Love at first sight: 2022 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V CVT

Love at first sight: 2022 Toyota Veloz 1.5 V CVT

For the longest time, Filipino car buyers have been enamored and intrigued by the Toyota Veloz. It was a mash-up of the great elements between an MPV and a subcompact crossover SUV, and was a huge hit in other parts of Southeast Asia. Locally however it pretty much went over our head and was quietly pulled out due to the lack of attention it was getting from the market. In this current iteration, however, things are poised to be much different.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Is the Toyota Veloz the same as the Toyota Avanza?

    No, the Veloz in the Philippines has removed itself from the MPV nameplate and is now positioned as a different model.
  • Which trim has the cruise control and Toyota Safety Sense?

    The top-of-the-line 1.5 V variant of the 2022 Toyota Veloz has these features.
  • 2022-Toyota-Veloz-Top-Hood-View

    Gone is the Avanza nomenclature in the model’s branding and literature, even though the overall design of the 2022 Toyota Veloz was deliberately made distinct from its stablemate and leans much more aggressively towards marketing itself as a subcompact crossover SUV. Does the Toyota Veloz have enough to change people’s minds?

    Exterior

    Comparisons to the 2022 Toyota Avanza, which is currently selling quite well, are inevitable. They do share the same platform and chassis and as earlier stated, the model started life as a variant of the popular small MPV. How much change should a variant undergo in order to warrant having its own marque? With the 2022 Toyota Veloz, a significant nip and tuck all around will definitely do.

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-Left-rear-side-wheel-1

    Starting with the front fascia, the 2022 Toyota Veloz sheds the large trapezoidal front grill in favor of a sportier, honeycomb type hexagon that is clearly inspired by larger Toyota models such as the Toyota RAV4, Corolla Cross — and even the Fortuner and Hilux. This further stakes its claim as to what segment of the market Toyota Motor Philippines believes it to be slotted in.

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-Halogen-FOglamp-1

    The aggressive front end is highlighted by split-type LED headlamps with daytime running lights and the halogen fog lamps create a nice contrast of hot white and warm yellow that I most certainly like. While some buyers prefer an all-LED implementation, I appreciate that the 2022 Toyota Veloz uses this setup to create a distinct look. 

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-hexagonal-grille-1

    In a surprise twist, and will surely be the envy of other markets outside the Philippines, the 2022 Toyota Veloz comes with black plastic cladding all around which completes the mandatory requirement for it to be called a crossover SUV. While that last part may be a tongue-in-cheek statement, it can’t be helped that many crossovers do adopt this to make themselves look rugged. 

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-LED-Headlamp-1

    Toyota Motor Philippines has made the conscious decision of adding this simple piece of trim and is currently exclusive for the Philippine domestic market spec. I have to admit that it certainly adds a bit more aggression to the 2022 Toyota Veloz; ditto for the 17-inch, two-tone alloy wheels and roof rails but personally, I am most excited about the rear LED tail lamp combination that consists of an unobstructed light bar that links the tail lamps. 

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-on-the-Road-Rear-Taillight-1

    Overall, the Toyota Veloz deserves its own nameplate, especially with Toyota making an effort and not simply slapping on boy-racer kits here and there to an already existing platform. The Veloz is legit and if you need more reminders about what it is, the Veloz nameplate is etched right on the edge of the headlamps.

    Interior

    Getting inside the 2022 Toyota Veloz, I can’t help but expect to see much of the same interior amenities as the brand's small MPV. In this regard, I am never more glad to be pointed out wrong. 

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-cockpit-peek-1

    Everything on the inside, particularly the dashboard, feels much more premium. There are soft-touch materials on the dash as well as a ubiquitous Veloz badge on the passenger side. Matte silver trims adorn the center console with embossed diamond patterns all around. Subtle ambient lighting around the cabin can also be found, further emphasizing the premium aspirations of the 2022 Toyota Veloz.

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-9-inch-touch-screen-1

    The icing on the cake is certainly the nine-inch infotainment system with a buttery smooth interface. It thankfully has  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus wireless charging for those who like to impress their titos and titas! Good smartphone integration is vital in today’s vehicles and I am glad that current Toyota vehicles are now trying to acclimate themselves into the roaring '20s and their tech.

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-Cockpit-view-1

    The gauge clusters are now fully digital with various driving information displayed on a seven-inch multi-information display. The graphics are of high resolution and to be totally honest, I thought that only one side of the screen was digital while the speedometer was analog. As it turns out, the entire gauge is digital. What an age we live in!

