Review: Toyota Avensis (2015 – 2019)

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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.

Toyota Avensis (2015 – 2019): At A Glance

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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What does a Toyota Avensis (2015 – 2019) cost?

Toyota Avensis (2015 – 2019): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4750 mm
Width 1810 mm
Height 1480 mm
Wheelbase 2700 mm

Full specifications

The quality of the interior is generally fine, with good build quality and lots of storage. Indeed, the glovebox and central box are huge, while the deep door pockets add to the Toyota's everyday usability. There are also some nice soft-touch materials, but the cabin is let down in some areas by bland styling and cheap grey plastics. 

The simplistic design makes the cabin easy to navigate, with clear dashboard dials and buttons for all of the essential in-car controls. Entry-level Active models get all of the essentials, with cruise control, Bluetooth, air conditioning, auto dimming rear-view mirror and steering wheel mounted controls for the audio.

Business trim adds navigation, a colourful eight-inch central screen and a multimedia hard drive to store music, while the range-topping Excel models get leather, powered front seats and upgraded audio, with 10 speakers. 

The Toyota Avensis has been a favourite with taxi drivers for years, thanks in part to its large and spacious cabin. As a result the Avensis will easily carry four large adults, while its flat floor at the rear will allow an additional passenger to sit in the middle with decent leg room. 

Even is base spec, the Avensis is an easy car to get comfortable in, thanks to its airy ambiance and supportive seats. The steering wheel has lots of adjustment with tilt and telescopic movements, while all-round visibility is excellent, thanks to the large front and rear screens.

The driver's seat also boasts manual height and lateral adjustments, while the central box doubles up as an arm rest to improve comfort over long trips. 

Admittedly, it’s not as large as the Ford Mondeo, but the Avensis will prove to be spacious enough for most, thanks to the 509-litre boot that will have little trouble carrying large suit cases and golf clubs. Should you need more space then a simple one touch system to fold the rear seats and get a maximum of 1320 litres. 

Standard Equipment

Active models include pre-crash safety system, autonomous emergency braking, air conditioning, cruise control, hill-start assist control, LED daytime running lights and rear lamp clusters, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, TFT multi-information display (monochrome), six-speaker CD/radio audio system, Bluetooth and power front windows

Business Edition models build on the Active specification with automatic high beam, lane departure warning, road sign assist, Toyota Touch 2 with Go multimedia and navigation system with eight-inch touchscreen control, six-speaker audio system with DAB radio, reversing camera, TFT multi-information display (colour), automatic air conditioning, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, dusk-sensing headlights, power windows, combination cloth and Alcantara seat upholstery, driver’s seat lumbar support, power retractable door mirrors, front fog lights and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Business Edition Plus further benefits from combination leather and Alcantara seat upholstery, smart entry and push-button start, LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights with light guides, auto-headlamp levelling, front fog lamps with cornering function, rear privacy glass and dedicated-design 17-inch alloy wheels

Excel versions of gain, Toyota Touch 2 with Go Plus with advanced connectivity functions and voice recognition, 10-speaker audio system, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seat upholstery, power-adjustable front seats with memory, heated front seats and adaptive front-lighting system.

Child seats that fit a Toyota Avensis (2015 – 2019)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Toyota Avensis (2015 – 2019) like to drive?

Engine choices are limited to one petrol and two diesels. The four-cylinder petrol is essentially the quickest in the range, with the 1.8-litre unit producing 147PS and covering 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds. The petrol is also the only engine to get an automatic option – a Multidrive S CVT – but given the choice we'd stick with the six-speed manual, due to the fact the CVT is somewhat sluggish, with lacklustre changes that make the Avensis feel considerably slower.  

Few Avensis drivers will care about the outright performance figures though and we found the 1.8 petrol to be refined and quiet enough for daily driving. Fuel economy is average compared to some of its rivals, with a claimed 47.1mpg and 139g/km of CO2. 

Should your mileage warrant it, we'd recommend the 1.6-litre diesel which return up to 67.3mpg. The 112PS diesel isn't as quick as the petrol - 0-62mph acceleration is 11.4 seconds, which is almost two seconds slower - but the improvements in economy more than make up for the shortcomings.

Emissions are lower too, with 108g/km of CO2. However, again, this isn't as good as the Ford Mondeo or Skoda Octavia, with both offering sub-100g/km and free road tax. 

Those wanting more power can opt for the 2.0-litre diesel, with 143PS and 0-62mph performance of 9.8 seconds. Claimed fuel consumption is 62.8mpg with 119g/km CO2 emissions, which isn't bad, and general refinement is better too, with good levels of mid-gear acceleration and a hushed operation at motorway speeds. 

The handling of the Avensis is less impressive though, with overpowered steering and lots of body learn in the corners. Indeed, while the Avensis is a fine motorway companion with low noise and a soft ride, things quickly unsettle on a series of bends, with lots of body learn and a distinct lack of precision in the steering. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.6 D-4D 67 mpg 11.4 s 108–116 g/km
1.8 V-Matic 47–59 mpg 10.4 s 138–149 g/km
1.8 V-Matic automatic 46–59 mpg 10.4 s 138–148 g/km
2.0 D-4D 59–63 mpg 9.5 s 119–124 g/km

Real MPG average for a Toyota Avensis (2015 – 2019)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

36–57 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Toyota Avensis (2015 – 2019)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Best estate car for a taxi business?

I am considering buying a three or four-year-old Ford Mondeo or Skoda Superb estate for my taxi business. Are there any issues with the auto gearboxes, on either of these cars?
Yes - the Powershift automatic gearbox used in the Mondeo can be troublesome. DSG gearboxes uses in Skodas can be problematic, but we've not had many issues reported with diesel Superbs. If you want the ultimate in reliability, I'd look for a Toyota Avensis.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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