Used Toyota Avensis Estate 2003 - 2009 review

Category: Estate car

A practical estate that's beautifully made and nice to drive

Toyota Avensis Estate (03 - 09)
  • Toyota Avensis Estate (03 - 09)
  • Toyota Avensis Estate (03 - 09)
Used Toyota Avensis Estate 2003 - 2009 review
Star rating

What's the used Toyota Avensis estate 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.


A practical estate that's beautifully made and nice to drive

  • Huge boot tacked on to a big, airy cabin
  • Rides firmly with a touch of the jitters

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.

Ownership cost

What used Toyota Avensis estate will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Toyota Avensis estate?

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.

Our recommendations

Which used Toyota Avensis estate should I buy?

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.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Toyota Avensis estate?