Toyota Avensis review
A facelift late in 2011 means the Toyota Avensis is more efficient and better to drive than before
The Toyota Avensis is a company car favourite because it's a good motorway cruiser, has plenty of space and is good value for money. As of late 2011 the best-selling 2.0-litre diesel engine was made even more efficient, while tweaks to the styling and suspension ensured it's now more stylish and comfortable than ever.
Our choice: Avensis 2.0 D-4D TR 4dr
Late in 2011 the Toyota Avensis was facelifted and that brought with it a sharper front end with narrower headlights and a stretched grille. That means the Avensis now looks much like the rest of Toyota's line-up but it's still not exactly a head-turner. The cabin may not be the last word in luxury but it’s still a great place to spend time and – as of late 2011 – comes with a leather steering wheel as standard.
Toyota also managed to improve the way the Avensis drives with the late 2011 facelift, with changes to the noise isolation and suspension. The result is a car that not only handles better, but is also more comfortable on the motorway and very quiet on the move too. Drivers will be left a little isolated from the action though, with lifeless steering. The best all-round engine is the 2.0-litre diesel engine with 124bhp, which has been made more fuel efficient and allows the Avensis to accelerate from 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds.
The Avensis boasts a great reliability record and buyers now have even greater peace of mind thanks to a standard five-year warranty on all new Toyota models. Safety is also top-notch with Euro NCAP awarding it a full five-star rating as well as 90 per cent for adult occupant protection.
In comparison to other cars in this class the Avensis boasts a pretty spacious load area. In the boot there is 509 litres of space and dedicated one touch controls allow the rear seats to fold down for a maximum of 1320 litres. The cabin is large enough to comfortably seat four tall adults as well. Soft-touch material on the dashboard and a redesigned centre console make everything a little easier to use.
Getting CO2 emissions to under 120g/km has big implications for company car drivers so Toyota has worked hard to get emissions in the 2.0-litre diesel engine down from 139g/km to 119g/km. The petrol engines both emit over 150g/km and the larger 2.2-litre diesel is nowhere near as fuel-efficient either.