First DriveThe Avensis gains new diesel engines, suspension tweaks and a restyle inside and out. Can it now match the class best?
First DriveOverhauled Toyota Avensis estate wades back into battle against all-new rivals with new diesel engines from BMW
What’s new?Avensis gets punchy Polish-built all-alloy 2.2-litre turbodiesel with 148bhp (34bhp more than the 2.0) and a six-speed manual gearbox.Do the changes work?The 2.2 is expected to be the most popular engine choice for the Avensis, and at £1000 over the 2.0 it’s decent value. But with only 22lb ft more, and few miles on our test car, it felt little punchier. The six-speed manual is not as slick than the five-speeder, either.Should I buy one?With miles we’d expect the engine to feel stronger, and it’s pretty refined (though we hope noise suppression will be better in the Lexus IS). For real pace wait for the 175bhp version in 2006.Alastair Clements