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Toyota Avanza fits any family

2006-12-01 13:51
A special report brought to you by Toyota South Africa
The new Toyota Avanza, with its spacious 5+2 seat configuration, provides a solution to this family car conundrum.

Families come in all shapes and sizes. This diversity means that versatility is an important element when it comes to the selection of a family vehicle. Often the family vehicle owner just doesn't know what the day might bring in terms of transport needs and just how many people might have to fit in.

The new Toyota Avanza, with its spacious 5+2 seat configuration, provides a solution to this family car conundrum.

In the words of TMC Executive Chief Engineer for the Avanza, Kaoru Hosokawa, this new model has created an all new class of vehicle to address an untapped market: "With the Avanza we have created a new class of vehicle that can reach new customers as an entry level compact MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle). It is a very practical vehicle that will provide its owners with a highly satisfying ownership experience with value for money appeal. It is a vehicle like no other!"


The Avanza design brief was to develop a compact MPV with a high level of flexibility, utility, and a spacious and comfortable interior. This was achieved by adopting high efficiency packaging with three rows of seats in a compact size not found in competitor vehicles.

This type of packaging cannot be derived from conventional compact class vehicles and as such an all new platform was developed for the Avanza by Toyota.

This new platform had to provide the space necessary to accommodate a third row of seats with a long interior length despite the compact exterior dimensions.

A long wheelbase was the key to this together with the front engine/rear drive layout of the vehicle. The interior space generated by this layout placed the Avanza effectively in a class above its 'compact' designation. Ample headroom was secured by the tall nature of the body design.

The requirement for maximised interior length led the design team to place the wheels at the furthest extremities of the vehicle possible with the minimum of front and rear overhangs. This has a benefit in terms of overall vehicle stability as well.


An appealing exterior design with a commanding presence that sets it apart from other vehicles in the compact class would best describe the Avanza. To achieve this the design team pursued a design that provides a sense of the Avanza being larger than it actually is.

The smooth shape flows from front to rear and portrays a sense of movement in the styling. Strong character lines define the shape and provide a sense of inherent stability and a functional image. A point of focus in the design phase was the quality of external treatments and finishes to ensure an overall quality look and feel for the vehicle that exceeds expectations of an entry level vehicle.


The focus on quality that exceeds expectations was carried through into the interior that is based on the theme of 'Simple but Cool'.

The two-layer instrument panel is simple in structure but advanced in appearance with its gently curved surfaces housing the meter cluster that incorporates four dial-type gauges with the large diameter speedometer and tachometer in the centre. A geometric pattern is adopted for the centre of the gauges. Heating and ventilation is adjusted by a set of three dial-type controls.

Driving performance

An engineering target set for the Avanza was that it should have excellent driving dynamics for its position in the market and that it should provide a stress-free and smooth driving experience in all driving conditions. There also had to be an optimised balance between performance and economy.

Two newly developed engines have been adopted for the Avanza. Both are modern technology twin-overhead camshaft, 16-valve, four cylinder engines with VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing- intelligent), and electronic fuel injection. Both have a compression ratio of 10:1. Scissor-type gears are used for the inter-camshaft drive for reduced noise.

The K3-VE engine has a capacity of 1 298 cm3 derived from a bore of 72 mm and a stroke of 79,7 mm. Maximum power is 67 kW at 6 000 r/min. Torque is 120 Nm at 4 400 r/min. Top speed quoted for the 1.3 litre models is 160 km/h with a 0-100 km/h time of 14,2 seconds.

The 3SZ-VE engine has a capacity of 1 495 cm3 derived from a bore of 72 mm and a stroke of 91,3 mm. Maximum power delivered by this larger engine is 80 kW at 6 000 r/min. Torque is 141 Nm at 4 400 r/min. Top speed for this model is 165 km/h and a 0-100 km/h time of 12,8 seconds is achievable.

Both engines are mounted north/south at the front and drive through the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. The 1,5 litre models have a slightly higher final drive than the 1,3 litre derivatives, (4,625:1 vs 4,875:1). Gearing is optimised for balanced performance and economy with tests conducted by Toyota engineers delivering results that compared favourably with those of smaller vehicles.

A McPherson strut type suspension is used at the front and a four-link coil spring system at the rear. This combination provides a stable and balanced feel with excellent passenger comfort on all road surfaces. The design team applied themselves to the underfloor aerodynamics of the Avanza to reduce lift for enhanced high-speed stability.


The Avanza is all about space, utility and affordability in a compact vehicle. The three-row seating configuration of this new model from Toyota provides seating for seven occupants.

Excellent utility is 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 (4,625:1 vs 4,875:1) seats. A number of flexible seating/load configurations are possible with 955 litres of load space available (VDA method) 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 a refreshing flow of cool air to occupants of the middle and rear rows of seats.

Versatility and space were a primary focus in the design of the Avanza interior as were excellent ergonomics. The result is a practical and affordable family car that can be configured for multi-purpose use.

Body structure

The body structure of the Avanza is based on a highly rigid monocoque structure. This provides a strong passenger safety cell and stable handling characteristics. The body structure is designed around the principle of excellent durability and reliability.

Careful attention has been paid to the acoustic performance of the Avanza with numerous body reinforcements and sound and vibration absorbing elements placed strategically throughout the vehicle. Flush surfaces on the body and minimised gaps between panels assist in reducing wind noise as do double layer weather strips on the doors.


Despite its entry-level and affordable vehicle status, the Avanza embraces a number of active and passive safety features ensuring a safe and carefree motoring experience. Inherent in the design are excellent visibility, vehicle stability, and braking performance.


Toyota engineers strived to minimise the impact of this new vehicle on the environment in designing the Avanza. The use of materials that negatively impact on the environment has been kept to the minimum while the environmental performance of the vehicle has been designed to meet strict European standards.

Wherever possible materials that are easy to recycle have been specified. The use of an aluminium radiator core supports a lead free policy.

The newly developed 1,3 and 1,5 litre engines offer fuel economy that has been measured to be substantially lower than competing engines in the same capacity class.

Low CO2 emissions, enhanced fuel economy and low usage of materials that impact negatively make the Avanza friendly to the environment.


Driver's lucky escape

2013-09-03 07:42

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