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The Top Gear car review:Toyota Avensis
What is it like on the road?
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.