Like the motor it replaces, the 3rd-gen Toyota Avensis is actually a effectively constructed, tightly built & versatile family saloon. One which now pulls off the troublesome challenge of blending class-leading speed with equally remarkable fuel economy & emissions stats.
This in isolation is proof of the design efforts Toyota has put into its evolution. There are a few troubles, namely an uncertain ride, not comfortable seats & an occasionally loud motor, but neither are key concerns.
Missing exuberance is not the Avensis’s only problem. Although the touch-screen sat-nav with its neighboring control switches is successful and the dials are clear, the location & layout of a number of supplementary controls are less satisfactory.
Other than several testers protesting that the seat designs turned out to be insufficiently comfortable for extended excursions, you can find little else to fault in the interior accommodation. There is acceptable seat and wheel realignment to go well with a large number of individuals, & the rear cabin, if not exactly as accommodating as the Mondeo, is commendable in this sector.
If your search for an appropriate machine begins and ends with a vehicle that can transport you and your family quietly and securely, the Avensis will prove to be entirely satisfactory.
Having said that, as driving enthusiasts, we wish Toyota had diverted more efforts into making the Avensis a bit more satisfying, involving motor to drive & own. Mainly because what it is deficient in the most is sparkle.
In the case of our test vehicle – a mid-spec 148 horsepower diesel engine which is expected to function as the top seller. The Gearbox is a 6-speed manual, a design carried over from the preceding car.
Somewhat higher gearbox ratios compared to some competitors indicate the Avensis' in-gear acceleration is not so all-powerful. Far from the racetrack, , the distribution of power and torque proves as useful for road driving as it does outright speed, and on the freeway the Toyota is an effortless motorcar to drive.
Pushed swiftly across country, The Toyota Avensis is brisk to change route, steers precisely & grips very well.
The Avensis’s primary failing , is its ride. While remarkably compliant, it seems to merge a nervousness over slight, sharp ridges (specially at reduced velocities) with sub standard body handling over more challenging highway surfaces.
At the same time, next to the swooping, stylised interiors of a number of competitors – the Vauxhall Insignia particularly – the Toyota delivers its passengers very little when it comes to fun.
The lines of the dashboard are clean & the difference between the bumpy dash and the charcoal-effect central unit standard on better-specification models works well, nonetheless the expanses of flat surfaces offer a conservative feel.
The brand new Avensis is considerably more European in look than previously, undoubtedly, but if you would like – inside or out – for the kind of pizzazz that goes richly through motors like the Vauxhall Insignia, or of course compact executive vehicles that many D-sector vehicles aim to match, the Avensis is left wanting.
Beneath, the newest Avensis will be based upon what Toyota refers to as a all new platform, yet it has stuck with engineering it knows to attach in to the new metalware - engines and boxes are generally a continuing development of what went prior to this, with a variety of degrees of progression.
Secure & boring were 2 terms that kept on turning up as various testers got out from the Toyota Avensis. It really is difficult not to be impressed by the tightly made dash, close-fitting materials & all round sensation of indestructibility.
We would wager that if you were to take the existing crop of family cars & push them for 300,000 miles, it would be the Toyota’s interior which would last longest.