The Toyota Avensis first came out to compete in the large family car sector. Its first generation model had a hard time standing out, with its efficiency and reliability just the same as others. But today’s market is looking for drastically different qualities: spacious room and quality build are no longer enough to keep buyers satisfied. So how does the Toyota Avensis fare against these new demands?
The Avensis sports Toyota’s trademark “Integrated Component Architecture”; this means the car has a distinct component in its design and in this model’s case, it’s the bonnet’s clamshell shutline. The smooth and low leading edge of the bonnet forms smoothly into A-pillars, resulting in a low 0.28 drag coefficient. This low number still offers enough space at the bumper and behind the grille to protect pedestrians from impact. The bonnet seamlessly goes into the rest of the car’s design, with the character line forming around the rear bumper, flowing out and into the rear lights. All these elements come together to form an effortless transition among initially disconnected elements.
The interior boasts of form and function with a wide variety of design features. There’s the tight construction for the dash, materials that come out in quality and durability, and the clean yet contrasting lines between the centre console’s charcoal and the dash’s texture.
The Avensis’ ride and handling works for the most part, as the suspension is able to go about quietly in function. The vehicle also performs well when going through a motorway’s straight furrow. Quiet is also guaranteed when going around town in this car—it’s so peaceful that the engine is barely heard when left on idle. Even when building up to acceleration, the diesel engines only hum indistinctly.
Although the interior sports impressive form, the controls tend to disappoint in terms of function. The ancillary controls’ positioning is not practical, with the rotary heating controls too shallow in depth. The mirror controls look cheap with their flat plastic squares. The electric parking brake’s release is not easily accessed with its position behind the steering wheel.
The seats disappoint on long journeys, unable to provide ample comfort all throughout. There’s a flat floor found on the side when a load is placed into the estate and remains as such even when seats are folded. The floor’s overall loading bay tends to be too shallow given the Avensis’ class.
The 1.8-litre petrol engine offers serious limitations, especially when a low-down grunt falls short and requires extra exertion. A faster and smoother option would be the 2.0-litre diesel but the 2.2-litre engine doesn’t make much of a difference. It’s better to go for the middle ground with the 2.0-litre even if the 2.2-litre diesel comes with automatic transmission.
Another limitation comes from the taller gear ratios; the in-gear performance doesn’t measure up to all conditions. Engine refinement is another minor issue, not in terms of smoothness but in noise. When the engine arrives at peak torque, a distinct grumble can be heard. A startling diesel rattle that also sounds like an induction roar results from the full throttle.
What do you think?(Average rating: 5 , Total rates: 3 )