Toyota Avanza – All aboard for fun times!

If you have a large family, finding an affordable car with enough space can he tough, which is why adding the newly refreshed Toyota Avanza to your check list is a must. It’s pretty utilitarian looking and you won’t win any street drag races in it but it does have seven seats and that desirable Toyota badge to its credit. Plus, Toyota have just refreshed the design and to our eyes it’s a considerable improvement over the previous model. Whether you’re transporting people or cargo, the Avanza can handle it with style!

Meet the new Toyota face

The exterior design of the new Avanza receives a substantial make-over thanks to the new Toyota corporate ‘face’, also in evidence on the new Fortuner and Hilux, both due out next year. At the front, a large radiator grille forms the main focal point, framed by a bold colour coded ‘brow’, which also plays host to the Toyota insignia. This ‘brow’ extends outwards to the sides, meeting the new trapezoidal shaped headlights, creating a strong unified appearance.  

The lower grille follows the curved shape of the upper grille area, with upswept sides, which terminates in the side air inlets. On TX models, the air inlets also incorporate fog lamps to provide increased visibility.  Moving to the rear, revised rear tail-lights and an enlarged rear door garnish compliment the refreshed image.

Revised Interior

On the inside, new interior décor offers creates an overall feeling of quality. Toyota have smartly chosen a mono-tone black interior colour scheme to form the base of the new interior, creating an unobtrusive and easy to live with interior.

Modernised interior panel trim and trendy accent panels are offset against durable seat fabric with stylised inserts. There’s an all-new instrument cluster as well, with striking amber hued inserts, a silver outer bezel and white night-time illumination for improved visibility.

All models receive a new Eco indicator, to provide feedback to the driver on their driving habits – helping you to achieve maximum fuel economy. A cool feature is the heel-pad built into the driver’s foot area, helping to preserve the carpet from heavy usage.  

Enhanced convenience

The Avanza’s main strength is its versatility, and as such a strong focus has been placed on creating a convenient driving experience for all occupants. Whether you’re transporting people or cargo, the Avanza can handle it!

A new, split third row seat allows passengers to independently adjust the back row seating, affording the user the freedom of multiple configurations. In addition, the third row seats also feature a tumble function to conveniently increase cargo space when so required.

The adjustable second and third row seating of the Avanza make it possible for owners to configure the interior layout to suit their exact requirements, offering various combinations of passenger versus cargo space – a perfect companion for families and all their gear.

Auto Up/Down operation has been incorporated into the driver’s power window, for easier use. A new console tray positioned at the front in close proximity to the 12-volt power outlet, creates a convenient storage space for loose items, within easy reach of driver and front passenger.

The rear window wiper now gets an intermittent function, with the interior room lamp receiving auto-off functionality, preventing the risk of battery depletion – we love it!

Safe my mate

When you’re transporting your family, safety is a key consideration and the Avanza doesn’t skimp in this area. To start with, the second seating row has now been fitted with a centre headrest. The centre headrest uses a smart split design, allowing the seats to fold down individually. A three-point centre seatbelt is also on offer, for increased occupant safety.

ISOFIX restraint points are featured, and a seatbelt warning system for driver and front passenger will make sure you buckle up. We also like that driver and passenger airbags are standard across the range.

Another significant improvement is that Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) has been added to all models, bolstering the active safety specification (the vehicle already had ABS). An anti-theft system with alarm and immobiliser completes the safety specification.

Tweaked suspension

Peering underneath the skin of the new Avanza, you will find that the suspension geometry and design have been tweaked to provide improved handling and stability, steering feel as well as enhanced ride comfort. These design changes also deliver a reduction in cabin noise, helping to lower noise and vibration levels for good vibes on those long trips.

Two new engines

Providing the motivation are two new engines, in 1.3 and 1.5 litre capacity; these are the same engines found in the Etios hatchback, with some extra tuning to improve output for the bigger vehicle. The 1.3 litre engine delivers 70 kW with 121 Nm of Torque, with the 1.5 litre delivering a perky 77 kW and 137 Nm.

Fuel economy is improved with a frugal 6.1 litres/100 km figure being quoted for the 1.3 litre and a still economical 6.3 litres/100 km for the 1.5 litre manual. The automatic derivative is a bit thirstier at 6.7 litres/100 km.

You can choose between a 5 speed manual transmission or 4 speed automatic on the 1.5 litre model, which drive the rear wheels.

Three specification grades

The Avanza range offers three grades to choose from depending on your individual budget and needs.

The S grade model forms the starting point of the line-up with a strong value focus while still providing all the popular mod cons. As standard you get power windows, remote central locking, power steering, a centrally mounted console box, intermittent windscreen wipers and an anti-theft system.

The SX grade further adds colour-coded exterior mirrors with power operation, a refreshing air-conditioner system and vanity mirror for the front passenger.

The flagship of the Avanza range is the TX grade, which is equipped with new sporty ‘switchblade’ 15 inch alloy wheels that you see in the pics and adorned with chrome treatment on the front ‘brow’. A rear mounted roof spoiler adds a stylish touch to the profile.

Providing essential in-car entertainment for family road trips is a four speaker audio system with USB input for added convenience. A multi-information display provides feedback to the driver.

For our money, the 1,5 litre SX model at R214,900 is the one to shoot for. That way you get the upgraded engine which you will need if you ever load it up with bodies as well as essential features like aircon. If your budget will stretch that far, the TX is definitely worth considering for the enhanced specs including the entertainment centre, alloy wheels, etc.

For those seeking a handy little runabout for their business, a 1.3 litre Panel Van remains part of the line-up, providing a reliable utility vehicle with great manoeuvrability, fuel efficiency and a cavernous cargo area.  

1.3 S – R 193 400
1.3 SX – R 208 500
1.5 SX – R R214 900
1.5 SX AT – R 231 600
1.5 TX – R 245 600

1.3 Panel Van – R 198 000

The Avanza comes with a 4 year / 60,000km service plan and a 3 year / 100,000km warranty.

To test drive the new Avanza, contact a McCarthy Toyota dealership today. Find the nearest one to you at


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