Our Fleet Test Drive Review: Toyota Avensis Tourer - Final Report
19 January 2010
Author: Guy Bird
|P11D price:|| £22,385|
|Key rival:|| Ford Mondeo Estate|
Can the Toyota Avensis Tourer live up to its new sleeker and more fuel-efficient billing? That was the question asked back in the early summer and one we reappraise as it finishes its time with us.
First off, is the third-generation Avensis Tourer the best-looking most desirable version yet? Undoubtedly. Its wedgy profile is one of the smartest in the segment, and its rakish front face is leaps ahead of older models - if still a little odd in 'expression' .
As an interior package, it also succeeds on almost all fronts. Space and comfort are high front and back and material quality excellent from the waxy leather seats to the unusual grained trim . Kit on the T4 was also great with colour satellite navigation, keyless Smart entry and memory seating all proving particularly useful.
The 543/1609-litre boot did an excellent job, too, coping with the mother of all boot fairs and also protecting fragile food shopping via its clever dividers.
To drive, the car was perfectly capable if unremarkable. Don't expect BMW or Ford levels of steering wheel feedback but the ride is decent, and the handling quite acceptable for a family estate designed to ferry people and stuff in quiet comfort.
The improved 2.2-litre diesel engine also proved highly competent, but we never reached the giddy heights of its combined average 50.4mpg - our best 'extra urban' figure was a slightly disappointing 42.6mpg. Our overall 38.5mpg average, dominated by short-run urban driving, was much better and close to the urban official 39.8mpg.
There were some downsides, though. While fit and finish was mostly superb, the panel gap on our glove box seemed poor , the dashboard-mounted electric handbrake-engage procedure - push for on and pull for off - felt weird and counter intuitive, and the handbrake confirmation in the driver display took too long to light; not reassuring on a hill. Lesser niggles included a temperamental voice activation system, a satnav postcode option that was hard to find and a stereo that allowed you to make playlists but not obviously play them back.
But overall the Avensis Tourer proved itself a thoroughly solid and likeable car to live with. I'd recommend it to any fleet's large family estate shortlist - although I'm not sure I'd choose it over the Ford Mondeo Estate just yet.
|Toyota Avensis Tourer 2.2 D-4D 150 T4 5dr 6spd manual|
|Claimed combined |
|Our average consumption||38.5mpg|
|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 sleeker, |
more fuel-efficient billing?
|Positive||Exterior, interior, ride,|
|Negative||Handbrake, some |