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Toyota Avensis

£17,465£27,750
4/10
Overall verdict

For: 

Well built, well equipped, reasonably fuel-efficient and reliable

Against: 

Tragically dull, poor automatic gearbox, feels old next to newer, more able rivals
Better than before with faint Lexus stylings on the exterior but still not very interesting. At all. There are better options.

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Our choice

Toyota

2.0 D-4D Icon 4dr

£21,240
N/A
63mpg
9.70s
126bhp
119g/km

What we say: 

The facelift in 2012 seems to have worked for Toyota's Avensis. Tragically dull, but not without merit

What is it?

Yes, you can still buy a brand new Toyota Avensis. We know, us neither. In true Toyota fashion, it’s about as much fun as a 50-plus swingers party. That said, the Avensis is not without merit. 

Driving

More of the same from the mid-size Toyota in that it ticks most of the boxes, but as soon as you ask more from it, the Avensis just gives up early. You won’t be excited driving this car - there’s too much understeer that has to be controlled by the electronics. Good for munching through the motorway network, because that’s the job description - though it doesn’t like cross winds. Drive it through corners and you find initial liveliness but detached steering and strange inconsistent sogginess as it loads up.

Great on motorways, where the Avensis can iron out the bumps, but there’s a deal of wind noise when the going gets faster. The suspension is a bit niggly on smaller roads  - it gets crashy and unrefined - and the steering is numb, so it’s a mixed bag. 

The 2.2-litre diesel delivers 148bhp and 250lb ft of torque, 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds and 131mph top end. It’s noisy and the auto ‘box takes a while to get the gist of what you want it to do. We’d stick with the 2.0-litre diesel, which you can have with a manual gearbox (unlike the 2.2). It’s substantially more economical not that much slower.

On the inside

The good news is that the new Avensis has nicked some cues from the Lexus IS, so the dials and dash look much better. Dated, yes, but better. There’s nothing wrong with the Avensis’ quality - it’s just boring. 

It’s got a big boot, decent space all round. Erm. That’s it, we’ve fallen asleep. Zzzz. 

Owning

The fleet-type stats are impressive: 119g/km and over 60mpg for the 2.0 diesel make the financial controller a happy man. Insurance is low because nobody ever steals them even if the keys are left taped to the door. This silver cloud is small and not particularly shiny.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
2.2 D-4D Excel 4dr
8.9s 145g/km 51.4 150 £25,300
The cheapest
1.8 V-matic Active 4dr
9.4s 152g/km 42.8 147 £17,465
The greenest
1.6D Active 4dr
11.4s 108g/km 67.3 112 £18,795

Wildcard

How about something completely different?

Wildcard

4/10

Toyota Avensis

£17,465£27,750
The Avensis is the wildcard. Sensible people will buy something else, like a Mondeo