Declining segment demand is encouraging the end of sales for Toyota’s Ford Mondeo rival

Toyota's British-built Avensis is being phased out of sale in the UK following dwindling demand for the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport rival.

Avensis sales in the UK fell to just 3473 units last year, a drop of 1660 on 2016. A Toyota UK spokesman told Autocar that it is "phasing out options for speccing new Avensis models" as it updates and expands the UK line-up.

“We will continue to offer a wide range of family oriented models such as Auris Touring Sports, RAV4, Prius, Prius+ and Proace Verso and we are confident that loyal Avensis customers can be accommodated within these fantastic models," they said.

In Europe last year, just 25,319 Avensis models were sold – less than half the number achieved by the Mondeo - leaving the future of the Avensis saloon and the Avensis Touring Sports estate (pictured below) in doubt.

A spokesman for Toyota Europe said “we are monitoring the D-segment as it declines and suffers from heavy discounting”, suggesting that the Avensis may not be replaced with a new generation. This echoes comments from Toyota Europe boss Johan van Zyl, who recently told Autocar that the company was “not decided yet” what the future would be for the model.

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The Toyota Avensis is adequate but generally underwhelming family transport

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Toyota's Burnaston plant, where the Avensis is built, may therefore be adjusted to produce the Auris exclusively. However, the new Auris, revealed at the recent Geneva motor show, is expected to substantially increase on the popularity of its predecessor, helping to at least partially fill the void.

Toyota Auris diesel ditched

The Avensis, which peaked in demand in Britain in 2004 when 26,011 units were shifted here, has long been one of Toyota’s lowest-selling models.

Our source suggested that Toyota may choose to introduce a saloon version of the upcoming Auris, which will be marketed as the Corolla abroad, in its place, but that the saloon segment's falling demand may prevent that.

Toyota has been aggressive in its line-up revisions in recent months, dropping several low-selling diesel models, including the RAV4 and Auris, from its range in a bid to improve efficiency. The two aforementioned models, both due on roads later this year, come as part of Toyota's ambitious European growth plans, which saw it increase UK sales by 7% in 2017 - a year where the new car market shrank by 5.7%.

The Japanese company has also pledged to end the sales of all diesel cars by the close of 2018 as it ups investment in hybrid and electric technology. It recently revealed a new 2.0-litre hybrid set-up that is the most thermally efficient powertrain in production.

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Comments
24

26 March 2018

The Avensis was still popular in some Eastern European countries, number 2 or 3 in Estonia I believe. The overall volumes were obviously still too low.

26 March 2018

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26 March 2018

 Well, in a way it is, under developed, poor engine range, no performance version, Diesel was the seller, just few of the telltale signs of a Car in decline, it wasn’t a bad shape, the front of the Auris is simular, the Avensis deserved to be updated or a new design.

Peter Cavellini.

26 March 2018

It’s just as interesting that Ford are struggling to shift just over 50,000 Mondeo’s a year. It goes to show how steep the decline of the segment has become.

26 March 2018

The whole D segment seems to be in decline, was a time when cavaliers, primeras carinas 405s etc were the fleet favourites and very popular as family cars, they even all went touring car racing, is it their size that sees them less popular, after all the C segment astra, focus, auris etc have grown to be as big as older D cars and are now the fleet favourites and default family cars, as well as the rise in popularity of SUV's and the desire for premium badges? I've never driven an Avensis but I like them styling wise, quite a handsome sculpted shape, especially the estate.

26 March 2018

This isn't really a massive surprise when you consider the massive shift from non-premium to premium brands in this class during the past 10-15 years. Apart from the Lexus IS, I don't think there is another Japanese car left in this class now on sale in Europe following the demise of the Accord, Primera, Legacy (if you don't include the Outback), Galant, Kizashi, of which many came off the sales list a very long time ago. As for the non-premium brand models, only the Insignia, Mondeo, Passat, 408 and Talisman remain. But how long for....in the UK at least (even if the Renault isn't sold here).

26 March 2018
Lanehogger wrote:

This isn't really a massive surprise when you consider the massive shift from non-premium to premium brands in this class during the past 10-15 years. Apart from the Lexus IS, I don't think there is another Japanese car left in this class now on sale in Europe following the demise of the Accord, Primera, Legacy (if you don't include the Outback), Galant, Kizashi, of which many came off the sales list a very long time ago.

Mazda 6 is the one that springs to mind, a good looking big car, though Mazda seem intent in pushing it upmarket and more expensive - that's what happened to the Accord...

It is a real shame that a lot of good saloon cars have been axed, though the likes of the Galant and especially Kizashi were always fairly niche.

Quote:

As for the non-premium brand models, only the Insignia, Mondeo, Passat, 408 and Talisman remain. But how long for....in the UK at least (even if the Renault isn't sold here).

408 is a China only model. Maybe you mean 508? It's being replaced by a sleek looking fastback. A hatchback might give them a fighting chance - something that the likes of the Avensis, Accord and Mazda6 used to have!

Non-premium there is also the Skoda range, small-medium-large of a fastback saloon-shaped hatch in Rapid/Octavia/Superb.

26 March 2018
WallMeerkat wrote:

Lanehogger wrote:

This isn't really a massive surprise when you consider the massive shift from non-premium to premium brands in this class during the past 10-15 years. Apart from the Lexus IS, I don't think there is another Japanese car left in this class now on sale in Europe following the demise of the Accord, Primera, Legacy (if you don't include the Outback), Galant, Kizashi, of which many came off the sales list a very long time ago.

Mazda 6 is the one that springs to mind, a good looking big car, though Mazda seem intent in pushing it upmarket and more expensive - that's what happened to the Accord...

It is a real shame that a lot of good saloon cars have been axed, though the likes of the Galant and especially Kizashi were always fairly niche.

Quote:

As for the non-premium brand models, only the Insignia, Mondeo, Passat, 408 and Talisman remain. But how long for....in the UK at least (even if the Renault isn't sold here).

408 is a China only model. Maybe you mean 508? It's being replaced by a sleek looking fastback. A hatchback might give them a fighting chance - something that the likes of the Avensis, Accord and Mazda6 used to have!

Non-premium there is also the Skoda range, small-medium-large of a fastback saloon-shaped hatch in Rapid/Octavia/Superb.

I completely forgot about the Mazda 6 and no idea why when it sells well, as does the Superb which I forgot about too! Doh! And I meant the Pug 508, not the 408 which is a saloon version of the 308. I didn't have enough coffee this morning!

26 March 2018

Problem is Audi, BMW (see lots of A4's and 3 series) which are now only a bit more expensive in the long term (maybe cheaper in some case), then there's south Korea who take another bite out of their market share. Big problem is they're just so just so dull, Auris is another example. 

Still see lots of Insigna's so it's good someone's putting up a battle

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

26 March 2018
xxxx wrote:

Problem is Audi, BMW (see lots of A4's and 3 series) which are now only a bit more expensive in the long term (maybe cheaper in some case), then there's south Korea who take another bite out of their market share. Big problem is they're just so just so dull, Auris is another example. 

Still see lots of Insigna's so it's good someone's putting up a battle

A lot of these are financed - PCP is based on depreciation - the "premium" marques still command a healthy used value therefore PCP rates are usually less than an equivalent non-premium marque. (ie. a £30k car worth £15k after 3 years has depreciated £15k whereas a £25k car worth £8k after 3 years has depreciated £17k and so is going to be more expensive to PCP despite being cheaper new)

Despite the D segment dying, the Merc C class remains a top 10 seller.

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Our Verdict

Toyota Avensis

The Toyota Avensis is adequate but generally underwhelming family transport

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week