The second-generation Toyota Avanza has been on sale for the better part of 10 years. Over the course of the 10 years it has been on sale, the Avanza has received a number of improvements, including completely revamped looks with LED headlights.
But those updates aren’t exactly enough to fend off newer rivals like the Honda BR-V, Mitsubishi Xpander, and Perodua Aruz.
Let’s dive in.
It needs a better powertrain
First and foremost, the Toyota Avanza definitely needs a refresh in the powertrain department. While the 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to a four-speed automatic is on par with its core rivals, its rear-wheel drive architecture has more parasitic loss than its front-wheel drive rivals.
This results in a less-than-ideal driving performance compared to the likes of the Honda BR-V and Mitsubishi Xpander.
Recent rumours are saying that the next-generation Toyota Avanza will not only be developed on the DNGA platform, but could potentially share a powertrain with the Perodua Ativa / Daihatsu Rocky / Toyota Raize – a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine that does 98 PS and 140 Nm.
The Avanza needs better safety
Apart from an upgraded powertrain, the next-generation Toyota Avanza should benefit from an enhanced safety package, encompassing features like stability control, side and curtain airbags, as well as the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) ADAS suite.
The outgoing Toyota Avanza is spartan by comparison, offering just ABS and two airbags. Currently, it is Toyota's only model without the TSS ADAS suite.
If the next-gen Toyota Avanza wants to grab an even large slice of market from the BR-V, Aruz, and Xpander, it definitely needs a more comprehensive safety update. Even a partial TSS suite like the one found in the Indonesian-market Toyota Raize is a step-up.
Improved ride comfort would be much appreciated as well
Last but certainly not the least is the ride comfort aspect of the Avanza. Thanks to its semi-ladder frame chassis (monocoque in the front-half) with multi-link rear suspension, ride comfort isn’t exactly its forte.
While this configuration is suited for rural parts of Indonesia, as a fully-loaded, rear-wheel drive Avanza has a traction advantage compared to its front-wheel drive peers, the same cannot be said for those in developed parts of the country where roads are paved.
Ride comfort of the second-generation Avanza is substantially better than earlier-generation models, but rivals have improved even more.
The benefits of moving to a front-wheel drive platform for the Avanza are two-fold. Firstly, ride comfort would improve substantially, and secondly, reduce parasitic loss caused by the rear-wheel drive platform. DNGA-based Avanza, maybe?
Considering that rumours and spyshots of the next-generation Toyota Avanza have been steadily growing over the past couple of months, it’s safe to say that we will be seeing the new gen model sooner rather than later.
But that’s not all, as the next-generation Toyota Avanza will likely lend its DNGA platform to the next-generation Perodua Alza as well.
Seeing that Japan has long discontinued to Daihatsu Boon Luminas / Toyota Passo Sette, which the Perodua Alza is based on, Perodua does not have a donor car for the new generation Alza. That explains why the Alza has remained unchanged for more than 10 years.
In order to streamline the ASEAN region’s product portfolio, it would make sense for Daihatsu (which already makes the Avanza for Toyota) to combine both the Avanza and Alza into one model.