It is hard not to be impressed by the tightly constructed dash, close-fitting materials and overall feeling of indestructibility. We’d wager that if you were to take the current crop of family saloons and drive them for 300,000 miles, it would be the Toyota’s interior that would fare best.
However, next to the swooping, stylised cabins of some rivals – the Vauxhall Insignia in particular – the Avensis offers its occupants little in the way of excitement. The lines of the fascia are clean and the contrast between the textured dash and the charcoal-effect centre console (standard on higher-spec models) works well, but the expanses of vertical surfaces give a conservative feel.
Lacking flair is not the Avensis’s only problem, the positioning and design of some ancillary controls are less satisfactory. The rotary heating controls are too shallow to get an easy purchase, the mirror controls are nothing more than flat squares of plastics and the release for the electric parking brake is hidden from view behind the steering wheel.
Other than some testers complaining that the seats proved insufficiently comfortable for longer journeys, there is little else to fault in the cabin accommodation. There is adequate seat and wheel adjustment to suit most drivers, and the rear cabin, if not quite as accommodating as the Ford Mondeo, is respectable for the class.