power window on the driver’s door includes jam protection to prevent injuries when being raised.


Braking performance has been improved with the upgrading of the front discs to the ventilated type. With air holes in the disc, heat is dissipated faster and braking performance will remain more consistent even during heavy or continuous usage. The initial stroke of the master cylinder has also been reduced so that the driver will have a better brake pedal feel. All variants now have ABS to enhance braking and support the driver to steer away from hazards under emergency braking, and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) optimises balanced stopping performance whatever the load carried.

The new Avanza is equipped with a comprehensive security system that consists of an engine immobiliser, cabin sensor and siren with a back-up battery. UMW Toyota Motor also provides a portable tyre pump with every Avanza for emergencies or just to adjust tyre pressures at anytime and anywhere.


As covered earlier, customized accessories for the new Avanza include a bodykit and two high-quality display audio systems. Customers can also order their vehicles with Toyota’s Essential Solar Film for a cooler interior or Premium Security and Solar Film which makes the window glass resistant to shattering when hit by a hard object.

The new upgraded Toyota Avanza launched today is available in four variants with the following on-the-road prices including GST and insurance with metallic colour for Peninsular Malaysia:

Avanza 1.5S Automatic – RM 80,810

Avanza 1.5G Automatic – RM 78,477

Avanza 1.5E Automatic- RM 75,787

Avanza 1.3E Manual (pictured below) – RM69,072

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As with all models offered by UMW Toyota Motor, the new Avanza comes with a 36-month/100,000 kms (whichever occurs earlier after first registration) warranty. This reflects the confidence that UMW Toyota Motor has in the superior build quality of its vehicles, a hallmark of Toyota products.

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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