Toyota Avensis (2003–2009)
Launched in Japan as the Allion and in UK as the Avensis later, in March 2003. A much sleeker, more imposing looking car than the old Avensis. Saloon, hatchback and estate bodies (Verso arrived August 2001). 4,630mm long (estate 4,700mm) x 1,760mm wide.
Has 129bhp 1.8 litre direct injected chain cam VVTi petrol engine, 2.0 litre chain cam 147bhp VVTi direct injected petrol and 116bhp 2.0 litre belt cam D-4D, conforming to Euro4 emissions standard (arrived May 2003). Manual or sequential shift automatic on petrol engines.
Handles much better than old Avensis because benefits from Toyota's change in suspension strategy (has double wishbone rear). Nine airbags (including driver's knee bag), a/c, 8 way electric front seats and eight speaker stereo all standard. Satnav and Traffic Avoidance systems optional. Prices from £13,995 for 1.8 VVT-i up to £21,495 for 2.0 VVT-i T Spirit Tourer auto. Low insurance groups from 7E for 1.8 VVT-i through 8E for D-4D to 9E for 2.0 VVT-i Spirit. Best ever ressults in NCAP crash tests gave total score of 34 points and 5 Star rating.
Two new engines for 2004: 2.0 D-CAT has NOX and PM reducing cat, develops 114bhp and 280Nm torque. 2.4 DI petrol engine develops 161bhp and 240Nm torque, gets car to 60 in 8.8 seconds. Offered with optional 5-speed sequential multi-mode autobox.
New Piezo electronic injected alloy block Euro IV chain-cam diesels announced and on sale in UK from early 2006, taking better advantage of its decent chassis. 2.2 D-4D with 148bhp at 3,600rpm and 310Nm from 2,000 to 3,200rpm. Lightweight all-aluminium construction. New, compact six-speed manual transmission.
Targeted top speed of 130mph and 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds. Targeted combined fuel consumption of 47.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 156g/km. New 6-speed transmission. Available in the UK from 1st July 2005 at prices from £18,145.
Also 2.2 D-CAT Clean Power, on sale in UK from mid 2006 facelift. 180PS = 175bhp and 400Nm from 2,000 to 2,600rpm. Combined fuel consumption on average 20 per cent lower than rival engines with similar output (target figure). Both 2.2 diesel engines produced in Poland by Toyota Motor Industries Poland (TMIP)
Avensis range refreshed and facelifted with the 175hp D-4D 180, which exclusively powers a new flagship Avensis T180 model, and the D-4D 130, a more powerful replacement for the previous 2.0-litre D-4D engine, with additional gains in fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions. The new Avensis also delivers improved handling and ride, thanks to a series of detail revisions in the steering and suspension systems.
Standard satnav replaced on T3-S, T4, T Spirit and T180 from turn-by-turn to full-map, touch-screen system. With TMC monitoring and Dynamic Route Guidance (DRG), the system obtains early alerts to any delays on a programmed route and will automatically offer the driver an alternative, if desired. Also provides an anticipated arrival time at the destination.
Further changes include new-design of alloy wheel for the T3-S and T3-X 1.8 VVT-i, 2.0 D-4D and 2.2 D-4D models, with wheel size on the D-4D versions increased from 16 to 17 inches. New fabric upholstery exclusive to the T3-x and T4 has been introduced, with a new stone leather interior newly available as an option on T Spirit models. For the exterior, Venetian Silver metallic joins the colour range available on T4, T Spirit and T180 grades, with Silver Steel metallic now offered on T2, T3-S and T3-X grades.
TR trim introduced
Key features include full map colour satellite navigation, dual-zone air conditioning and automatic headlights and wipers. Available with 1.8 VVT-i petrol and 2.0 D-4D 130 and 2.2 D-4D 150 diesel engines. On-the-road prices from £17,495 for 1.8 VVT-i TR saloon and hatchback. Prices £400 greater than Avensis T3-X, but with added specification worth more than £1,000.