Used Toyota Avensis Saloon 1997 - 2004 review

Category: Family car

Section: What is it like?

1997 - 2004 review
Toyota Avensis Saloon (97 - 04)
  • Toyota Avensis Saloon (97 - 04)
  • Toyota Avensis Saloon (97 - 04)
Loading interface...
Share review

What's the used Toyota Avensis saloon 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 headroom because of 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. However, everything is easy to use, with big-button controls, clear dials and good oddment stowage.

The car's most major shortcomings only become obvious on the road, as 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.