The world’s leading car manufacturer Toyota Motors is expected to launch its Multi-purpose vehicle the Toyota Avanza towards the end of this year. The Toyota Avanza will be positioned between the Toyota Innova and the Toyota Etios. The Toyota Avanza is being introduced by Toyota Kirloskar Motors Limited (TKML) the Indian arm of Toyota Motors, and is riding on the huge success enjoyed by the introduction of the Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Prius and the new Toyota Etios.
Toyota is planning on playing it safe in the Indian market and does not want to affect the sales of its best selling multi-utility vehicle the Innova and for this reason it is positioning the Avanza as a Multi-purpose vehicle rather than an SUV. The Avanza will generally be a smaller version of the Innova and will have a smaller engine capacity as well as carrying fewer passengers. The Toyota Avanza is expected to be priced around 7 lakhs and should prove be an interesting option to buyers interested in compact SUV’s at affordable prices.
The Toyota Avanza is likely to go up against the likes of the Mahindra Xylo, the Chevrolet Tavera and the newest offering from Nissan the NV200, which is also expected in India soon. The Toyota Avanza will offer better fuel efficiency albeit with lesser power than the first two rivals. The continuous expansion of Toyota models in the Indian market should continue unabated and the introduction of the Toyota Avanza might signal the decline of the Innova but may just be what Indian audiences are looking for.
Toyota has globally launched its MUV as the Toyota Avensis Verso and has recently introduced the Avanza in Thailand. It is using the same strategy in India and the Avanza is built with construction techniques and body parts similar to that of the Innova. The Toyota Avanza will be available initially with a petrol engine and presently there are no plans to introduce a diesel engine. The petrol engine is a 1.5 liter, 4 cylinder, 16 valve, double overhead cam-shaft, variable valve timing mill and is mated with a five-speed manual transmission. The Toyota Avanza delivers a maximum power of 109 horsepower and maximum torque of 141 Nm. It has a fuel tank capacity of 45 liters and a turning radius of 4.7 meters making it extremely agile in traffic.
The Toyota Avanza has a good torque range allowing it to generate quick acceleration while moving in slow traffic. The transmission is also smooth and enables quick gear changes making it comfortable for the driver. The Toyota Avanza also has a power steering which drivers will love as it makes the vehicle very agile and nimble in congested traffic which is the norm on Indian roads and will also provide a stress free drive on the highways. Driving in the city is very comfortable as the Toyota Avanza is fitted with front MacPherson strut suspension and rear four-link coil springs which allows the vehicle to glide over rough road surfaces and potholes, while keeping passengers safe. The rear four-link suspension is used as it helps to cut down on interior noise by using rubber mounts on the rear suspension. The Toyota Avanza is fitted with a sizeable tank which has a capacity of 45 liters and should deliver good mileage of 11.2 km/l in the city and 15.8 km/l on the highway. The Toyota Avanza has a length of 4120 mm, height of 1635 mm and width of 1695 mm which makes it quite a bit smaller than the Innova but still capable of seating 7 persons. There are unconfirmed reports that in order to position the Avanza differently to the Innova, Toyota is planning on reducing the seating capacity of the vehicle, but this idea seems quite foolish as Toyota will not make that one change to the models currently being sold internationally.
The Toyota Avanza has been around globally for a while now being introduced in 2003 and the new restyled version has been around since 2006. The new model Avanza features a new front grille, new interior, new bumpers and new headlights and taillights. The Toyota Avanza has been designed keeping in mind its use as a MPV and combines functionality and styling really well. The introduction of premium vans like the Mercedes R-class has made it desirable if not necessary for MPV’s, MUV’s and IMV’s to contain an amount of trendy styling and design. The front end of the Toyota Avanza has the typically shaped grille found in various dimensions on most of Toyota’s vehicles which also houses the famous Toyota logo. The short hood of the Avanza accentuates the front fascia and slopes smoothly towards the windshield and up onto the high roofline. The new front bumper incorporates the air intake, fog lights and number plate. The back end of the Toyota Avanza is also designed very stylishly with a wide opening tailgate that enabled easy access and loading of materials. The height is also low enough to be able to lift heavier objects. The rear window is wide enough to allow the driver to see clearly objects behind the vehicle.
The interior of the Toyota Avanza is also designed with practicality and comfort in mind but also understanding that the vehicle can be used for a variety of purposes. The front cabin is very spacious and the seats are roomy enough for the front passengers. They also provide the required cushioning and support required for long drives and ensure that the driver is comfortable at all times. The dash houses the instrument panel, glove box, a/c vents, and music system which is a high-powered JVC unit. There is an additional storage space above the conventionally located glove box which gives extra storage space for essentials like mobile phone, wallet and other knick-knacks.
The tilt / telescopic steering wheel is four-spoke and has the audio controls embedded in it making it easy for the driver to make changes without taking his eyes off the road. The centre console has an arm rest that incorporates a bottle / cup holder to ensure the driver is never far away from that required sip of necessary fluid. The rear view mirror is also electronically adjustable as is the driver’s seat. The Toyota Avanza is smaller than the Innova but this does not mean that it is cramped by any means. The rear of the vehicle easily seats 7 passengers comfortable while providing them all the seat support, headroom and legroom they require. The rear seats are foldable with the second row being 50:50 foldable and the third row being 100:0 foldable, which affords a much larger space for storage. The Toyota Avanza has the required safety features that will make all passengers feel very comfortable while travelling and includes warning lights on information meters for various safety and engine systems; Alarm system with engine immobilizer; auto door locks; cabin sensors and reverse sensors. It has dual airbags for the front passengers as well as anti-lock brake system and EBD. All rear passengers get individual seat belts to prevent them from moving around during the case of an accident.
The Toyota Avanza is expected to hit the Indian market by the end of the year and should be available for around 7 lakhs depending on trim levels and options. The Toyota Avanza should be an ideal vehicle for those large families that find the Innova a bit too big to drive everyday on Indian roads. The fact that the Avanza is smaller and actually handles like a car should further entice potential owners. Presently being sold internationally in huge volumes, the Toyota Avanza should fit right in with Toyota’s philosophy in India to provide best quality cars at affordable prices for every type of purpose. The fact that it gives a commendable mileage of 11.5 km/l city and 16 km/l highway should make it a very viable option for fuel conscious Indian buyers. Toyota has always got things right in India with its offering and the recent success of the Fortuner and Prius should serve as a gauge to how the Avanza will be received. Being able to perform all the functions of the Innova, while being cheaper and more fuel efficient, should ensure that the Avanza gets a warm reception in the Indian market.