Toyota Avensis Owner reviews

No longer on sale

D-4D T Spirit 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG47.1 mpg

Bought the car with 75k on the clock and in just under 2 years have lifted the mileage to 165k. During that time it has been very reliable and economic to own, with fuel economy around 49 mpg. As is noted in other reviews the headlights when dipped are not good although with beam it is fine. I find the ride and handling a little soft for my liking but passengers are happy enough. Performance is good but the engine never seems to be as powerful as 148bhp would suggest it should be and the torque does not really suit the high gearing but I have got used to that. Power delivery is smooth and there is minimal noise at motorway speeds. Equipment is excellent generally and the leather seats comfortable and practical. I gave up on the integral satnav and only use tomtom. Overall - very happy with the car.

Mark Wenban, Cambs, July 20th 2013

VVT-i T4 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Bought the 1.8 petrol T4 secondhand with 40k on clock in April this year and so far extremely pleased with it. Very easy to drive, steering gear change and clutch all very light and smooth which all make the car feel smaller than it really is. Build quality and refinement are both excellent as is economy (averages 40mpg, more if you go easy) plenty of room for family of 4 plus kit for those summer holiday trips with camping gear. Only negative issue is the dipped headlights as previously mentioned, i often have to use fog lights to assist the dipped beam on very dark roads. For a family estate car that is a bit different from the usual Passat, Volvo, Mondeo crowd with better reliability thrown in, it is superb value.

David List, December 27th 2007

VVTi GS 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I'm a bit biased as I came to this car when it had done about 80,000 miles. I do enjoy driving it, enjoy its height after my previous Ford Mondeo Estate, and feel it swings around in the rear less than the Mondeo did. However. First shock: OIL - it drinks it seriously fast and, mysteriously (to me), no warning light when it's low. Second shock: gear box & clutch have just packed up in mid-trip to Wales - well done, What Car for predicting that as a potential problem. A new gearbox is a lot of money. Vague irritation: that as it's 20 cm shorter (although higher than Mondeo) and has prominent bulges above the wheels in the boot space, harder to fit big objects in. Comforting: that it's apparently very safe. Also comforting: that I bought it for quite a bargain price. Entertaining/exasperating: out-of-date sat nav which doesn't e.g. recognise the M6 toll road and can't use postcodes.

jane lott, November 13th 2007

VVT-i T4 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Fabulous.Don't listen to 'boring' tag. This auto was a replacement vehicle for an Audi A6 I had for only a short while. The Audi rode hard and uncomfortable, in contrast the Avensis is comfy and spacious. Very impressed with it and the service I recieved at Toyota Yeomans Eastbourne was first class. Slightly gutted that I listened to all the 'boring car' twaddle and wish I'd bought one earlier. Plenty of good spec equipment and loads of space (I'm 6 ft 4 ins and appreciate a roomy car, some of the other so called exec motors really can't cater for anyone over 6ft). Bit of trim on the drivers armrest is loose but the car has done 40,000. Tourer looks pretty good too and in the dark blue nice and clean, looks classy. Have travelled as rear seat passenger and also felt well catered for in terms of space. Would definitely buy another. Dick Barton Sussex

Dick Barton, sussex, April 12th 2007

GLS 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive2/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This car has been in the family since new, and is now seven years old and has done 56,000 miles. Apart from scheduled servicing, it has never missed a beat, and is 100% reliable. It comes up like new with a quick wash and polish and carries more than enough load to keep the kids happy when we go on hoilday. My only critiscm is that it is an uninvolving drive. It's safe, quick enough, and fuel-efficient, but a touch dull behind the wheel. Buy one if you want safety and Toyota reliability at a reasonable cost, but it'll never set your hair on fire as a driver's car.

