Toyota Veloz: Question of choice

Toyota no longer sells the Avanza MPV in Malaysia. The Veloz has come in to plug the gap for an entry-level 7-seat people mover.

The latter is a bigger car overall even though it shares the same chassis and platform as the current third-generation Avanza. For a time, the Veloz name was actually the top trim level of the previous generation Avanza in some other markets, so there are familial ties there.

In the local context, there’s also a link to Perodua’s own — the Alza. The new Alza, launched in July last year, now shares the Daihatsu New Global Architecture platform as the Veloz.

In fact, both are built at Perodua’s plant in Rawang.

While the Alza is offered in three variants, Toyota keeps it simple with just one for the Veloz.

Priced at RM95,000, the Veloz is almost RM20,000 more than the top AV variant of the Alza, aspiring to be a more premium product.

At first glance, both Veloz and Alza look similar but there are enough differences to tell them apart.

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Sizing it up

On the outside, the Veloz is quite the handsome-looking MPV. The large trapezoid grille framed by narrow upswept LED headlights gives it a chunky look, enhanced by beefy fenders.

A distinctive chrome trim runs from the top of the grille across the beltlines of the car to add elegant brightware to the bodywork.

The rear end looks broad and sturdy with a light bar spanning the entire width to link up the LED taillights.

The cabin is spacious and generally well-appointed.

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The dash layout is similar to that in the top grade Alza but a few details marked it out as the better one - automatic climate control, wireless CarPlay and Android Auto as well as steering wheel that’s tilt and telescopic adjustable.

Creature comforts abound in the Veloz, with a user-friendly 9-inch centre infotainment system, wireless phone charging, Bluetooth connectivity, three USB ports, two accessory sockets and an impressive 15 cup/bottle holders.

Comfort and refinements

Semi-leather seats are supportive and comfortable for the most part. Access to third row is quick with mid-row seats being able to tumble slide up easily.

As with most three-row vehicles, third-row bench seats are for the kids or small adults. Aiding comfort are reclinable seatbacks in the last two rows.

The claim to in-cabin refinements are ambient lighting and soft cream white leather touches on the doors and the dashboard but the cabin is still predominantly made of hard plastic.

Boot size is generous at 498 litres when third row seats are folded. When all seats are filled, the boot is still enough to accept two cabin bags. On top of that, the functional roof rails allow for a cargo load of up to 75kg if necessary.

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The Veloz also comes with front dashcam (rear is extra-cost option) but the way it is installed looks aftermarket and it could have been better implemented for a more unified look.

The Veloz amplifies its safety stats with its Toyota Safety Sense active safety features - all the better to keep the driver and his family safe on the road.

They comprised pre-collision warning; pre-collision braking, pre-collision braking assist, adaptive cruise control with full speed range, lane departure warning, lane departure prevention with steering assist, lane keeping control, front departure alert and adaptive driving beam.

Hit the road

The Veloz is powered by the same a 1.5-litre petrol engine as the Alza making 105hp and 137Nm torque.

It’s a family car so driven like one, it’s a competent highway cruiser with enough power to haul people and belongings along.

The new Dual Mode CVT, which comes with a mechanical gear, is brisk and responsive in putting power to the wheels and provides a pleasant shift feel.

With three modes on tap, the driver can add more impetus to the drive with the Power mode such as when overtaking or save on fuel with a switch to Eco.

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As a result of its elevated stance, the Veloz’s ride is rather SUV-like, but body roll is well restrained as it is rolled through corners, making for a comfortable and predictable drive without surprises.

It handles most road irregularities just fine and feels more settled in when loaded up with more passengers.

Noise isolation is commendable when the Veloz is driven at sensible speeds but wind noise starts creeping in the harder one steps on the gas accompanied by a strained engine note.

We turned in an average fuel consumption of 7.9l/100km, which was a little higher than that of the Alza we had driven earlier on a similar route. This could be attributed to the Veloz being heavier and sporting 17-inch wheels instead of the 16-inchers in the Perodua.

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Bottom line

While sharing much in common, the Alza and Veloz speak to different segments of the population.

Perodua cars have always appeal to the budget conscious and those seeking a value buy. The Alza fits that profile to a T.

For those with a bit more money who find the extra goodies worth paying for, the Veloz would be a prime consideration. Not to mention that many are willing to pay more for what is perceived as an “atas” (premium) brand and product.

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Toyota Veloz

Engine: 1,496cc 1.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol with Dual -VVT-i
Maximum power: 105hp at 6,000rpm
Maximum torque: 138Nm at 4,200rpm
Transmission: 7-speed CVT
Features: Six airbags, front-wheel drive, LED headlights & taillights, sequential turn signals, auto start/stop, roof rails & door visors, three drive modes, leather steering wheel, semi-leather seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic air-conditioning, wired/wireless Apple carPlay and Android Auto, three USB charging ports, 15 cup/bottle holders, ambient lighting, 3D Panoramic View Monitor, dashcam, Toyota Safety Sense, blindspot detection, rear cross traffic alert, electric parking brake, Auto Brake Hold, 5m turning radius Suspension: Front MacPherson struts; rear torsion beam Kerb weight: 1,185kg
Boot capacity: 498l (third-row seats folded)
Price: RM95,000 (OTR without insurance)


Autos Toyota
CarSifu's Rating: 7.6