Toyota Avanza SX 1.5 Automatic
Avanza is a plain but almost nimble inner city transport machine. It turns on a tickey, pulls away quite briskly and stops rapidly. The SX Avanza has a 4 speed box and a 4 cylinder 1.5 litre petrol engine putting out 76kW @ 6000rpm and a torque of 136Nm @ 4400.
Bearing in mind it is a smaller vehicle it takes quite a load, 7 people or especially if you take the rear bench seat out a huge boot with a cabin wide door and a conveniently low cargo floor.
In short, the Avanza is a great little commercial vehicle well suited to city life.
The SX is a seven seater with three rows of seats finished in what looks like durable cloth. The seats are not very adjustable.
Equipment includes manual air conditioner, electrically adjustable windows and mirror, power steering, courtesy lamps with door ajar warning and an entry lamp in the door, speakers but no radio. The latter cost around R600 from a car radio dealer.
Interior finishes tend to hard plastics. The cabin is not unpleasant, it is just very functional. The interior of a workhorse, which it is. There are a large number of nooks and crannies to put things. Even a flip down spectacle holder in the roof.
The air conditioner is very effective. The controls feel a little flimsy and will take a little getting used to.
Its a box on wheels. The overall impression is easy on the eye, with a balanced relationship between the various elements. It is available in six colours.
The Avanza is a really good little runabout. The automatic gearbox as tested is very effective. The steering is light and easy to get used to. Acceleration is surprisingly good.
For a commercial vehicle the Avanza is quite nimble and not unpleasant to drive. Just take corners carefully.
ABS brakes are fitted as standard. Ground clearance is good at 200mm.
Toyota claim fuel consumption of 7.2 litres/100km. I think you will battle to improve on 8 litres per 100km, and nearer to 9 in town.
The interior is a little plastic. There is just too much hard plastic. It is a little noisy, but not overly so.
A strong cross wind tends to push this somewhat slab sided little van all over the place.
I personally feel it is a little narrow. The upside of its small dimensions is it fits everywhere.
The Avanza is a practical runabout workhorse which seats seven adults in comfort.
It really works as a tough, simple car which can seat 7 people and give years of trouble free motoring for a very reasonable price.
It can be used as a van when the seats are folded away.
Priced from R157 500 for the base S range to R204 200 for the top TX model.
The SX automatic as tested is R191 500.
Standard warranty is 3 years/100 000km. The service plan is 4-year/60 000 km.