Johannesburg - Toyota SA has announced at the Auto Africa Motor Show its Avanza people carrier - and Wheels24 was spot on with our forecast of pricing, with the seven seater starting out at less than R100 000.
The Japanese company claims the Avanza is a new class of entry-level MPV, and certainly as far as pricing goes this is correct.
Although smaller and less robust-looking than the Toyota Condor, which it effectively replaces, the Avanza certainly manages to offer seven seats, although the rearmost ones would be better used by children or small adults.
There are two engines on offer, both modern VVT-i variable valve timing versions, with a 67 kW 1.3 litre and a more powerful 80 kW 1.5-litre version, and there are two trim levels.
Top speed for the 1.3 litre models is a claimed 160 km/h with a 0-100 km/h time of 14.2 seconds, and on the 1.5-litre 165 km/h and 12.8 seconds.
Both engines are mounted north/south at the front and drive through the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission.
A McPherson strut type suspension is used at the front and a four-link coil spring system at the rear.
The styling is modern and good-looking, the car appearing quite chic, with the most obvious styling feature its length.
This allows the car excellent utility, achieved by adopting a tumble mechanism for the centre row of seats, split 50:50, and a fold and tumble mechanism for the third row.
A spring-loaded device assists in reducing the effort required to tumble the centre row of seats. A number of flexible seating/load configurations are possible with 955 litres of load space available with all the rear seats folded away.
A total of 17 various size storage spaces are provided for smaller items.
These include bottle or cup holders for all seats, compartments of varying size and shape in the door trim panels and centre console and the glove box.
Both the driver?s seat and front passenger seat have storage pockets in their backrests accessible by passengers in the middle row of seats.
Air conditioning is standard on all but the base line model. A dual system is fitted to the Avanza 1.5i TX to provide cool air to occupants of the middle and rear rows of seats.
Despite its entry-level and affordable vehicle status, the Avanza embraces a number of active and passive safety features.
These include driver and front passenger airbags on all but the base line model, three-point ELR seatbelts on all seats except the middle seat in the second row where a two point lap belt is provided., ABS brakes with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), a rear screen demister and wiper, and multi-reflector headlamps.
The interior features high quality light-coloured cloth seat facings, while the two-layer instrument panel is simple in structure and incorporates four dial-type gauges with the large diameter speedometer and revcounter in the centre.
Heating and ventilation is adjusted by a set of three dial-type controls.
Specification on the base line 1.3 S includes pockets on the back of the driver and passenger seats, a carpeted load area, power windows, revcounter, front and rear console boxes, digital clock, colour keyed grille and front and rear bumpers, seat belt warning light, door ajar warning light, power steering, power windows, power door locks with remote central locking, and 14 X 5J steel wheel rims fitted with 185/70 R14 tyres.
The 1.3 SX has the following items added to the specification:
- Four spoke urethane steering wheel.
- Air conditioning.
- Driver and front passenger airbags.
- ABS brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution).
The 1.5 SX derivative has more power and torque and is distinguished by the following:
- Mirrors fitted to both driver and passenger sun visors.
- Body colour side mirrors.
- Body colour door handles.
The top specification grade 1.5 TX adds further comfort features:
- Assist grips for all three rows of seats.
- Front and rear air conditioning.
- Full chrome grille.
- Rear spoiler.
- High mounted stop lamp.
- Smoked privacy glass for the rear windows.
- Electric side mirrors.
- Protective side mouldings.
- Door sash blackout treatment.
- Chrome tailgate garnish.
- 15 X 5J aluminium wheels fitted with 185/65 R15 tyres.
All models come pre-wired for ease of fitment of a radio/CD combination which is available as a dealer fitted option.
A pillar mount radio aerial is fitted, as are front speakers on all models. The Avanza 1.5i TX is also pre-fitted with rear speakers.
The big news is that Toyota SA is expecting big numbers from this new model range, with president Johan van Zyl forecasting sales of 800 a month.
- 1.3S R99 990
- 1.3 SX R116 300
- 1.5 SX R122 900
- 1.5 TX R139 700.
All prices include a 4 year/60 000 km service plan.