Our Fleet Test Drive Review: Toyota Avensis Tourer - 5th Report
16 September 2009
Author: Guy Bird
|P11D price:|| £22,385|
|Key rival:|| Ford Mondeo Estate|
In my experience, most in-car voice activation systems usually offer more comedy value and/or annoyance than actual assistance.
Unfortunately, my first experience with the system in the Avensis Tourer has proved no different. Activating it is easy enough: a press of a button just to the right of the steering wheel hub reveals a screen with options such as 'Go home', 'Destination' and a calm voice that prompts you to talk away. Encouraged, I start with what I thought was a very clear "Go home" only to be confronted with a concerned voice enquiring "Did you say golf course?". Here we go again.
Only three or four attempts later, including a few tries with the driver's window wound up and a new slower vocal pace and intonation that sounded like I was telling off a small (and slightly thick) child "Go.Home!" does the penny finally drop with the system, by which time I'm almost home anyway. To give the system the benefit of the doubt I tried it again when stationary with the engine off and the recognition system got it right first time. Typical.
I must say, though, on re-trying the kit more recently it now understands my 'Go home' command even with background noise. Trouble is, it's struggling with all manner of other instructions instead from 'Aux' - "Did you say all restaurants?" - to interpreting one random cough inexplicably as 'Zoom in'. Which makes me conclude this technology still needs a little ironing out before it's worth ticking as an option.
|Toyota Avensis Tourer |
2.2 D-4D 150 T4 5dr 6spd manual
|Claimed combined |
|Our average consumption||39.1mpg|
|Model price range||£16,560-£25,605|
|CO2 (tax) ||150g/km/21%|
|BIK 20/40% per month||£78/£157|
|Service interval||up to 20,000mls|
|Boot space (min/max)||543/1609 litres|
|Why we’re running it||Can it live up to its |
new, sleeker and
more fuel-efficient billing?
|Positive||Smart new exterior, |
interior quality, ride
|Negative||Annoying handbrake, |