2012 All-New Toyota Avanza Officially Launched In Malaysia
The 2012 all-new Toyota Avanza seven-seater MPV has been launched in Malaysia, though its arrival is hardly surprising with the second-generation Avanza already introduced in Indonesia. UMW Toyota Motor has opted to stop the local assembly operations in Rawang used for the first-generation Avanza, a car that found 140,000 homes from 2004 to 2011, choosing to import Indonesia-made Avanza units into Malaysia. If you like the previous Avanza, you will fancy this new car, as much of it—from the looks, size, variant lineup, engines and platform—are largely inherited.
Despite its facelifted looks, this Toyota Avanza is all-new, with a new face, a more sculpted bonnet, a shallower windscreen angle, and a new character line on either side of the body. The side mirrors incorporate turn indicator, like all modern cars do, and the door handles are no longer the lift-up type but the grip type with better usability. Overall, in spite of what Toyota says, the Avanza looks pretty much like its predecessor, a case of Toyota not wanting to "fix" what's not broken. And it is a strategy we can not dispute with, certainly not for this end of the utility segment.
The 2012 Toyota Avanza variant lineup remains unchanged, but the prices have increased in excess of RM 2K across the board, as expected with any all-new model these days. The 1.3E manual is priced at RM 64,590, the 1.5E at RM 72,590, the 1.5G at RM 77,290, and the 1.5S at RM 79,590 (OTR prices with insurance for metallic colours). The demand is still there for an affordable MPV, undiminished—the previous Avanza was the best-selling non-national car for three consecutive years from 2005 to 2007—as UMW Toyota Motor has received more than 710 bookings for the all-new Avanza since it was open for orders a month ago.
The 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre VVT-i engines have been carried over, but, having been tuned to meet Euro IV emission standards, the engine outputs are reduced. Available only with a five-speed manual transmission, the 1.3-litre K3-VE engine produces 91 PS at 6000 rpm and 117 Nm at 4400 rpm, 3 Nm less than before. Exclusively paired to a four-speed automatic transmission, the 1.5-litre 3SZ-VE engine generates 103 PS at 6000 rpm and 136 Nm at 4400 rpm, decrements of 6 HP and 5 Nm.
Despite the slightly less powerful engines, the all-new Toyota Avanza is actually faster in acceleration, and, perhaps more important for its target owners, more fuel efficient: the 1.3 manual variant returns 12.6 km/litre and the 1.5 automatic variant at 12.0 km/litre—improvements of nine percent and seven percent, respectively. The better efficiency can be attributed to a lower kerb weight (15-20 kg), the new Electric Power Steering (EPS), 10 percent lower rolling-resistance tyres and enhanced aerodynamics.
The all-new Toyota Avanza's length has grown by 20 mm, width by 30 mm, and front/rear tracks by 20 mm, improving handling stability. The rear-wheel-drive platform, a rarity in this lower-end MPV segment, has been carried over, though the suspension has been fine-tuned to offer better ride comfort. Toyota says RWD is more suitable for the Avanza because of the heavy loads the car is often bought to carry. A benefit of a RWD setup is the Avanza's tight turning circle, which leads the class with a radius of 4.7 metres.
The black cabin remains a seven-seater, with 50:50 split-foldable second- and third-row seats. The wheelbase stays at 2655 mm, so the legroom across the three rows should be the same. The two-tone dash design is completely new, as is the instrument cluster design. The steering wheel has three spokes, and the second-row seats feature a one-touch tumble-down function for easy access to the rear, along with 60 mm of fore-aft sliding adjustment. The 1.5G and 1.5S variants are the only ones to be equipped with 15" alloys, fog lamps, LCD multi-info display, steering-mounted audio controls, ABS, EBD and dual airbags. Enjoy the 2012 Toyota Avanza launch event photos below!