Used Toyota Avensis Hatchback 1997 - 2004 review

Category: Family car

Section: What is it like?

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

The Avensis needed to be both rep-mobile and family car, and it managed to do both well, and very reliably. Rear legroom is up with the best in the class, but particularly tall passengers might have a problem with a lack of headroom thanks to the sloping roofline in the back. However, the large, well-shaped boot is a match for the Ford Mondeo's 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 only adjusts for rake. But, at least everything is easy to use, with big-button controls, clear dials and good oddment stowage.

Likewise, the driving experience doesn't exactly set the world on fire. Most engines are noisy while the gearshift is rubbery and there's a lot of wind and road noise. The Avensis cruises well on a motorway, but on other roads it's unsettled, while the steering is vague and over-light.