Every once in a while a strange thing happens in this universe: your favorite baseball team loses, your shed falls apart, the prices on gas go down, Superman becomes a Soviet Superhero – that kind of stuff. It’s called an anomaly, ladies and gentlemen, a once-in-a-lifetime thing. And the Toyota Avensis is right from that alley of strange and mystical. Yeah, you’re right, the Japanese giant does have a lot of market-specific models that are only available in certain regions/countries, so, that shouldn’t come as a surprise, but usually we, the American folks, always get the best there is – both as an export model or just our own, all-new car that’s got all the goodies from the foreign guest, plus a couple of US-only features to keep up happy and entertained. Therefore, when something as beautiful, extravagant and simply awesome comes around, something like the Avensis, you just know that it’s bound for an international release. However, in this case, we are still short of yet another amazing Toyota car. Call it market analysis, big-time strategies, smart thinking, but I, as a customer, living right there in the United States, would very much like a touch of the British class. True, we do have the friendly Avalon available at our local dealerships, and, in all fairness, it’s one hell of an amazing car – no doubt about that. Check out my review and see for yourself. If you, for some reason, don’t agree, hit me in the comments!
20 Years On The Spot, Never Available In The US
Still, we are used to having all that glitters, and that’s why I’m a bit sad about the Avensis not making it onto the American market. But, enough jabbering – let’s see what this shiny and smooth model is all about and talk about its pros, its cons, the advantages, the disadvantages, the place in Toyota’s line-up and the automobile industry in general and take a trip down the dusty archives and figure out what is it all about. I mean, this fella (lad?) has been around for almost 20 years and is currently in the third gen, with fourth somewhere just around the corner. And trust me, you can’t just lurk on the outskirts of the industry and stay there for 2 decades, because you’ll be taken down, fiercely and ruthlessly. That’s just how the business works, nothing personal. So, if the Avensis Toyota nameplate is still around, alive and kicking, that means it’s been putting some work in, big-time. Besides, have you ever tried to survive in the British lands? It’s kinda hard to do that, my friends. Alright, let’s talk a bit about that boring stuff: this mighty-mighty Japanese go-getter is a large family sedan (a full-sizer, as I like to call them) that has been produced in Derbyshire, the United Kingdom since 1997, the very first generation. It’s offered as a 4-door saloon, a 5-door liftback and an estate (we, the Americans would call that a Toyota Avensis wagon). The Avensis is the direct successor to the Carina E, a European model. In Japan it’s only available at the Toyota Netz dealerships and is the largest sedan from the brand.
Different Markets, Different Tastes, Different Editions
A quick note: don’t confuse the UK-made car with the Toyota Avensis Verso, which is essentially a full-size MPV that’s being manufactured in Japan and is called the Ipsum over there (used to be called the Picnic on the world-wide market). Furthermore, as I just mentioned in the beginning, we don’t have access to the traditional model here in America, but, it does have a lot in common with the Scion tC coupe, which is like the not-so-distant cousin if you ask me. Plus, it’s constructed upon the same platform – the Toyota T – as the Premio and Allion models (again, have tons of similarities with the champ and are exclusive to the Japanese market). So, the British folks have the Toyota Avensis Estate, the 4-doorer and the 5-doorer to enjoy. This car was revealed back in ’97 as a part of the company’s strategy to expand to uncharted lands and conquer new markets. The main goal with it was to create a more up-to-date, cool and hip alternative to the conservative Toyota Corona. And, judging by the year-end sales, it’s safe to say that the Japanese made all the right bets because they just loved this new stud over in Europe. Naturally, over the long course (20 years in the game, folks!), the Avensis car has changed a lot, you could even say it evolved into something greater, getting bigger, stronger, more tech-packed than ever and as sleek and fuel-efficient as the next car in the parking lot.
Toyota Avensis USA – Can You Get One Here?
Well, that’s what the team behind it had to do, otherwise, they could never be able to compete with the world-esteemed rivals, including Ford’s Mondeo (we know it as the Fusion), Mazda’s 6, Skoda’s Superb, Volkswagen’s Passat, and the rest of the bunch. Fun fact: did you know that the nameplate is derived from a French word (or, rather, term) avancer, which can be translated as “to go forward, to advance”. In Latin Avensis means “to take away, to carry away”. Kinda suits the whole English charm it’s got going on if you ask me. Alright, let’s talk a bit about the Toyota Avensis used for sale offers on the Internet and the hidden dangers you might encounter if you don’t use that head on your shoulders. Now, as we already established, there’s no Toyota Avensis USA production – never was, and probably never will be, so, if you’ve got the hots for this one, there are two options for you: the first one would be to import a legit model from the United Kingdom, but I don’t think you need me to tell you that the price-tag will be quite hefty if you decide to go with option number 1 (remember, we’ve got the big-bad ocean between the US and the UK, so, they’ll have to fly it over or ship it, and either way it will be costly). On the other hand, option number 2 would be to search for folks in your state/city/vicinity who already did all that for you and are ready to sell it to you for a reasonable price. Unfortunately, it’s kinda hard to find those people, so, unless you’ve got a friend who can take care of that whole process, you’ll have to go with the first option.
