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All-new Toyota Avanza is set to shake up the compact-MPV segment

The nameplate shifts to a front-wheel-drive platform for the first time

Toyota has taken its sweet time giving the Avanza the makeover it needs. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

The second-generation Toyota Avanza, which was launched back in 2011, is a decent compact MPV. A decade has passed and not much has changed with it. In the automotive world, that time period is an eternity, given that most vehicles get an all-new version every five or six years. Thankfully, the long wait is over as the Japanese carmaker has just launched the latest Avanza in Indonesia.

The front-wheel-drive platform allows the car to sit lower. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

The all-new Avanza is 195mm longer, 130mm wider, and 5mm taller than the outgoing model. Looks wise, the redesign is quite stunning. The car gets a sharp-looking front end with a huge trapezoidal grille and LED headlamps. On the side, the combination of sharp lines and creases are simple yet very classy. At the back, Toyota ditches the vertical tail lamp cluster with a horizontal LED assembly. The upmarket Veloz even gets a light bar.

Open the doors and a clean dashboard with a seven- or nine-inch infotainment system greets you. The highly configurable seats seem comfortable for all occupants. While the new Avanza’s analog instrumentation looks good, the Veloz raises it up a notch with digital gauges and a large seven-inch multi-information display.

Customers are always looking for more tech, and the all-new Avanza delivers. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

But the biggest change is in the platform. The Avanza now utilizes a monocoque frame with a front-wheel-drive configuration. This allows Toyota to make the car roomier and more comfortable than its previous generation. Powertrain options are the same 1.3- and 1.5-liter engines, and can be paired with either a manual gearbox or a CVT.

The upgrades of the upmarket Veloz don't look tacky. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

It is loaded with safety features too. Top-spec variants get the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver aids like pre-collision detection, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, automatic high beam, adaptive headlamps, front-departure alert, throttle inhibitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring. This is on top of six airbags.

Toyota took its time to completely redesign the Avanza. However, given what we’ve seen so far, the wait seems to be very much worth it.

Red Santiago

A jack of all trades, Red is passionate about cars, motorcycles and audio. He sometimes drives for a ride-hailing app company—just because he really loves driving.