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The all-new 2022 Toyota Avanza and its sportier Veloz variant will be making its debut in Indonesia on November 10, Toyota Astra Motor has told local media. Meanwhile, the Avanza’s Daihatsu Xenia twin will be launching a day later, on November 11.

Both new Low MPVs are expected to meet the public for the first time at the 2021 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS), which will open to the press on November 11. The organisers’ original plan was to have the show in August, but better late than never. We’ve covered GIIAS at BSD City live every year since its inception, but that run was halted in 2020 and we’ll have to sit this one out as well. Soon, perhaps.

Today’s second-generation Avanza has been around for a decade now, having made its debut in Indonesia way back in 2011. In that decade, rivals have come and gone – for instance, the original Honda BR-V debut in 2015, and a new one will be joining the Avanza at GIIAS. Long overdue is understating it.

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For such a long wait, it’s fair to expect a comprehensive change, and it looks like the Avanza is unrecognisable. We’ve seen shots of the seven-seater Veloz in a showroom last month, but the lead pic above shows a clearer view of the new MPV’s rear in white, taken in Karawang, West Java where it is made.

The new Avanza sports full-width taillights broken up by the Toyota emblem. A horizontal LED strip is trendy now – as seen on the new Toyota Harrier and Lexus UX SUVs – but we’ll see how much of this is light and how much of it its decorative trim. The Avanza’s tail lamps have always been vertical, so this is a big departure that also highlights the substantial width of the new car.

Below the sculpted tail lamps are fake vents with a reflector – these remind me of the sideways-T trim on the G20 BMW 3 Series. Elsewhere, there’s a wide skid plate-style trim in silver, Veloz branding on the number plate garnish, and a Q badge denoting the Indonesian trim level.

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We get a good view of the new Avanza’s sides on the white car, which wears the same two-tone alloys as the showroom unit – they are rather generously sized. Also, the wider angle picture of the white car gives us a better look at the new Avanza’s lines – a sculpted belt line flows from lamp to lamp, in straight fashion “spearing” through the door handles.

The outlines for the wheel arches are drawn rather high up from the actual arches – no SUV-style black plastic here but there are (possibly mock) roof rails. There’s also a chrome trim that connects the daylight opening to the rear glass, separating the middle section of the body from the D pillars.

We’ve previously had a look at the new Avanza’s bold face, which is dominated by a large trapezoidal grille. In Veloz form, the grille is filled by a Y-pattern mesh and flanked by slim LED headlights with a DRL strip below. There’s a chrome strip on the top of the grille, which flows into the headlamps and continues on the front wings to the windows. From there, it joins the D-pillar trim mentioned above.

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The interior is also a big departure, a clean sheet design sporting sharp lines and a high centre console. There’s a big freestanding touchscreen head unit, a new design steering wheel with two spokes of buttons, push start and what looks like ambient lighting strips around the gear lever. Behind said lever is an electronic parking brake switch, on an Avanza! The layout and sharp angles remind me of the Ativa/Rocky/Raize dashboard, but slightly less funky, flatter and rendered in two-tone.

The shot of the passenger section shows a huge roof-mounted screen, a single pop-out cupholder, USB charging ports and sliding seats. Interestingly, the front seat backs have organising slots above the usual lower pocket. There’s one wide slot (probably good enough for a tablet) and a smaller one that looks perfect for a phone. A simple but handy feature for a family wagon.

Quantum leap stuff, if you remember how the outgoing Avanza is like. No official details yet, but we’re expecting a radical change under the skin too, specifically a switch to the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) that also underpins the Ativa/Rocky/Raize. If so, the Avanza will be moving from ladder frame to monocoque construction and rear-wheel drive to FWD.

Perodua was caught testing a funny-looking Avanza with budget MPV rivals in 2019

Will the Avanza carry on with 1.5L NA power – like the new BR-V and Mitsubishi Xpander – or will it share the 1.0L three-cylinder turbo and 1.2L three-pot NA options from the Indonesian-market Rocky/Raize? What’s certain is that active safety and driver assist features will make its debut on the model, branded as Toyota Safety Sense – note the Perodua-style stereo cameras at the top of the windscreen.

If you’re wondering what all this has got to do with the Perodua Alza, here’s a recap. Based on the now defunct Daihatsu Boon Luminas a.k.a. Toyota Passo Sette, the current Alza was unique in our region by being based on a JDM model. It’s 12 years old now, and a replacement is due. Merging it with the Toyota/Daihatsu budget MPV for the region – the Avanza/Xenia – makes sense for economies of scale.

DNGA for the next Alza/Avanza fits nicely into the Perodua picture as well – the Rawang-based carmaker has invested heavily into DNGA production for the Ativa, which will surely not be a one-off, but a start of a new era. Like Daihatsu in Indonesia, Perodua produces certain T-badged models, and the NR engine it manufactures is supplied to Toyota as well. All within the family.

Artist’s impression of the D27A Perodua Alza – click to enlarge

As for the timeline, in May, Sapura, a Perodua vendor, said that the new Alza, codenamed D27A, is expected to surface by the end of this year. “We are currently in the development phase of parts awarded for the Alza replacement model (D27A) expected to be launched by end 2021. We have also been awarded the supply of Case Differential Assembly by Akashi Kikai Industry Malaysia, a Tier-1 vendor for Perodua’s transmission module, forecasted for mass production in December 2021,” Sapura said in its 2021 annual report.

Of course, that might be the initial timeline and the target given by P2 to suppliers, and things might have been delayed due to Covid-19, but we know that the D27A Alza is coming very soon, even if it’s not in 2021. Perodua’s focus now would be on the 2022 Myvi facelift, which has been spotted on a commercial shoot.

For now, what do you think of the Avanza’s major reboot? Here’s the new second-gen Honda BR-V for comparison.

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