Words and photos by Kap Maceda Aguila

PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN — Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) unveiled last Thursday the refreshed version of its popular multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), the Avanza. The new iteration banners a sportier look, reworked dashboard with a new infotainment system, and more safety features.

In her speech delivered on the first night of Toyota’s annual Road Trek media ride and drive, TMP First Vice-President for Brand and Product Planning Cristina Arevalo said: “This year, TMP is among the first in the Southeast Asian region to launch the new Avanza,” and called it “a vehicle choice for the young, starting families, or those on the lookout for the best value without sacrificing style. These are two most important factors that we kept in mind when bringing together its new form.”

The seven-seat Avanza was first introduced in the Philippines in 2006. Close to 100,000 units are currently in private and commercial use.

The newest Avanza receives a front-fascia reworking through new split-type LED headlamps and front fog lamps flanking its dark front grille. The Veloz and G variants are fitted with a pair of side mirror-integrated turn signal lamps. New alloy wheels, a sporty rear design, and a fin-type antenna complete the exterior changes.

A high-grade 6.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, similar to the head unit found in the RAV4 and Camry, also finds its way to the new Avanza. It bears high-resolution K2 technology audio enabling two-phone hands-free and five-phone music streaming. Mirroring is also allowed with smartphones using the T-Link App; and accessory connectors are located in the front and back rows. The air-conditioning display is now digital.

“The best part is that in the 1.5-liter variants Veloz and G grade, customers will get the new features without any price increase,” added Ms. Arevalo.

The flagship Veloz model comes in an exclusive Dark Red Mica Metallic color. The Avanza is also available in Dark Blue SE, Black Metallic, Gray Metallic, Silver Mica Metallic, Beige Metallic, and White.

Suggested retail prices is as follows: 1.5 Veloz A/T (P1.065 million), 1.5 G A/T (P1 million), 1.5 G M/T (P957,000), 1.3 E A/T (P907,000), 1.3 E M/T (P864,000), and 1.3 J M/T (P731,000). The Avanza is available nationwide through TMP’s 69-strong dealership network.