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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

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

3.6 out of 5

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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

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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.

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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