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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For Huge boot tacked on to a big, airy cabin

Against Rides firmly with a touch of the jitters

Verdict A practical estate that’s beautifully made and nice to drive

Go for… 1.8i VVT-I T3-X

Avoid… 2.0 VVT-I T Spirit

Toyota Avensis Estate
  • 1. Boot space is massive, and the rear seats split and fold easily
  • 2. The cabin is very comfortable and the driving position is spot-on for most people
  • 3. Check to see that the recall work to redress braking imbalance has been done
  • 4. There has been a recall to fix steering faults, so check any necessary work has been done
  • 5. The cabin is extremely well made and feels expensive
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Toyota Avensis Estate full review with expert trade views

As an estate, the Avensis is a big, capable load-shifter that’s classier and better to drive than previous family-sized Toyotas. It isn't cheap to buy, and it's more scarce in estate form than as a hatch, but it’s very useful.

Thanks to its squared-off boot, the Avensis has massive load space, while the rear seats split and fold easily to make it a very practical estate. The cabin is very comfortable and the driving position is spot-on for most, although tall drivers might want the seat to go lower.

If you were expecting a mere update of the previous Avensis’s plasticky interior, you’ll get a surprise, because the furnishings look positively expensive. And, as it’s a Toyota, everything is very well screwed together and it should be terrifically reliable.

On the road, there are more surprises: it feels nimble for a car of its size and bulk. It also grips well and rides comfortably. Oddly, models with the 1.8 petrol engine give more steering response than the others, which feel rather numb. The diesel engines are smooth, quiet and punchy. The petrols respond keenly, too, but they get thrashy as the revs climb.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Plenty around so values soft with buyers choosing T3-X spec

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The good news is that there are no poor models in the range. All are well equipped, so that sat-nav, air-con, alloy wheels and a CD player are fitted to even the entry T3-S model. The T4 gets dual-zone climate control, while the range-topping T Spirit gets leather seats. We’d stick with the T3 for the value it offers.

The story’s pretty similar with the choice of engine. The 1.8 has just enough oomph to haul this heavy car properly. The 2.0 petrol engine and the 2.0 and 2.2 diesels will each pull it along in fine style but they are either dearer to buy, costlier to run, or both. So, we’d stick with the 1.8 unless our yearly mileage was likely to top about 20,000. Only then would we opt for the diesel.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Good reliability, low failure rates - higher than average bills due to expensive Toyota parts

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

Main dealer servicing costs are on a par with a Ford Mondeo’s, although you can reduce the bills by using an independent garage rather than a Toyota dealer.

Spares are also towards the pricey end of things but, with the make’s legendary reliability, you shouldn’t need many.

Otherwise, running costs should give you no headaches. Depreciation costs are reasonable, and you should expect a three-year-old car to be worth a touch more than half whatever it cost new.

Likewise, insurance groups are lower than you’d expect for a big estate, thanks to its five-star Euro NCAP occupant safety score and its effective security kit. Most models are group 7 or 8 and the 2.2 D-4D T Spirit is dearest in group 10.

Last, but not least, fuel economy is strong. The 1.8 petrol promises up to 39mpg overall, the 2.0 up to 35mpg and the diesels up to 47mpg.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Plenty around so values soft with buyers choosing T3-X spec

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The Avensis Estate is as reliable as every other Toyota, so we’ve little to report here, other than the make’s high placing in JD Power surveys over the years, which confirms just how much owners love their cars.

There have been a fair number of recalls to remedy faults, though. These include imbalance under braking, curtain airbag faults, problems with the steering, the vehicle stability control system and also the suspension. A Toyota dealer will be able to check their records to see if your car has had all the work it needs – if not, they’ll do it for free.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Good reliability, low failure rates - higher than average bills due to expensive Toyota parts

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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