Toyota Avensis

Dependable is family estate’s middle name

Family cars don’t come much more practical or capable than the Toyota Avensis. It won’t win any beauty contests, but the new car has plenty of talent.

The Tourer estate was pipped by the Accord Tourer in a recent twin test (Issue 1,047). Yet the Toyota has a much broader range than the Honda, so there is a model for everyone. 

Better still, bosses have learned from their experiences with Lexus. The finish of the British-built family car’s interior owes a lot to Toyota’s luxury brand, with high-quality plastics and classy switchgear.

Equipment is generous, and top-spec models get luxuries such as leather trim and a full-length panoramic glass sunroof.

It’s easy to forget, but the firm has had a manufacturing presence in the UK since 1992, and the Burnaston car plant in Derbyshire is one of Europe’s most efficient. That’s helped cement Toyota’s legendary reliability record – but which is the best Avensis to go for?

We prefer the practicality and styling of the Tourer – fold the rear seats, and its 542-litre boot expands to 1,609 litres. The 2.2-litre D-4D diesel blends performance and economy best, while T-Spirit trim has lots of kit. We just wish Toyota backed up its reputation for reliability with a longer warranty package than three years.

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