Toyota Avensis (2009 – 2015) Review

Toyota Avensis (2009 – 2015) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Toyota Avensis is brilliant at being mediocre, and we say that with a large dollop of affection.

+Hugely practical and robust, refined and quiet on the move, excellent diesel engines, especially the 2.0 D-4D, very reliable.

-Lacklustre image, dull styling inside and out, cabin lacks panache, saloon only.

Insurance Groups are between 15–25
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

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.

Ask Honest John

Are there any recalls for the Toyota Avensis?

"Are their any recalls on a 2010 Toyota Avensis T27 1.8 petrol? "
You can check for outstanding recalls on any vehicle on the government website here: A quick check shows that there are two recalls for the Toyota Avensis, one for the rear suspension arm and the other for the emission control unit in the fuel tank. We would suggest visiting the website where you can check with your vehicle registration to see if it applies to your specific model.
Answered by David Ross

What's the best Toyota automatic?

"We are currently looking for an estate/MPV type car with an automatic gearbox. We have narrowed down our search to either the Toyota Avensis (estate version) or Auris. Which years of these model particular models had the most reliable gearboxes? I'm also slightly confused as there are V- Matic and CVT gearboxes seen in these models. Bear in mind we are looking for something that will cost no more than £5000 to £8000 so we are not looking for something new and understand we may be restricted to older cars, but as long as the car is solid and reliable it doesnt matter to us."
With your budget, you would be looking at examples of the 2009 to 2015 Toyota Avensis, which was available with a V-Matic (CVT) transmission on petrol engines and a six-speed torque converter automatic on the 2.2 D-4D diesel. For the Auris this budget would give you a choice of models across the last two generations between 2007 and 2019, which were only available with a CVT gearbox. If you have a preference for a torque converter automatic then the Avensis would be your best option, but we are not aware of any specific reliability issues with Toyota automatic gearboxes of any variety.
Answered by David Ross

I need a reliable automatic diesel - what do you suggest?

"I want to buy a diesel car (for a family of 4-5) that has a reliable automatic gearbox (I only hold an automatic licence), which diesel cars out there are renown to have reliable auto gearbox systems with a diesel engine?"
Conventional automatics are less popular on modern cars as dual-clutch automatics tend to be more efficient, although there have been more reliability issues with these gearboxes as they age. We would suggest looking at something like the Toyota Avensis, which is available with an economical diesel engine and an automatic gearbox. It also has good passenger space and an excellent boot, so you should find it fits your family well. It also has a good reliability record, and you should be able to find examples of this car from £5,000 upwards.
Answered by David Ross

Cheap estate car recommendation?

"I have maximum £4,000 to spend on a spacious car (preferably an estate for the wider boot opening) which will be used primarily for ferrying me and my work kit around. Reliability and space are most important to me, but something with cruise control and an aux connection would also be great. I'm happy with diesel or petrol but would be mainly interested in a manual. What would you recommend?"
How about a Skoda Octavia Estate? They're popular with taxi drivers for a reason - they're comfortable, practical and the diesel engines are generally very reliable. A Toyota Avensis Estate is a good choice for the same reasons.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Toyota Avensis (2009 – 2015) cost?