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After updating its website late yesterday, UMW Toyota Motor has officially announced the arrival of the facelifted Toyota Avanza. The popular seven-seat MPV has received a smattering of revisions to the looks, some extra kit and safety equipment, and, most importantly, new engines – but you do now have to pay quite a bit extra for it.

As previously reported, the Avanza has seen a considerable price hike – the range now starts with the manual-only 1.3E, retailing at RM68,330 (metallic RM69,072), followed by the auto-only 1.5E at RM75,017 (metallic RM75,787); all are RM3,000 higher than previously asked.

Moving up, the 1.5G is now priced at RM77,735 (RM2,028 up from before) or RM78,477 for metallic paint (RM2,000 up), while the range-topping 1.5S breaks the RM80k mark at RM80,040 for solid paint, or RM80,810 for metallic (both RM2,000 up). All prices are on-the-road with insurance, inclusive of a three-year/100,000 km warranty.

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Toyota Avanza 1.5G with optional aerokit

The Avanza receives quite a makeover for 2015 – the entire front end has been remodelled, with reshaped bonnet, fenders, headlights, grille and bumper. The standard car gets a face somewhat reminiscent of the Honda HR-V, consisting of a large trapezoidal upper grille, a thick bar (chrome on 1.5G, silver on 1.5E and 1.3E) tying the slim headlights, as well as a full-width air vent low down in the bumper.

On the “sportier” 1.5S, the front fascia is now greater differentiated by a narrow upper grille and a massive downturned lower grille, the latter connected to the fog lights – it all looks very Vios-like. Unlike on Indonesia’s top-spec Avanza Veloz 1.5 (which has projector halogen headlights), all variants here receive halogen reflectors as standard.

Compared to the front, the rear is little changed save for new tail light graphics (indicators and reverse lights up top). We don’t get the redesigned tailgate – with a slimmer rear number plate garnish and decorative tail light strips – on higher-end Indonesian models, and to our eyes it looks all the better for it. New alloy wheels, measuring 14 (1.5E) and 15 inches (1.5G and 1.5S, with machined finish) in diameter, complete the look.

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Inside, there are a fair few revisions as well. The centre console has been redesigned with a new matte silver finish, which extends to the bezels on the steering wheel audio controls and power window switches on 1.5S and 1.5G variants, as well as the new trim piece above the glovebox. There’s also a new black fabric upholstery pattern, as well as refaced gauges in the instrument cluster (the 1.5S gets “sports” graphics).

Other additions include a new discrete 2-DIN head unit (now with Bluetooth connectivity on the 1.5E, 1.5G and 1.5S models) as well as a standard portable tyre inflator. Practicality has also been improved with the addition of a 50:50-split third-row seat – no more one-piece bench! Standard front and rear air-conditioning blowers with independent rear controls have been retained.

Apart from metallic paint (including the new Black Metallic and Dark Red Mica Metallic, the latter seen here), other options consist an updated aerokit with LED daytime running lights for 1.3E, 1.5E and 1.5G models (RM2,332), a DVD-AVN GPS navigation system (RM3,122) or a DVD-AVX infotainment system (RM1,982), both incorporating reverse cameras, as well as a choice between a Toyota Premium Security and Solar Film (RM1,993) or Toyota Essential Solar Film (RM1,039).

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Safety-wise, all Avanzas now get ABS with EBD (even on E variants) to go with the standard dual airbags and Isofix child seat anchors on the outer second-row seats. Also new are a front passenger seat belt reminder, a second-row centre three-point seat belt as well as a second-row centre headrest – as the bench is split 50:50, so is the headrest.

Lastly, the body structure has been improved and now meets Toyota’s Global Body Assessment (GOA) crash standards; Toyota expects the facelifted Avanza to score a four-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating, the same as before.

But the biggest news is under the bonnet – the Avanza gets a choice of two new NR naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engines, both with Dual VVT-i. The 1.3 litre version makes 97 PS (up from 91 PS) at 6,000 rpm and 121 Nm (up from 117 Nm) at 4,200 rpm (200 rpm lower). Meanwhile, the bigger 1.5 litre mill now doles out 105 PS, up from 103 PS; torque remains the same at 136 Nm, but again at lower revs.

Avanza Leaflet

Click to enlarge spec sheet

As mentioned before, the base 1.3 litre model is mated to a five-speed manual transmission, while 1.5 litre variants are only available with a four-speed automatic; drive is sent to the rear wheels. Toyota claims the updated Avanza gets 5-10% better fuel economy, thanks to the new engines, optimised transmission oil pressure and an electronically-controlled throttle.

Underneath, the Avanza gets retuned front MacPherson strut and rear four-link coil-sprung rear suspension (with solid rear axle) for better ride and handling and improved steering feel. Also promised is reduced cabin noise that stems from the increased use of sound-deadening materials, as well as lower NVH from the propshaft and differential.

Most jarringly, the facelifted Avanza now moves firmly into the 21st century with ventilated front brake discs (replacing the old solid rotors!), but retains the rear drums.