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Toyota Avensis (2015–)

Last updated 12 February 2018

Well-equipped and easy to drive. Comfortable long distance cruiser. Lots of interior space.
Bland styling inside and out. Not particularly fun to drive. Apart from 2.0-litre diesel the engines need to be worked hard to gain meaningful performance.
Updated 29 January 2018
R/2017/329:

BOLTS ON THE EXHAUST SIDE OF THE TURBOCHARGER ASSEMBLY MAY BE INCORRECTLY TIGHTENED. Affected vehicles have a 2.0 litre turbocharged diesel engine. There is a possibility that the bolts on the exhaust-side...

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Introduction

The Toyota Avensis is the typical sensible saloon. It prioritises value and practicality over style and driving excitement. As a result the Avensis is spacious, well-equipped and boasts high levels of comfort and refinement. However, it does show its age, with bland interior styling and an uninspiring drive.

The third-generation Avensis was launched in 2009 and received a major update in 2015 to bring it into line with the competition - namely the Ford Mondeo, Skoda Octavia and Mazda 6. These upgrades include more efficient engines and more safety kit as standard.

Despite the raft of impressive updates, the interior retains dull and forgettable, with lots of dark plastics that look like they've been lifted from a 1980s' TV set. That said, the cabin is one of the largest in its class, with plenty of head and leg room in the front and back. The seats are also larger, more supportive and include technology to reduce whiplash injuries in the event of an accident. 

Cabin storage is good with a large front console box - doubling up as a front armrest - and a cavernous glovebox that will easily hold a large water bottle. Admittedly, the 509-litre boot is not as big as the Mondeo or Octavia, but it can still hold a pair of large suitcases or a set of golf clubs. The rear seats can also be folded to offer more space. 

The engine line-up consists of three options - one petrol and two diesels - with the former being a 1.8-litre four-cylinder with 147PS. Fuel economy for the petrol is not as impressive as other family saloons, with the Toyota returning 139g/km and up to 47.9mpg. 

Those covering high mileages will be better off with one of the diesels, with the 1.6 and 2.0 powertrains returning a respective claimed figures of 67.3mpg and 62.8mpg. The 1.6 diesel is the most economical powertrain in the range, but again lags behind the competition on emissions and doesn't dip below the all-important 100g/km for CO2.

While the Avensis isn't anywhere near as much fun to drive as its rivals, it redeems itself on the motorway with low noise levels and impressive long distance comfort. What's more, being a Toyota, it feels relatively well-built and is backed by a comprehensive five-year warranty.

Long Term Test Toyota Avensis Touring Sports 2.0 D-4D

 

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