What should I look for in a used Toyota Avensis hatchback?
Toyota has a fine reputation for reliability and the Avensis is no exception. That's certainly the impression you get from the interior, as the materials are good quality and everything is built to last.
The only real problems we've heard of have been with the gearbox, which have mainly affected the early models (pre 2000) and at low miles. But, if you've got 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 11% of repairs to Avensis models built between 1997 and 2003. There have been a few reports of power steering leaks on R- and S-reg cars, but they are few and far between.
Just make sure you're not buying an ex-minicab. Signs that you might be include wear to the back seats and interior trim.