Leave it to Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMP) to come up with creative ways to launch a new variant. This year, as in previous Toyota Roadtrek events, Toyota invited editors of major publications and online organizations for a scenic drive to the country’s largest province in terms of jurisdiction, Palawan. The islands of Palawan stretch between Mindoro in the northeast and Borneo in the southwest. It lies in between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea, which was once a famed battle ground during World War 2, and the site where Japan’s greatest battleship Musashi lies under the depths of the Sulu sea.
After arriving mid-morning at the newly refurbished airport at Puerto Princesa, the Toyota Roadtrek convoy proceeded to a nearby resort for the launch of the refreshed Toyota Avanza. The 2019 version of Toyota’s popular people mover gets an exterior overhaul. Visible changes are visible in the front fascia of the Avanza, which includes a new split-type LED headlamp clusters that compliments the character lines of the hood and the body lines that extends up to the rear end. Front fog lamps located the lower corner of the front bumpers complete the sporty look of this refreshed variant.
The rear of the Avanza gets a spoiler with LED brake strips, fin-type antenna and tail light extenders that complete the modern look of the 2019 variant.
Toyota also upgraded the interiors starting with a 6.8-inch capacitive touch panel display infotainment system that is similar to the RAV4 and the Camry. According to Tini Arevalo, first vice president of TMP, the multimedia console is enhanced with high resolution K2 technology audio that enables two phones hands-Free and five phones music streaming capabilities. The layout enables the Avanza to comfortably accommodate seven adults with ease and has a spacious cargo trunk.
“The interior design were patterned after versatility and practicality which is ideal for everyday use,” added Arevalo.
Fans of the Avanza can choose from two versions, the Veloz G that is powered by a 103-hp 1.5-liter engine or the E and J variant that have the 1.3-liter, 95-hp engine. It is available in both manual and automatic transmission. Price of the refreshed Avanza starts at P731,000.
The Roadtrek proper
After the media launch of the Avanza, the media participants then proceeded with the driving component of the Roadtrek, with the first stopover at the Toyota’s dealership in Puerto Princesa. Toyota prepared its fleet for the media to use throughout the road trip, from its best-selling Vios, RAV4, Camry and the all-new Hi-Ace. With strategic stops and accompanying challenges along the route, participants gradually snaked their way through the island of Palawan up to the jump-off point in the oldest town of Palawan, Taytay.
The rest of the Roadtrek event was spent in typical Toyota fashion, sight-seeing by way of a boat ride, a sumptuous seafood lunch at an island, snorkeling, plus other activities that aimed to pamper and relax our tired bodies from the previous day of physically challenging games and a day of driving.
The Toyota Roadtrek was first held 15 years ago as an avenue to promote goodwill and to celebrate friendships with the country’s most dominant automotive brand and fellow motoring scribes. The question now is, what lies ahead for the next Roadtrek?
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