Toyota Avensis (2009 – 2015) Review
Toyota Avensis (2009 – 2015) At A Glance
The Toyota Avensis is a saloon or estate car for non-car people. For folk who favour reliability, dependability and practicality over performance, good looks and glamour. There’s nothing wrong with that. In many ways, it’s part of the car’s appeal. Launched in 2009, the British-built Avensis is Toyota’s answer to the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia. Designed with company car drivers in mind, the Avensis is a car that keeps fleet managers happy and owners away from filling stations. You don’t dream of owning an Avensis, but it’s a car that won’t keep you awake at night through worry.
Precision handling, sharp steering, bold styling and punchy performance. These are just some of the things we’d say about the Toyota GT86. The Toyota Avensis is a different kettle of carp.
It’s easy to be sniffy about a car like the Toyota Avensis. It’s a car for your mates who aren’t into cars. A vehicle for taxi operators. Something you might end up with at the airport rental desk.
We think it deserves more respect. Let’s consider the positives.
It’s practical. The Avensis Tourer (estate) is positively vast, while the saloon isn’t lacking in the luggage capacity department. It will also seat five adults in comfort, which isn’t something you can say about every family car you might be looking at.
Then there’s the comfort. Almost everything about the Avensis has been configured to offer a smooth and relaxed driving experience. The seats are cosseting. The suspension is supple. Wind, road and engine noise are suppressed. Excuse the cliche, but the cabin in the Toyota Avensis is a nice place to be.
We should also point to the diesel engines, which are smooth, efficient, punchy and refined. The petrol engines are less impressive, but opt for one of the diesels and you’ll spend very little time filling up with fuel. The 2.0-litre D-4D is our particular favourite, offering decent poke to go with its excellent fuel economy.
Other positives? Well, the cabin is well screwed together, equipment levels are generous (especially if you avoid the entry-level model) and the Avensis has got a central storage bin large enough to have keen potholers queuing at the door. It’s really big, big, big… big. That’s meant to be an echo gag, but it doesn’t really work in words.
So much to like, so what are the drawbacks? Although design is subjective, we’re not sure the styling is anything to write home about. The cabin is about as exciting as a funeral parlour waiting room. Finally, the driving experience is dull enough to send you to sleep.
If you’re not bothered about any of the above, then you should add the Toyota Avensis to your shortlist. The earliest examples are available for the equivalent of a deposit on a PCP contract for a car that’s likely to be less reliable, less comfortable and less spacious. An Avensis diesel will exceed 200,000 miles with ease, if it has been maintained as per the service schedule.
You’ll spend more for a saloon or estate with a premium badge. Either that or you’ll have to put up with something older and tattier for the same price. Which means the smart money goes on the reliable, dependable and practical Avensis. You know it makes sense.