UPDATE: Hi res gallery of studio images added

UMW Toyota officially launched the new Toyota Avanza hours ago. This is the second generation Avanza introduced in Indonesia late last year, and our Avanzas now come from that neighbouring country, no longer assembled by Perodua in Rawang. You should know plenty about it already – we covered the Indonesia-spec car and also posted up a scan of the official UMWT brochure in December.

Here’s a recap. This full model change Avanza comes after 140,000 units of the first gen MPV have been sold in Malaysia since October 2004. The Avanza was a pioneer in the affordable MPV segment, and was once the best selling non national vehicle in Malaysia, outselling passenger cars. This new one wears more sculptured styling for a more dynamic outlook relative to the original. More 3D, car companies like to say.

The profile is also less upright, and the lights at both ends wrap around the body. Current Avanza owners will also notice that the door handles have changed from the lift up type to the grip type, which looks and works better. The wing mirrors have a more streamlined look and incorporate turn signals. The windscreen washer nozzles have been relocated to below the glass for a smooth bonnet.

It’s not just a facelift as some believe. The new Avanza is 20 mm longer and 30 mm wider than before, while front and rear tracks are up by 20 mm. The platform has been carried over, and the RWD layout remains. Toyota says that RWD gives better maneuverability via a better turning circle, which is best in class at 4.7m. The range topping 1.5S has a different grille and bumper (larger intake) than the G and E specs.

Under the hood lies the familiar 3SZ-VE 1.5-litre VVTi engine. It puts out 103 PS and 136 Nm, which is less than before because this engine adheres to Euro4 standards, according to UMWT. In case you didn’t know, Malaysia is one of the few markets that are still on Euro2; our neighbours and markets like China and India have progressed.

So perhaps it’s too much of a hassle to “customise” a Euro2 engine for us – the official line is that UMWT is not sure when the Govt will jump from Euro2 to Euro4, so they decided it’s better to bring in the latter.

The 1.3L model, which can only be had with a 5-speed manual gearbox, makes 91 PS and 117 Nm of torque. This K3-VE VVTi powered variant is the lightest, naturally, at 1,070 kg. The range topping 1.5S weighs 1,105 kg. There’s no manual option for the 1.5L engine – a four-speed auto is mandatory.

Despite the slightly lower figures, acceleration is improved and fuel economy is better than before, so it’s win-win for the consumer. FC wise, the new Avanza 1.5 is rated at 12 km/l (7% better) while the 1.3 model does 12.6 km/l, which is 9% better than before. Toyota attributes this to lower rolling resistance tyres (by 10%), improved aerodynamics, lower weight (15-20 kg depending on variant) and the adoption of Electric Power Steering (EPS).

UMWT further tells us that noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) has been improved over the old car, and the suspension has been retuned to offer better ride comfort, including for the last row. For NVH, Toyota has added a resonator to the air cleaner hose to reduce engine boom at high rpms. The 1.5L gets a revised exhaust pipe design to further lower noise.

Kit wise, the 1.5S and 1.5G comes with 15-inch alloys (185/65 tyres), fog lamps, multi info display, tilt steering with audio buttons and a 2-DIN head unit with AUX, USB and six speakers. ABS, EBD and dual airbags are also included.

New features across the board include a one-touch tumble down function for the middle row seats, which now can be slid fore and aft. The top of the centre stack has an additional air vent; this one blows re-cooled air to the rear blower for better cooling performance. The interior theme is black for all variants and there’s a new meter design. Look at the brochure scan for the full spec break down.

Click to enlarge spec sheet

Price wise, the Avanza 1.3 is priced at RM64,590, the 1.5E at RM72,590, the 1.5G at RM77,290 and the 1.5S at RM79,590. These are on the road prices including insurance, for metallic colours. The options list has two items – Toyota Standard Solar Flim and an Aerokit.