Avanza panel van is no ugly truckling

Comment on this story
IOL mot pic feb14 Toyota Avanza Panel Van 1 . Toyota Avanza panel van still has five doors.

Sometimes the V in MPV just means 'van' - and no, Cyril, we're not talking about SuperSarel here, but about taking advantage of the generous interior volume of these versatile vehicles.

As if to illustrate my point, Toyota has announced a van version of its recently-upgraded Avanza all-rounder, with the same facelifted styling, bigger cabin (which in this case mean more cargo space) and improved comfort and safety features.

According to Toyota SA marketing head Calvyn Hamman: “Just because it works for a living, doesn't mean it has to look like a truck - but the Avanza panel van is certainly up for the job.”


What's surprising is how little has been done to the Avanza to equip it for its new role. It still has five doors (not a bad thing when it comes to cargo access in cramped delivery yards) and, rather than make new rear doors and tailgate without glass, Toyota has simply blacked out the windows to discourage affirmative shopping.

The rear seats and carpeting are gone, of course, replaced by tough vinyl cladding, leaving a flat-floored cargo bay (the only intrusions are the rear wheel-arches) that's rated for a 500kg payload and comes with a cargo barrier net to secure the load.

IOL mot pic feb14 Toyota Avanza Panel Van 2 Toyota Avanza panel van is rated to carry 500kg. .

From the B pillar forward, however, it's all familiar Avanza territory, with electric power steering, dual front airbags, alarm/immobiliser, antilock braking, remote central locking and even electric windows all round.


The panel van has the same running gear as the 2012 Avanza MPV, with McPherson strut front and five-link coil-spring rear suspension, but with spring and damper rates revised for heavy-duty load-carrying.

And, of course, it's rear-wheel drive, which gives it a tighter turning circle than most of its FWD competitors, and better traction pulling away on a steep hill with a full load.

Motivation is supplied by a revised version of Toyota's familiar, long-stroke DOHC 1.3-litre four, rated for 67kW at 6000 revs and 117Nm at 4400rpm but now, according to Toyota, 20kg lighter (although they don't say where the weight was shed) - driving through a five-speed manual 'box.

Toyota does claim, however, that it will take the Avanza van from 0-100 in 11.9 seconds, while averaging 7.7 litres per 100km, although we assume both those figures were obtained without half a tonne of ballast in the back.


The Avanza 1.3 S panel van retails for R161 400 and, in line with its people-carrying siblings, comes with a three-year or 100 000km warranty, a four-year or 60 000km service plan and needs to go home to mommy every 15 000km.

Motoring newsletter - click here to keep up to speed with the best in motoring

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines 

Anonymous, wrote

IOL Comments
10:55am on 15 February 2012
IOL Comments

veri,veri ugly looking vehicle.

Report this

IOL Comments

Excite Taxis, wrote

IOL Comments
06:49am on 15 February 2012
IOL Comments

As a taxi owner of 40 Avanza’s I find the new Avanza very impressive. Toyota I can buy with confidence knowing that it will give me 500 000 kilometres and a good resale value there after. We ordered ten new black units, 1.5 sx units.

Report this

IOL Comments

JR, wrote

IOL Comments
09:26am on 14 February 2012
IOL Comments

FUGLY, rather buy something else like an Opel even a VW

Report this

IOL Comments

Showing items 1 - 3 of 3