Dave Moth, Surrey, March 3rd 2007

GS 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned my X reg (2000 plate) avensis 1.8 se for 6 years from brand new and have loved every minute of it. In many years of motoring it was my first experience of driving a Toyota. In 6 years of motoring the Avensis I have only ever paid for the yearly service and Mot. Only in the last few months has she had to have new front brake discs and pads along with 4 new tyres. The mileage has just gone over 62000 and the aircon needs a regas. I consider that the Avensis has been my most reliable car and cost efficient too compared to many other makes I have owned from starting to drive in the early 80s. I would recommend the Avensis to anyone who wants a reliable car, not the fastest or a performance car but a good old plodder. Loves the motorways, just cruises along, I recently went to Blackpool from Devon, 300 miles and the performance was 46 mpg. I like the car so much have just bought another one! this time I have purchased a diesel, d4d gs model so we shall see what happens with this one. watch out for another review!! enjoy motoring, especially if you have Toyota.

Denise Yates, Devon, August 24th 2006

D-4D T Spirit 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Having had the car just over a month a covered just over 2000 miles I am generally very happy with the car. However I echo Trevor Lamacraft's comments about the dipped beam capability. The first time I used it at night I got the shock of my life! The shape of the dipped area is VERY precise (maybe because of the shape of the light itself?). Turning the adjustment up to maximum helps but it is still pretty poor. Having previously driven a Volvo S80 with Halfords Super Bright bulbs the Avensis initially feels like driving on side lights. Sadly Halfords don't do a SB light for the dipped beam on post 2003 models (yet?) so there does not appear to be an easy fix.

Bob Senior, May 7th 2006

VVT-i T4 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Purchased with just over 3,000 miles covered. Excellent mechanical reliability but not the quality of internal finish I expected from Toyota. Squeaks and rattles, head restraints fallen to pieces, bulbs failed, headlamp cluster seal failed. Maybe typical English-built? Data from info centre is nonsense-shows my average mpg at 47 when it is actually about 34. SatNav unreliable. Spacious and comfortable. Disappointed with the depreciation over 27,000 miles and two and a half years. Previous car was BMW 3 series which was a superior animal altogether. Westover Bournemouth have been excellent. Car overall = satisfactory, a bit dull.

Phil Nicholson, Dorset, May 5th 2006

D-4D T Spirit 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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 β€˜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.

Trevor Lamacraft, April 22nd 2006

D-4D T Spirit 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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 Β£21k for this car ? The simple answer is no I wouldn't. Shame

Tony Fernott, Bristol, March 2nd 2006

VVT-i T4 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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!

Nick Rolph, November 15th 2005

D-4D T3-S 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

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.

Steve McCabe, August 7th 2005

VVT-i T3-X 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought the car as a nearly-new ex demonstrator five months ago. It has proved to be far better than other cars I have owned, much better that the outgoing VW Passat. It has been totally reliable, is quiet and feels safe. There is loads of space inside and everything has a quality feel. Fuel economy is outstanding for a large petrol car, and insurance costs are very low. To drive, it is hardly sporty, and even a bit dull, but it goes well enough and holds the road extremely well. The brakes are excellent and it generally imparts a feling of solid security on the road. It has proved very comfortable for me at six feet and my wife who is about a foot shorter. The boot is huge and there is loads of space for alll the kids' stuff. All in all, a highly competent car. If you want a sports car go elsewhere, but as a family car it takes some beating.

Jon Ford, Surrey, June 14th 2005

D-4D T2 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought this car in March 2004. I wanted a safe, reliable, fuel efficient machine with lots of room. The diesel estate Avensis fulfils all of these requirements - and more. Everything works as it should - with the possible exception on the air-con, which struggles a little when its very hot - and has to be used on a high setting. I get fantastic mpg around town for such a large car - and it is a large car in the estate version - you get a LOT of room. The whole driving experience is one of quality, and smoothness. The TDI is responsive, and the brakes are excellent. It was a risk for me spending so much more on a car than I normally do - but I have no regrets that I made the decision to go ahead with this Toyota - I can thoroughly recommend it.

