On 1st March I collected my new Avensis now coming up to 2000 miles.
Whilst I am very pleased with the vehicles power, quality and handling, I am however very disappointed with the efficiency of the dipped headlights
The first time I drove at night the lights gave no vision beyond 25 yards, in their highest setting. Driving on unlit ‘A’ roads, and meeting oncoming traffic, any speed above 30mph with this level of vision becomes extremely dangerous
After 3 visits to the dealer and new lights, the lights were checked against MOT requirements. The driver’s light was found to be at the lowest legal position; this was raised to maximum legal position
Although they are slightly better than previously, the vision is still very poor and it is like driving into a black void. They do not match up to other cars I have driven (especially the Honda Accord this car has replaced)
Writing to Toyota GB PLC, and a forth visit to the dealer led to a service engineer road testing the car in the dark.
Toyota GB PLC have today advised me that they are unable to make any alterations to the car, they are passing my comments to the Avensis Design Team!
The service engineer told me that they have received no other complaints about the lights. I would be interested to know if any one else has had the same problem, or if anyone has any suggestions as to how vision can be improved.
Looks wise the car is very easy on the eye. The build quality is good with narrow gaps between panels.
Engine is quiet and pulls nicely. On a run from Bristol to Newport I averaged over 47 mpg. The manual gearbox is good, the change is postive, and the clutch is light.
Here are the gripes
Satellite Nav This is a disaster area ! I live in a major suburb of a major city and the car found just two roads in my district !. Also the display 'greys out' frequently meaning you cannot even use the system until (presumably) satellite coverage returns?
Steering Wheel - Looks and feels too big.
Gearstick - Just way too long and for no good or obvious reason.
Dashboard above centre console below windscreen - Poor, and I mean really poor quality plastic, which then spoils the look of the rest of the pleasant interior.
The same applies to the area between the gear stick and the centre armrest. It looks like the kind of poor quality, brittle plastics used in Japenese cars of the 1970's and is already marked with the car having only done 10k.
Switchgear - Switches for door mirror adjustment and mirror folding don't seem to be of great quality. Switches for air con temperature adjustment on the centre console were sticky. The readout on the radio/cd panel isn't great either.
Would I pay close to £21k for this car ? The simple answer is no I wouldn't.
I travel extensively in the UK, so when my Avensis T3-X had done 70,000 miles, I opted for the T4 in September 05, hoping that the sat-nav would guide me to my destination by the quickest route. After taking some scenic and rather unusual journeys, I discovered that it does not appear to know that the M6 Toll exists. Living in the Midlands, this is a pivotal route for me, especially at rush hour. My Toyota dealer has informed me that updated discs will not be available for another two years, by which time I'll be due to change car again. This motorway did not appear overnight - it took over five years to build and has been open for another two, so why the delay? Be warned if opting for satellite navigation - perhaps you should check to see if it knows the M25 exists!
This is my company car and I have covered 22K in eight months. Nothing has gone wrong, during this time. Reliability is a given from Toyota.
The turbo lag is the only criticism I would have against the engine. When the power kicks in, the car accelerates readily.
However, the couple of seconds of turbo lag disappoints. The car is frugal and 50mpg on a mixed run is easily achieved.
It has comfortable seats, sat-nav, quality fittings, air-con, CD player and nine airbags.
I have covered over 1200 miles in one week and it never felt a hardship in this car. The cavernous boot is superb and I threw a single bed into the car with ease.
After 22K, there are no rattles and squeaks, which suggests it has been well bolted together. I would recommend it to anybody who covers a lot of motorway miles but the steering can be a bit heavy in city-centre car parks.
To sum up, it's a good reliable workhorse that has a quality feel.
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