What's the used Toyota Avensis like?
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.