Toyota Avensis Tourer 1.6D
The new Avensis has a more distinctive and dynamic appearance to the previous model
It was my birthday on the day I picked up the brand spanking new Toyota Avensis Touring from Inchcape. I hinted to the chaps there that this was indeed a marvellous present and they shouldn’t have! They replied they hadn’t! (Somehow, I don’t think they believed me).
I was immediately surprised at how roomy and comfortable the Avensis felt. The blokes all thought it was awesome, and being blokes of course, they loved all the gadgetry. The Sat Nav appealed to me most; admittedly I am ‘electronically challenged’ normally, and don’t often require any form of navigational device, whilst my husband cannot find his way to Tesco’s to buy a pint of milk without some sexy lady telling him when to turn left.
I do like my bit of retail therapy though, so decent boot-space matters. The Avensis obliges with 543 litres, and to my delight an immense amount of bargains could be purchased, much to hubby’s discontent. He’s lucky I didn’t use all 1,609 litres with the rear seats folded flat; believe me I tried, and 15 bags later there was still lots of room.
The new Avensis has a more distinctive and dynamic appearance to the previous model, generated by Toyota’s new ‘Energetic Elegance’ design theme. Whilst retaining familiar Avensis lines, the entire front end has been remoulded to echo the smaller Yaris and updated Auris, with an X-shaped grille and bumper design, and larger air intakes. LED daytime running lights front and rear are standard across the range. There are new alloy wheel designs too, and the side sills have been adapted to give the Avensis a perceived lower centre of gravity.
On the road
The performance of the Avensis is more than adequate for a day to day family Tourer; the 0-62mph sprint takes 11.7 seconds and maximum torque comes in from 1,750rpm. I drove the car on a series of tight and twisting roads, open motorways, and dual carriageways. There was surprisingly little body roll on tight bends, especially for a Tourer, whilst on the open road the Avensis came into its own; remarkably smooth, comfortable, and refined. It does 70 mph all day with dismissive ease. Road noise is well contained too, combined with exceptional ride quality. A tad more steering feel would help, but it has a decent weight to it and you feel confident controlling the car at speed.
The Avensis – in both saloon and more practical Sports Touring guises – will return 67.3mpg. The mid-range Avensis Business Edition costs £21,995 – or £23,175 for this Touring Sports estate model – and comes with a list of equipment longer than your arm. Automatic high beam, lane departure warning and road sign recognition all make long distance driving easier, whilst the touch-screen sat-nav, DAB, automatic air-con, rain sensing wipers and automatic headlights are all standard. You’ll also find 17-inch alloy wheels, half Alcantara seats and a reversing camera on the extensive kit list.
All Avensis models are now safer – with autonomous emergency braking and a pre-crash safety system as standard. A mid-spec Mondeo Titanium costs almost £1,500 more, but in the new Avensis, ‘less’ is definitely ‘more’
- Chrissie Woodward
Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cyl diesel
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
0-62mph: 11.7 seconds
Top speed: 115mph
On sale: Now