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In-depth reviews

Toyota Avensis (2015-2018) review - Interior, design and technology

2015 facelift improved looks but Avensis still lags behind Skoda Superb, Mazda 6 and Ford Mondeo

Despite a 2015 facelift, the Toyota Avensis remains a fairly dull – if inoffensive – family saloon. The facelift also brought in improved soft-touch plastics and a smarter looking design for the dashboard as well as new fabrics for the seats. It's a big improvement and the Avensis' interior feels built to last, but it remains in the conservative end of the market for interior ambience, along with the Skoda Superb. 

The trim range is simple too. Entry-level Active gets a Pre-Crash Safety system with Autonomous Emergency Braking, cruise control, air conditioning, six-speaker CD/radio audio, Bluetooth, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, LED rear and daytime running lights and power windows, but no alloys.

Business Edition adds Toyota Touch 2 with Go touchscreen multimedia and navigation system, digital/DAB audio package with eight-inch display, reversing camera, front fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, dusk-sensing headlights, automatic air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels and part-Alcantara seat upholstery. There''s also Automatic High Beam, Lane Departure Warning and Road Sign Assist.

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Business Edition Plus adds leather and Alcantara upholstery, front fog lights with a cornering function, LED headlamps, smart entry and rear privacy glass, while Excel gets Toyota Touch 2 with Go Plus, a 10-speaker audio system, full leather seat upholstery, electrically adjustable front seats with heaters and adaptive headlights.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

If anyone has recently drive a Toyota Auris or a Verso, the Avenesis' infotainment system will be very familiar. You'll have to go for the Business Edition to get Toyota's Touch 2 system and overall it's a good unit – easy to navigate and use on the move with a good screen resolution.

• Ultimate infotainment test: in-car entertainment systems reviewed

For ease of use, it easily rivals the systems used in VW Group products; it's just a shame then that the imagery and colours used look just a little dated. 

Top-of-the-range Excell gets Toyota Touch 2 with Go Plus that adds a 10-speaker stereo, voice command recognition, a wi-fi hotspot and 3D mapping. Sadly, there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto functionality on any Avensis.

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