It is a car that now pulls off the not inconsiderable task of near combining class-leading performance with reasonably impressive economy and emissions figures. This alone is evidence of the engineering effort Toyota has poured into its development.
There are a few faults, especially the ride – it’s fidgety and a bit uncomfy around town where neither the primary or secondary ride is especially well resolved. Things are better on the motorway where the Avensis really comes into its own as a comfortable and refined cruiser.
Refinement is a bit of an issue around town with the diesel engines – they’re a bit rattly by modern standards. Some of our testers also found the seats less than comfortable.
If your search begins and ends with a car that will transport you and yours quietly, safely and reliably, the Avensis will prove wholly satisfactory. There’s plenty of space inside, a decent level of equipment and residual values are surprisingly good for a mainstream D-segment car.
If only Toyota had spent a little longer making it a little more visually desirable inside and out, those resale values could be so much better. As it is, the Avensis appeals more to the head than the heart.