What should I look for in a used Toyota Avensis estate?
Toyota has a fine reputation for reliability and the Avensis preserves that. That's certainly the impression you get from the interior. The materials are of good quality and the whole thing is built to last.
The only real problems we've heard of have been with the gearbox, which has mainly affected the early models (pre-2000) and at low miles. But if you go for a model with more than 10,000 miles on the clock, it should be fine.
Warranty Direct backs this up and its report shows that transmission problems have accounted for quite a few repairs to Avensis models built between 1997 and 2003. There have also been a few reports of power steering leaks on R- and S-reg cars, but they are few and far between.