Ray Eamus, April 7th 2005

VVT-i T3-S 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

The car was delivered new in May 2004 and not one single item has failed or given any reason for concern or complaint, now having passed 15,000 km on the clock. The handling is very good with the focus on safety and comfort. Consequently, it cannot be considered a sporty vehicle. ABS and stability control is very effective in icy and snowy driving conditions. Traction is very good using Viking Continental "friction" (not studded) winter tyres. Heating and A/C are powerful in wintery conditions on the south-westerly coast of Norway. I am very pleased with the professionalism and friendliness shown by the salesman and workshop (the latter I've only visited once for a standard 15,000km service).

Arvid Massen, March 17th 2005

TD S 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I bought this car with 76,000 miles. 20,000 miles later the head gasket has gone and dealership almost certain cylinder head has too. Warning signs temperature fluctuations and gradual loss of coolant. The dealership unable to diagnose possible cause..until I took it back with white smoke coming from exhaust. Poss cost of this repair Β£2000. Have to agree with rest of review re. handling,etc.

fay whitehead, February 20th 2005

VVT-i T3-X 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I took out a demonstrator before ordering and didn't want to give it back. If you try out the back seats for legroom, don't forget the childlocks on the doors as it's quite a scramble into the front cabin if there's no-one around to help!! It's 21 months old now and with 53,000 on the clock. A wonderful smooth cruise on the motorways, a real big car feel and an imposing presence. It has oceans of boot space for holidays. I am very tall and have had back problems, so a good driving position and comfortable seats are high on my priority list. Not so good on twisty bumpy roads, some acceleration dead spots, especially trying to pull out at junctions in second gear at very low speed. Often have to come down an extra gear to get some real oomph for overtaking, not too bad when alone but noticeable when the teenagers are onboard. Good sound system and climate control. Both headlight bulbs failed at 45,000, annoyingly within days of each other. Why don't they replace these things in pairs and avoid the extra trip to the garage? I would consider the 2.0 VVTi T4 next time, but quite a hike in CO2 tax liability.

Roger Rolph, February 17th 2005

D-4D T2 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

The car is now seven months old with 23,000 miles on the clock. It's generally comfortable on long journeys although some lumbar support adjustment would be nice. I took the service plan for the car and so far the dealer has not charged me for anything, despite having numerous checks made at each visit. The only issue so far is the nearside headlight 'wobbling' - this was supposed to have been fixed at the last service and it will now have to go back!! The front tyres were replaced at 20,000, with Continentals. Road noise is slightly higher now, but cornering feels better. Huge boot, masses of interior space, engine sometimes feels underpowered. Base level trim not the easiest to keep clean. Ride height is low, and suspension is soft - it bottoms out on nearly every speedhump, especially with weight in the back. The towbar has been fitted to protect the car!! Fuel economy is good, with boot full of kit, long hard journeys on motoway and country roads, still average 46mpg. See how the long term works out, but have driven Mazda 6 which feels stiffer and more powerful.

John Allan, Clacks, December 10th 2004

VVTi GS 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I highly recommend this car to my friends. It is very practical and economical to run. And apart from routine servicing, has not been in the garage. It has done 95,000 miles. It is a company car and I am about to purchase this car from the lease company. I expect it to do another 2 years or 60 thousand miles. I do find the position of the handbrake catches on my knee on long journeys. And when the rear is empty, there is some road noise but this is not unaaceptable. I find it does in the region of 35mpg petrol over the life of the car - this is over a variety of urban and country roads and motorways.

eric lynch, November 13th 2004

VVT-i T3-X 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Having owned the car now for 19 months and covered only 16,500 miles, I am not as happy as I was with my previous car (RAV 4) . The trim on the inside of the car I do not think is of the same standards as a Japanese-built model. And wind and road noise needs to be sorted out.

Gary Norton, Nottinghamshire, November 6th 2004

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