Scrappage special - Buyer's guide - Family cars
Target price £17,978
The new Avensis in unlikely to make your heart beat faster, we admit, but it's very desirable, nonetheless.
Why? Simply because it's so easy to live with. It starts with a price that undercuts most similarly equipped rivals. Then there's the effortless driving experience – a smooth ride and excellent refinement make it a superb long-distance cruiser, and light steering and precise controls ensure it's undemanding around town. And the 2.0-litre diesel engine is impressively flexible and quiet.
Inside, the Avensis is refreshingly uncomplicated – clarity and solid build quality take precedence over flashy design and there's a huge amount of space for a family and their clutter.
As well as the reassurance of Toyota reliability, the Avensis promises low long-term costs. Average fuel economy of 55.4mpg and CO2 emissions of just 134g/km are on a par with some rivals' dedicated 'green' models, and group 6 insurance rating keeps premiums down, too.
Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI CR 110 Bluemotion 2
Target price £16,626
CO2 128 g/km
Whoever said that going green demands compromise? Seems that no one told Volkswagen, because its new Passat Bluemotion 2 is a classy, desirable, saloon which just happens to produce a paltry 128g/km CO2 emissions figure.
That puts it in the lowest possible bracket for company car tax and average fuel economy isn't far off 60mpg, either, thanks to measures such as low-resistance tyres and aerodynamic tweaks.
Performance isn't particularly strong, admittedly, but the Bluemotion 2 is as spacious and good to drive as any other Passat, and it's very keenly priced.
- Superminis - part two
- Small family cars
- Small family cars - part two
- Family cars
- Family cars - part two
- MPVs - part two
- SUVs - part two
- Executive cars
- Executive cars - part two
- Open-tops - part two
- Coupes - part two
- Estates - part two
- Performance cars and hot hatches
- Performance cars/hot hatches - part two