UPDATE: Compare the Toyota Avanza with the Nissan Grand Livina at my latest blog entry, The Nissan Grand Livina Up Close.
I paid a visit to the nearest Toyota showroom just before going to work today, in order to see what the Toyota Avanza is all about:
Wikipedia supplies us with a thumbnail history of this vehicle:
“The Toyota Avanza is an automobile produced in Indonesia and Malaysia by Toyota, who also sell[s] the car under their Daihatsu brand. The car was launched at the Gaikindo Auto Expo in 2003 and sold over 100,000 units that year. The name “Avanza” was taken from the Italian word avanzato, which means “advance”.”
While the Avanza might look like a smaller version of the Innova, the two are nothing alike. From what I’ve been told, the Avanza doesn’t use the Innovative International Multi-purpose Vehicle (IMV) platform as its bigger cousin. Another difference is that the Avanza only comes in two trim levels – J and G – as opposed to the Innova’s four.
Another difference is that the Avanza is only supplied – in the Philippine market at least – with a gasoline engine, a 1.3 liter K3-VE and a 1.5 liter 3SZ-VE, with the latter enjoying Toyota’s Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) technology. Dream Wonderland also notes that the 3SZ-VE is different from the 1.5 1NZ-FE engine that powers the Toyota Vios, in that the former has a cast-iron block while the latter’s is made out of aluminum.
The rear-wheel drive Avanza is available with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission.
Inq.net’s Victor Agustin said that the Avanza has attracted the attention of Philippine taxi fleets looking for a cost-effective replacement for their workhorses because of its “price, fuel-efficient engine, and commodious cargo space,” among others.
Yes, the rear cargo compartment looks spacious enough.
As of January 2007, the price of an 1.3-liter Avanza J with manual transmission is PHP 582,000. The 1.5-liter Avanza G with manual transmission costs PHP 738,000, while the 1.5 Avanza G with automatic transmission will set you back PHP 773,000.