Avensis Tourer T Spirit 2.2 D-CAT
British-built Toyota Avensis is
the Japanese companys European
flagship model, and it continues
to lead the brand while seriously
challenging any rivals...
AVENSIS TOURER ESTATE offers customers a choice of three engine options: a 1.8-litre
petrol, and 2.0 and 2.2-litre diesels. In terms of running costs, the financially
most appealing of these three, to both private and business users, is the 2.0-litre
turbodiesel unit no surprise given its official Combined Cycle figure
of 61.4 and 62.8mpg (depending on the trim level) and CO2 emissions of 119-120g/km.
Reviewed here is the more meaty but more thirsty and higher-CO2-emitting
2.2-litre diesel with automatic transmission in range-topping
T Spirit spec which includes heated electric front seats, a huge panoramic roof
and rear parking sensors. Our test car was also fitted with the optional (£1,480)
safety pack comprising adaptive cruise control, lane assist, and departure warning.
the estate gives you a luggage capacity that can be expanded from 543 litres
with the back seats in use to 1,609 litres with just the front seats in use,
plus a 1,600kg towing capability.
Choosing the estate
gives you a luggage
capacity that can be
expanded from 543 litres
with the back seats in
use to 1,609 litres with
just the front seats
in use, plus a 1,600kg
The Tourer bodystyle gives a low deck and high opening fifth door along with
a well-shaped and flat load-bed with tie-down eyelets making it
particularly well suited for family, business use or for the less able who need
to carry a mobility scooter or wheelchair.
The standard parking sensors are useful although hardly necessary because the
Tourer's rear visibility is fine. Another praiseworthy feature is the immense
and genuinely panoramic glass roof that runs from
the top of the screen to about three-quarters of the way back. That's a lot
of light incoming!
And with excellent wipers, very bright long-range lights and fog lamps, as well
as big windows and decent-sized electric mirrors, you'll be sure to see where
you're going in any weather conditions.
The powertrain uses the familiar, well-proven 148bhp 2.2-litre turbodiesel and
is the first Toyota diesel to make use of the very smooth, responsive and quiet
six-speed automatic transmission and it brings even higher levels
of refinement to the range.
The 2.2-litre engine is a good starter, pulls well (as it should with 250lb
ft on tap between 2,000 and 2,800rpm) and always seems to have something in
reserve for overtaking. Motorway cruising is effortless and quiet. Fuel consumption
on test worked out at a reasonable 40mpg (slightly below the official 43.5mpg
figure) but it did so remarkably easily despite a lot of urban driving.
I particularly liked the steering feel and the agility it enabled; for me, the
power assistance felt just right. The brakes, including the electronic parking
system, work well with a good pedal pressure underfoot and a pleasantly progressive
action when slowing the car.
controls grouped close to the electrically-adjusted wheel are well laid-out
although some buttons are obscured by the spokes and rim. On the plus side,
the clear-cut instruments were large and easy to take in. Heating and ventilation
is very simple but effective. Oddments provision is generous (the in-car entertainment
includes an AUX-in facility) and the T Spirit specification is topped-off with
a very comprehensive touchscreen navigation system.
Its not a sporting estate
(as some rivals pretend
to be) but the Avensis
not only goes well
but also handles with
if it has any vices,
it never showed them
has also gone to town on occupant protection: there's front, front-side, curtain
and driver's knee airbags along with the reassurance of the pre-crash safety
system that's optional but seems like money well spent for a family or high-mileage
The Avensis Tourer is easy to access, very roomy throughout with good front
seat adjustment and proved comfortable for all users. Ride quality is extremely
good over virtually any surface even if you do sometimes hear it absorbing bad
It's not a sporting estate (as some rivals pretend to be) but the Avensis not
only goes well but also handles with confidence and composure
if it has any vices, it never showed them to me!
Reasons to buy include the powertrain, roomy interior, versatility, visibility,
and refinement. Against? Some road noise, sluggish acceleration from rest, high
CO2 emissions (so high tax costs), and the location of secondary switchgear.
However, the introduction of the new six-speed automatic to this capable and
composed diesel adds still further to the Avensis' reputation for refinement
and ease of driving. And it's built in Britain! Robin Roberts
Avensis Tourer T Spirit 2.2 D-CAT | £29,205
Maximum speed: 127mph | 0-62mph: 9.8 seconds | Overall test MPG: 40mpg
Power: 148bhp | Torque: 250lb ft | CO2 173g/km