Our overall rating:
The Toyota Avensis is the Japanese brand’s answer to traditional saloons and hatches such as the Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb.
While it may not be the most thrilling car in its class to drive, it is keenly priced. It also has the benefit of a five-year/100,000-mile warranty that makes this an appealing long-term prospect.
Inside, the Avensis is spacious, although not quite as roomy as the Mondeo or the Superb. It should also be noted that while the boot is a decent 509 litres, there’s no handy hatchback to access it through – it’s very much a saloon in the traditional sense.
The range is a simple one with only four trim levels and three engines to choose from. There’s a single 1.8-litre petrol engine that comes with a manual or automatic gearbox. If you need more economy, there’s a 1.6 or 2.0-litre diesel. Both of these are available with a manual gearbox only.
We’d opt for the 2.0-litre diesel, an engine that combines reasonable CO2 emissions with respectable performance. The 1.6-litre car may be more economical but it feels sluggish on the road.
We would avoid entry-level Active models (partly because you can’t have the bigger diesel) and go for Business Edition trim. This adds climate control, sat-nav, alloy wheels and a rear-view camera.