Thursday, January 31, 2013

Used Car Review - Toyota Avanza (2006-2011)

It has been nearly a year since the second generation Avanza hit the streets, and Myk Belmonte invites you to revisit the original version.

2006-2011 Toyota Avanza

I gotta admit this, I usually fail when it comes to predicting things. Why did I relate this to the Toyota Avanza? Simple, when it was launched back in 2006, my father bought one especially that this nameplate was new to the country and saw the ad in the newspaper, whereas this vehicle was making waves in Indonesia and all Avanzas are sourced there. I told to my self "nah, hindi ito bebenta". I was wrong, this car became a member of the Top 10 Best Selling Cars in the Philippines and taxicabs took a liking on this car. Although the Innova is still the Filipino Family's dream car, the Avanza played a role on providing Filipinos decent and affordable transportation.

You'll be surprised that the Toyota Avanza was designed by Daihatsu. This is not a typo, mind you. Daihatsu did the design and took the role of manufacturing this vehicle, and the results where the Daihatsu Xenia and the Avanza. You'll also notice that the windows have the Daihatsu logo. This MPV was launched in Indonesia in 2003 and was offered in South East Asia, and some countries in Africa, South Asia, and Central America. Sold until 2011, with the second generation model being launched in November 7, 2011 in Indonesia.

We had this vehicle in November 2006 and those who didn't have the budget for an Innova but found the vehicle big opted for this one. Taxi operators had a new vehicle to drive and passengers had a new cab to ride on, and speaking of that, those who own a white J variant had a paper saying "hindi po ito taxi!". This vehicle received a minor model change in late 2008 with a new color palette and other trim changes and sales ceased in 2011 with the second generation arriving in showrooms in January 2012. Two trims are available, the J and the G.

Value and Costs
Resale values of the Avanza is lower than the Innova, and if the lowest priced latter vehicle could be bought at P450,000, the former can be purchased between P320,000-P440,000. This analogy is simple, the mini-MPV costs less when brand new, and the Innova has more image; but then, low resale value means a good bargain for the used car buyer. I doubt about it but in the coming years, more ex-taxi Avanzas are coming to the market and thus, avoid them if possible.

Parts is one big advantage of the Avanza, you can purchase them anywhere thanks to the demand from taxi operators. There are various quality issues (although they are not major ones) that must be addressed by the previous owner and must be fixed before selling the unit to you.

Exterior and Interior
Let's compare the Innova's exterior dimensions with the Avanza's, the latter is 435mm short and 140mm narrow than the former, and it loses some proportions present. The tall tailamps resembles the ones in the Mitsubishi Adventure and the second generation CR-V.

Don't set your expectations high especially the interior has a lot of hard plastics from the base model up to the G. Cost cutting is very evident especially that the J has a side plastic material in the side panels that is detachable. The Corolla XL's side panels are integrated and is pleasing to the eye. The steering position is fixed and you have no chance of adjusting it, and the rear hatch lacks a handle to open it. One saving grace is the efficient seating layout that, unlike the Innova's side folding third row which hampers cargo space, the third row can be folded forward. The third row can accommodate children and the second row is habitable by anyone.

Two engines are available, and let's discuss first about the one you'll mostly encounter. Fitted in J variants is the K3-VE 1,298cc that has 92hp at 6,000rpm and 120Nm at 4,400rpm. Standard among G models is the 3SZ-VE 1,495cc which has 109hp at 6,000rpm and 141Nm at 4,400rpm. The K3-VE has the capability of speed well at low to mid revs even at full, but it will suffer once you reach highway speeds. If overloading is not recommended for the J, the 3SZ-VE fitted in the G is ok, especially that it has enough grunt to pull.

Driving Impressions
This vehicle is ideal inside the city limits especially with its manageable size, parking is a piece of cake. The suspension setting and the tall body delivered more body shake and roll, which may be acceptable. Twists present in the mountains must be taken carefully. Go beyond 100km/h and the Avanza feels light, and road imperfections and crosswinds are not much welcome. With that in mind, better stay in the city.

The first generation Avanza was a mix of the good and bad stuff. It was affordable and reliable, but quality was something to be liking, but they said you get what you paid for. If you need something for city trips that has the capacity to sit seven people, this is one good choice. But if you plan to bring it for out of town trips, extend your budget for an Innova.

The Good: 
  • Seats 7 on a pinch
  • Easy to park
  • Will last long than you do
The Bad:
  • Cheap materials are used
  • Third row seat for kids only
  • Refinement not on the vocabulary
The Pick: 1.5G MT

Engines: 1,298cc K3-VE and 1,495cc 3SZ-VE I4 gasoline
Power: 92hp @ 6,000rpm (1.3), 109hp @ 6,000rpm (1.5)
Torque: 120Nm @ 4,400rpm (1.3), 141Nm @ 4,400rpm (1.5)
Fuel Consumption: 8-10km/L (city), 10-13km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front McPherson strut with coil spring and stabilizer, rear 4-link with coil spring

Price (New): P583,000-P843,000 (range from 2006-2011)
Price (Now): P320,000-P440,000
Rivals: Suzuki APV, Toyota Innova, Kia Carens, Nissan Grand Livina, Isuzu Crosswind, Mitsubishi Adventure
On Sale: 2006-2011

Toyota Balintawak North - (02) 927-7215
Toyota Bicutan - (02) 777-9500

No comments:

Post a Comment