By on 2023-10-06 -
Toyota Avensis -
Used Car Review
THE Toyota Avensis has always been a cracking car to drive with marvellous handling and beautifully informative power steering.
Some tend to dismiss it as uninspiring to drive, but they couldn't be more wrong.
My experience is that they are excellent cars to drive and to live with, and the last series, built between 2009 and 2018, is as good as the best of its competitors.
Add the fact that it's a Toyota - ie almost bulletproof and hugely reliable - and you have quite a bargain a few years down the road - given the very necessary full service history.
The styling might be a bit bland - it is forgettable in the car park - but there is a decent range of petrol and diesel engines available, with or without an automatic gearbox.
The majority on the secondhand market seem to be diesels from what I can see and that's not surprising since many started out as company cars.
There are 14 different models in the range - saloons, hatchbacks and estates - and I have no intention of going through them all.
So all I can say is, make sure you have all the bells and whistles you want before you lay your money down or sign on the dotted line.
Diesels are 1.6, 2.0 and 2.2-litre and like the petrols were sold with either a six speed manual gearbox, a seven speed auto or a continuously variable auto.
The 1.6 has 110bhp and can cover the 60 sprint in 11 seconds while giving economy of 67mpg
The 2.0-litre has 124bhp and brings the sprint down to 9.4 seconds while averaging 62mpg, and most 2.2 models will have 147bhp. That gets them to 60 in 8.6 seconds and they should average 52mpg.
Petrol models start with a 1.6 which had no less than 130bhp and covers the 0 to 60 miles an hour sprint in 10.1 seconds, while managing 42 miles per gallon.
Later in the production period, there's just one other petrol, a 1.8-litre with 143bhp that covers the sprint in a very good 9.1 seconds and should also do 42mpg at best.
All are good to drive, and the petrols sound brilliant when revved.
But diesel performance is right up there with them or better, even if they don't have the same aural soundtrack.
It's worth mentioning that while the petrols are not as economical as the diesels, they will be cheaper secondhand, and if you don't do long mileages each year, will probably be the better bet.
The roadholding is excellent, with tremendous grip even when pushed mercilessly, and the ride is comfortable over the worst of surfaces at speed and when pootling around town.
Inside, the cabin has an upmarket feel, with impressive refinement and very comfortable seats even over long hauls.
The driving position is comfortable for all shapes, there is plenty of space for a family of five, and there's a good size boot with a split folding rear seat in both the saloon and the Tourer estate.
All have an alarm, traction control, alloy wheels, stability control, air con or climate, audio remote control, electric windows and remote locking.
Move on up the range and you'll get automatic headlights and wipers, Bluetooth, leather and sat nav.
Pay around Â£11,700 for an'18 18-reg 1.8 Business Edition petrol saloon, or Â£12,050 for a '19 68-reg 2.0D Excel.
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