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

Owners Rating

4.2 out of 5

Read owner reviews
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.

Most Popular

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Car technology
22 Jun 2022

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2022
2021 Citroen Ami
Best cars
16 Jun 2022

Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2022

Top 10 best electric SUVs 2022
Skoda Enyaq charging
Best cars
24 Jun 2022

Top 10 best electric SUVs 2022

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022