The all-new Avanza got the look; now it’s got to show more bang for the (gas) buck
National and local elections are yet to be held two months from now. For car buyers, however, the choice to buy now may be more difficult to make, given the alarming spate of fuel price increases in the past two or three months.
The newest “candidate” that could, perhaps, sway the “vote” in favor of buying now had just been introduced on March 7. The all-new Toyota Avanza, designed and laden with features to make it look and feel current, claims to also offer the practical answer to today’s most pressing mobility concern. Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) claims its third-generation MPV improves upon the fuel efficiencies of the previous model by as much as 30 percent. Putting it another way, the new Avanza can go for as much as 20 km per liter on highway runs.
Running the numbers by the Avanza Club Pilipinas Inc (which has 10,400 members in its Facebook page, and the average members’ ages between 30 and 65 composed mostly of professionals and business owners), it does seem that TMP has its real-life fuel efficiency figures for the Avanza down pat. Club president Ron Seguros, who owns a 2016 Avanza 1.3 E AT, says he gets 15 km/liter on highway and 8 to 10 km/liter in city driving. Ditto with the club’s FB page administrator and adviser Ron Manjarres, who also owns the same model.
Other club members revealed slightly varying numbers. Rem Zotomayor, with his 2019 1.3 E Avanza AT, claims that his best runs on the highway ranged from 12 to 15 km/liter. June Tupas, in his 2017 Avanza 1.3 E MT, says he went as high as 17 km/liter, while Rey Gaite’s 2017 Avanza 1.5 G gets 13.5 km/liter.
A 30-percent improvement would, indeed, up that highway mileage to the neighborhood of 19 to 20 km/liter.
Manjarres adds that, despite the previous model’s average fuel efficiency, savings could be achieved with the vehicle in other ways. “Another good reason to use the Avanza has been its low maintenance costs. Preventive maintenance services (PMS) are cheaper compared to other medium to large vehicles.”
This would certainly be music to the ears of not just those on the hunt for a fuel-miser MPV, but also for the current 116,000 Avanza owners in the Philippines who are inclined to “re-elect” the Avanza for another slot in their garages. Dino Arevalo, TMP first vice president for customer service operations of the marketing division, confirmed that the fuel mileages in the new Avanza have leveled up: “The significant improvements in fuel consumption, especially for the higher grade, is based on internationally accepted fuel consumption tests in controlled conditions, under UN Regulation 101. For city driving, the higher grade model shows consumption of at least 15 km/liter. For highway driving, it’s as high as 20 km/liter. For lower grade models, city driving is 13 km/liter, and highway driving reaches as high as 19 km/liter. Combined, the range is about 16 to 19 km/liter. Comparing that with the previous model, that’s at least a 20-percent improvement for the 1.5 variant CVT, and as high as 30 percent for the 1.3 CVT.”
Nico Bravante, TMP vice president for product planning, revealed that the new Avanza’s design and power train play big roles in such improvements. “The big change in the layout: Fuel efficiency improvement is derived from the revision of the drivetrain to front wheel drive, the adoption of the CVT transmission and overall weight reduction (despite the big size up, lighter but stronger high tensile materials).”
These have been reasons enough for Avanza loyalists like Seguros to most likely say “yes” to its newest iteration. “I would definitely (buy a new Avanza), especially now that fuel is so expensive. Car owners like us always look for alternative ways to save and at the same time enjoy the MPV space with families.”
For his part, Manjarres is still quite content with his old, reliable Avanza. He does, however, recommend the new Avanza for those on the lookout for MPVs, “especially for those who have their own families,” he quipped.
The completely re-imagined all-new Avanza features striking design upgrades, and is offered in four variants which TMP reiterates has been developed “to cater to specific needs”: The 1.3 J MT, the 1.3 E MT, 1.3 E CVT, and the 1.5 G CVT.
The updated exterior shows the “sleek and active” design, split-type LED headlamps, and for the G variant, 16” alloy wheels. It also comes with the push start button and a 4.2” TFT Multi-Information display for the G variant, and auto-fold side mirrors for both G and E variants.
The G and E variants are also equipped with a back camera and back sensor, while the G variant has the blind spot monitoring and rear camera traffic alert, as well as vehicle stability control and six SRS airbags (for the G variant).
Suggested retail prices start at P813,000 for the 1.3 J manual transmission, while the 1.3 E MT goes for 928,000, the 1.3 E CVT for P984,000, and the 1.5 G CVT is at P1,039,000. TMP is confident that the new Avanza will show good sales numbers despite the worrying times.
“The Philippines loves commercial vehicles. Through the years, MPVs have served as a practical choice for the day-to-day needs of Filipino families. And we love giving our customers choices. I am sure this full-model change of this well-loved family car will bring more happiness for all,” stated TMP President Atsuhiro Okamoto during the launch.
The all-new Avanza is now available at all 72 Toyota dealerships nationwide.
MAIN PHOTO: At the launching of the Avanza are Toyota PH president Atsuhiro Okamoto, Toyota PH vice chairman Dr. David Go, Toyota PH Senior Vice President and Marketing Division Head Masatoshi Toiya and Toyota PH Senior Vice President Jose Maria Atienza.