Pictures from Rallye Monte Carlo Historique leave TG.com lusting for fast French ‘minis.
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The Top Gear car review:Toyota Avensis Tourer
For:Solidly built (in Britain), pleasant motorway companion on long journeys
Against:Old and not very interesting
2.0 D-4D Icon 5dr
What we say:
While adequate in most areas, the Avensis Estate excels in none of them. You can get a lot better than this for your money
What is it?
It’s like an Avensis. But it has a boot. This doesn’t make it any more exciting than the Avensis. It does, conveniently, mean you can transport more stuff. Clever, eh?
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.
This is a fine place to while away a long journey. A soft ride and lack of road noise lull you, and there’s room to stretch whether you’ve got the front or back seat.
The engines are now more refined than before meaning CO2 emissions and fuel economy have both been improved. Still remain off the pace of the best in this sector, however.
On the inside
The instrument panel borrows cues from the IS, which gives it a quality feel. This happy bit of interbreeding makes the cabin this car’s strongest point. And it’s a Toyota, so it feels solidly put together (in Britain, as it happens).
Huge and flexible in its boot space, this is definitely an estate that doesn’t sacrifice room for style.
Not that great, because you’re going to be hit by that perennial rep-car disease, depreciation. The Avensis gets replaced soon, which will only make things worse.