Toyota Avensis Review
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Toyota Avensis Tested December 2011
Average The new Toyota Avensis is big but not very exciting, so it will be great for some buyers, but off putting for others. Read the Toyota Avensis review to see whether it suits you.
The report back from the Toyota Avensis road test will probably upset Trekkies, for our reviewer compares the new Toyota Avensis, rather unflatteringly, to a Vulcan ride to the shops with Mr Spock at the wheel. It doesn't 'do' emotion, it just does what it's supposed to do: exist and be useful for as long as its lifespan lasts.
The Avensis isn't going to make you look forward to your commute to work or the school run. Its handling won't excite you and its engines won't make the world go backwards if you press your right foot to the metal. Despite being distantly related to the new Toyota GT 86 sports car, it is not likely to entice the serious driver.
Making its debut in the new Avensis is the Toyota Touch&Go Plus system. It takes the Toyota Touch (music, etc control), adds '&Go' (sat nav with added apps - want your car to know where every M&S in the country? Touch&Go will sort that for you, provided there's an 'app for that') and also bolts 'Plus' on. The Plus aspect is very interesting indeed. Now you can hook your phone up to the car using Bluetooth and connect the car to the internet. You can send a tweet from your car's centre console while you're driving on the motorway. You can also send SMS messages and emails if the mood takes you. While you're not actually using your phone while doing this, we'd strongly advise against it. If you're in dire need of a quick email on the move either pull over or have your passenger send it for you.
Also unveiled for the first time in this Avensis is an all-new 2.0-litre diesel engine. It emits a mere 119g/km CO2 in the saloon and 120g/km in the tourer - making it perfect for business drivers, albeit ones that simply want to get from A to B without any drama.
That's the thing - Mr Spock never caused any problems, he was rarely the cause of any drama. Spock's job was to calmly, coolly think through a problem and create the best possible outcome from an inevitably awful situation. And, much like the Avensis, he was very difficult to cajole into a power slide.
Next: ratings and breakdown
1. The new look
2. Toyota Touch&Go Plus
3. 119g/km from the 2.0 D-4D
We don't like:
1. Some of the plastics aren't great
2. It's really not very exciting to drive
3. Letting people tweet at 70mph isn't too clever...
Best: 2.0 D-4D T-Sprit manual
Most fun: 2.2 D-4D T-Sprit manual
Worst: 1.8 V-matic M-drive S