The brand new Avensis is a great deal more European in appearance than previously, undoubtedly, but if you are looking – inside or out – for the kind of sparkle that runs richly through motors like the Vauxhall Insignia, or indeed small executive autos which many D-sector vehicles aspire to equal, the Toyota Avensis is left wanting.
underneath the surface, the brand new Toyota uses what toyota UK denotes as a absolutely new platform, however it has stayed with know-how it knows to connect with the new metalware - engines and transmissions are basically a advancement of what has gone previously, with various degrees of improvement.
In the example of our test cars – a core-spec 148 bhp diesel engine which is supposed to be the volume seller. The Gearbox is a six-speed manual, a design carried over from the previous car.
Slightly higher gearbox ratios in comparison with some competitors imply the Avensis' in-gear performance isn't so all-conquering. Away from the track, however, the spread of power and torque proves as helpful for road driving as it does outright performance, and on the freeway the Avensis is an painless vehicle to drive.
Driven enthusiastically across country, The Avensis is easy to change route, steers accurately & grips very well.
The Avensis’s most challenging failing , is it's ride. While impressively compliant, it manages to blend a jitteriness over little, sharp ridges (primarily at small velocities) with inadequate body handling over more difficult highway types.
With the exception of a number of testers complaining that the seats proved inadequately comfortable for longer trips, there's little else to fault in the interior accommodation. There's enough seat and wheel adjustment to conform to virtually all users, & the rear cabin, if not quite as accommodating as the Insignia, is respectable for the class.
Exactly like the old model it takes over from, the third-gen Toyota is actually a beautifully designed, tightly built & sensible family saloon. One which currently pulls off the complicated mission of blending sector-leading performance with every bit as remarkable economy and emissions numbers.
This in isolation is evidence of the design endeavour Toyota has added into its development. There are several troubles, including an uncertain ride, uncomfortable seats & an in some instances grumbling engine, but none are significant issues.
If your search for an ideal machine kicks off & finishes requiring a vehicle that will carry you & yours silently & securely, the Avensis will be entirely acceptable.
But nevertheless, as driving enthusiasts, we wish Toyota had placed more efforts towards making the Avensis a bit more satisfying, stimulating auto to drive & keep. Merely because what it is short of the most is sparkle.
We’d bet that should you get the current crop of family cars & push them for 300,000 miles, it would be the Toyota’s interior which would fare best.
However, compared with the swooping, glamorous cabins of some competitors – the Vauxhall Insignia particularly – the Toyota offers its passengers very little in the form of excitement.
Robust & dour were 2 words that kept on cropping up as numerous testers came out from the Toyota Avensis. It is tricky not to be impressed by the tightly designed dash, tight-fitting materials & all round sense of indestructibility.
The lines of the fascia are tidy and the distinction between the bumpy dash & the charcoal-effect central console std on higher-specification versions is effective, however the expanses of vertical surfaces convey a subdued feel.
Missing sparkle is not the Avensis’s only issue. Whilst the touch-screen satellite navigation with its adjoining control buttons is successful & the gauges are clear, the placement and style of a number of additional controls are less satisfactory.