Used Toyota Avensis Estate 1997 - 2004 review

Category: Estate car

Section: What is it like?

1997 - 2004 review
Toyota Avensis Estate (97 - 04)
  • Toyota Avensis Estate (97 - 04)
  • Toyota Avensis Estate (97 - 04)
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What's the used Toyota Avensis estate like?

The Avensis is a reliable, sturdy family car that goes about its business with little fuss. Rear legroom is up with the best in the class and the estate doesn't have the same sloping roofline as the saloon, so headroom in the back is good. The large, well-shaped boot is a match for its rivals' and the cargo space can be easily extended thanks to a split-folding seat.

The downside is that there's nothing very attractive - visually at least - about the cabin, and the steering wheel adjusts for rake only, but at least everything is easy to use, with big-button controls, clear dials and good oddment stowage.

However, the real shortcomings are most obvious on the road. Most of the engines are too noisy, the gearshift is rubbery and there's a lot of wind and road noise. The Avensis will sit happily on a motorway, but on any other surface the ride doesn't settle, particularly over undulating roads. The steering is also vague and over-light.