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-Automatic-Climate-Control-1

    Space is adequate for my five-foot-10-1/2 frame; that much is true but ergonomics and versatility is also the name of the 2022 Toyota Veloz game. Seats are comfortable yet supportive, particularly the driver’s seat. Adjustments are done manually and the steering wheel is only adjustable for rake and not reach but achieving the optimal driving position is still a breeze. The rear seats also have a neat trick wherein drivers can adjust their configuration, thanks to a 60:40 split second row and 50:50 on the third. Full cargo mode with an almost completely flat floor can be had with a few pulls from different levers, adjusting the seats as necessary, while long sofa mode, using the third-row seats, passengers can lounge and rest their legs onto the second-row cushion, enabling long sofa mode. I can almost see the Veloz being used for glamping activities. Try doing that on an MPV!

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-CVT-Shifter-1

    The design of the interior for the 2022 Toyota Veloz is a straightforward and timeless affair. It achieves the look of being functional and stylish without being too out there and futuristic, which oftentimes does not bode well after a few years.

    Performance and fuel economy

    Under the hood of the Toyota Veloz lies a 1.5 liter naturally aspirated engine that makes 105hp and 138 Nm of torque. Toyota is well known for its zippy engines that rely on early torque entry, and the 2022 Toyota Veloz certainly has this quality enabling it to carry at least four passengers, which we tested, in relative comfort and safety.

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-rinnung-from-behind-aggressive-1

    Acceleration is brisk, but will not set the asphalt on fire by any stretch of the imagination — and it's not meant to. For its purpose of ferrying along people, the power figures certainly are adequate and yes, I can see this going up to Baguio City with a full load of seven pax. It’s all about what the 2022 Toyota Veloz can make me feel and with the MacPherson struts up front and torsion bar in the rear, it was smooth sailing all throughout. In fact, during our time with it, going out of town gave me a sense of road trip vibrations. It’s quite surreal, really, the joy it gives you while driving is profound. There are selectable drive modes as well for those looking for a little bit more of that extra sauce while driving.

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-oncoming-advancing-1

    Powering all those horses to the front wheels is a continuously variable transmission or CVT which I believe is a perfect match for the engine and what the brand wants for the 2022 Toyota Veloz. Unlike other CVT implementations the Veloz feels more focused and precise due to the dual-mode CVT. Basically, what this is that it uses an actual gear ratio on the top end for cruising speeds, removing the dreaded CVT drone at highway speeds. This not only improves fuel efficiency but is another example of Toyota’s efforts to improve the “feel” of the drive. 

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-Rear-Close-on-the-Road-1

    Speaking of fuel efficiency, I am happy to report that the 2022 Toyota Veloz is quite the fuel miser, especially in this day and age of high fuel prices. In the city, with heavy traffic and four people aboard, the gauges read around 8kpl while opening up on the highway nets around 14kpl. Expect better fuel efficiency once the engine gets broken in and under normal conditions.

    Safety

    The most important feature of modern cars is safety, and the 2022 Toyota Veloz has it in spades, and then some! Apart from the standard features like six airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, and of course, seatbelts and Isofix anchors, the small crossover now has Toyota Safety Sense.

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-Passenger-indicator-1

    Remember when advanced safety features used to be found exclusively in more expensive models? These days, I appreciate that the technology is starting to trickle down to cars that we can actually afford. Features such as pre-collision systems, automatic high beams and lane departure warning systems work to ensure a safe drive.

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-rear-Camera-1

    These work with other active and passive safety features such stability control, hill-start assist, seatbelt reminders, a panoramic 360-degree camera and rear parking sensors. The most important safety feature will always be the driver's awareness and forethought, but the technology sure helps.

    Pricing and Conclusion

    Pricing for the all-new 2022 Toyota Veloz starts at P1,185,000 for the 1.5 G variant. That comes with all the aforementioned features sans the panoramic 360-degree camera, Toyota Safety Sense, and gets an eight-inch touchscreen instead of the nine-inch. The variant we've tested is the 1.5 V that is available for P1,225,000. 

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-Left-profile-Front-1

    Competing models from other brands include the Honda BR-V, Mitsubishi Xpander Cross and the Suzuki XL7, which are all crossover versions of their brands' respective small MPVs.

    2022-Toyota-Veloz-rear-left-profile-far-1

    The all-new 2022 Toyota Veloz is a fun, capable and practical crossover for those looking for something bigger than their current sedans or hatchbacks. Not everyone needs large SUVs or powerful turbos. Instead of counting horsepower figures, how about counting the times you catch yourself smiling with just being behind the wheel?

    Photos by Kent Flores

     

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