In-depth Reviews

Toyota Avensis saloon (2015-2018) - Engines, drive & performance

The Toyota Avensis diesels are economical, but none is that entertaining on the road

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

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Owners Rating

4.2 out of 5

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Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.0 out of 5

The Toyota Avensis saloon was designed to soothe away the miles and its comfortable suspension and light steering do just that. – it’s just a shame that this comes at the expense of driving enjoyment. Sadly, there’s little for enthusiastic drivers to look forward to when taking the wheel.

Like the Avensis, both the Mazda6 and Ford Mondeo are comfortable and easy to drive. However, both are more fun behind the wheel, with sharper steering and precise handling. This is most evident in fast corners, where the Avensis has a tendency to lean from side to side.

Every version accelerates from 0-62mph in less than 12 seconds, which is perfectly adequate performance for town and motorway driving, but won't get the pulse racing. The manual gearbox is relatively slick to use, however the automatic gearbox is quite old-fashioned and doesn’t impress like some rivals.

Toyota Avensis diesel engines

The 1.6-litre diesel is only available with a manual gearbox and does 0-62mph in 11.4 seconds, – reasonable enough for economy motoring, but possibly frustrating if you’re trying to get a move on. Moving up to the 2.0-litre manual cuts this time to 9.5 seconds, although it’s more expensive and fuel economy suffers a little.

Petrol engine

Key to the appeal of the 1.8-litre petrol is that it’s the only engine Toyota offers in the Avensis with the option of an automatic gearbox. If this is a must, then you’ll be pleased to learn that it has a refreshingly minor impact on fuel consumption. It’s far from one of our favourites, though: it's a CVT gearbox that seems to hold the engine revs high for far too long when you accelerate and leaves you feeling quite disconnected from the car.

The engine itself is perfectly okay. It develops 145bhp and is reasonably quiet in operation. It gets from 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds, while the automatic increases this figure to 10.4 seconds.

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