In the matter of our test vehicle – a mid-spec 148 horsepower diesel engine that is supposed to be the top seller. The Gearbox is a 6-speed manual, a style brought over from the earlier car.
Slightly higher gearbox ratios than some competitors imply the Avensis' in-gear acceleration isn't so all-powerful. Far from the racetrack, , the distribution of power and torque proves as useful for give-and-take road motoring as it does overall acceleration, and on the open road the Avensis is an painless car to drive.
under the surface, the newest Toyota uses what Toyota denotes as a fresh new platform, nevertheless it has stayed with know-how it knows to attach in to the new metalware - engines & transmissions are for the most part a continuing development of what has gone before, with numerous degrees of progression.
The lines of the fascia are clean & the distinction between the bumpy dash & the charcoal-effect central console standard on higher-specification models is successful, however the expanses of vertical surfaces give a conservative feel.
At the same time, next to the swooping, stylish cabins of some rivals – the Vauxhall Insignia in particular – the Toyota Avensis delivers its occupants very little in the way of entertainment.
Lacking flair isn't the Avensis’s only concern. While the touch-screen sat-nav with its nearby control buttons is successful & the gauges are clear, the positioning and design of certain ancillary controls are less satisfactory.
If your search for an acceptable machine kicks off & finishes with a vehicle that will transport you & your family quietly and safely, the Toyota will prove to be wholly sufficient.
Yet still, as driving enthusiasts, we wish Toyota had put more effort towards making the Toyota a bit more pleasurable, engaging vehicle to drive & possess. When you consider that what it really lacks the most is sparkle.
Apart from several testers protesting that the seat cushions turned out to be inadequately comfy for extended trips, there is little else to fault in the interior accommodation. There is ample seat and wheel realignment to go well with almost all owners, and the rear cabin, if not quite as accommodating as the Ford Mondeo, is pretty good for the category.
Just like the old car it replaces, the 3rd-gen Avensis is really a very well engineered, tightly built and effective family saloon. One which currently pulls off the difficult mission of combining segment-leading speed with every bit as remarkable economy & emissions figs.
This alone is proof of the design effort Toyota has poured into its evolution. There are some troubles, namely an unresolved ride, uncomfortable seats & an on occasion raucous engine, but neither are crucial issues.
The Toyota Avensis's most significant fault is its ride. While remarkably compliant, it seems to blend a jitteriness over smaller, sharp ridges (primarily at reduced speeds) with lousy body handling over more difficult highway types.
Secure & boring were two thoughts that kept on appearing as numerous testers emerged from inside the Avensis. It can be hard not to be impressed by the tightly built interior, close-fitting materials & complete sense of indestructibility.
Driven swiftly round corners, The Toyota is fast to alter route, steers accurately & grips nicely. We’d wager that if you should take the latest crop of family cars and push them for 300,000 miles, it would be the Toyota’s interior which will fare best.
This new Toyota Avensis is even more European in look and feel than in the past, without doubt, but if you are searching – inside or out – for the kind of style that flows deep through cars such as the Vauxhall Insignia, or indeed small executive autos that most D-segment vehicles desire to equal, the Avensis remains wanting.