Toyota Avensis For Sale In UK, Australia And Ireland
But, if you’re a British lad, born and raised, you’re in luck, because if you write something like Toyota Avensis for sale (don’t even have to mention your city, just see what’s out there) Google will come back at you with tons of offers available. You’ve got the Autotrader.co.uk with tons of models waiting for you to grab, including a 2009 edition for 4.5K pounds (that’s about 6K, 6-4K US dollars), a 2010 edition for 6,5K ponds, and more. If you’re living in Australia and are a fan of the Verso model, you’ll find a Toyota Avensis 2004 for sale for just 7K (that’s AU dollars) at this site, or how about a 2006 model for 10K? Sounds a bit steep, I know :). It’s not that we don’t have enough of that good stuff in UK, but I just want you to have the bigger picture, so to speak. Besides, I’ve got a lot of loyal readers from Australia, so, this one goes out to all the Aussies out there. Finally, if you’re a tough Irish fella and don’t wanna fly to the other side of the world, just type in Toyota Avensis Ireland (aha, that simple) and check out the available options. This site is the best place to start, as they’ve got the biggest and the greatest collection of used and pre-owned cars. And it’s a well-respected source, which means you’ll have at least a chance of getting back from the deal alive and well (that was a joke; or was it? You never know, so, keep your eyes opened and your ears peeled :).
Don’t Rush It, Don’t Overdo It – Just Go With It
Seriously, though, they’ve got some sort of a regulator that checks out every new post in order to keep the potential buyers as safe as possible (I’m talking about bad folks who try to sell you a bad car just to get rid of it). Next, go to www.donedeal.ie/cars/Toyota/Avensis, they’re pretty well-packed as well. Another great place to shop would be www.carzone.ie/used-cars/toyota/avensis – make sure to check it out. Bottom line is, if you’re in the market for a Toyota Avensis car for sale, you’ll find your perfect pick. All you have to do is keep a cool head and try before you buy – that’s the golden rule. Schedule a test-drive with the owner and make a few laps around the block to see whether the car “clicks” with your or not. I say this to all my friends: don’t buy the car unless you felt that connection and drove around town for at least half an hour. And, don’t forget to ask about all the legal papers. True, the government won’t lend you a helping hand if you’re buying from a private seller, and you might even have problems with the majority of insurance companies (they just won’t insure a pre-owned car unless it came from a Certified dealership), but at least you’ll have a piece of mind, right? Plus, you’ll know that the seller is serious about his car. Ok, that’s about it for the whole “Going pre-owned is the right thing to do” dilemma, my friends. Now I believe it’s time to talk about the model’s history, all the ups, the downs and everything in between. Put on your seatbelts, and let’s roll!
The First Generation – Enter Avensis (1997-2003)
The 21st century was pretty big with ground-breaking releases, and, even though the 1998 Toyota Avensis might not be the greatest automobile of the past era, it sure did make a strong statement. The new nameplate was revealed to the world in 1997, with the actual vehicle hitting the dealerships at the end of the year. And, despite the fact that it had a lot in common with the Carina E (the previous generation), the only truly common parts were the available engines, while the exterior/interior styling was unique – all-new, as we like to say sometimes. Production took place at the Burnaston factory in Derby, United Kingdom. Fun fact: right around the same time the British plant also started manufacturing the 5-door Corolla, a friendly model from Toyota’s hugely impressive line-up. The Toyota Avensis UK edition offered a choice between 4 engines, including a 1.6-lit, a 1.8-lit, and a 2.0-lit petrol 4-cylinders, plus a 2.0-lit turbodiesel unit. As for the body styles, the shoppers could pick between a saloon, a hatchback, and an estate. The station wagon was pretty much like the second-gen Caldina. Now, regardless of the engine and/or body style, all of the editions/models provided class-leading build quality, excellent durability and reliability, a comfortable, cozy and roomy interior, tons of techy equipment, a smoothed out, refined ride quality and an all-around solid, premium feel. It’s safe to say that the Avensis was one of the best offers on the market of full-size sedans, one of the leaders of the movement.
The Toyota Avensis Verso And The SR Trim
However, in terms of that fun factor, the Avensis had very little to offer. That’s ok, though, because, except for maybe the Mazda 6, none of the competition can boast an enjoyable personality or unlimited fun and excitement. That’s just not how full-size sedans work. The first facelift came around in mid-2000, so, if you’re looking to buy a used Toyota Avensis from the 1st gen, I highly recommend going with a 2000+ model. Ok, the engines received Variable Valve Timing, satellite navigation was now standard equipment, and a sporty Avensis 2.0-L SR trim was added to the line-up (it featured a tuned suspension and a body kit). Still, despite the company’s efforts, sales were low, and there was nothing the team behind it could do. I guess folks just needed some “quality time” to find the appeal in the new kid on the block. The Toyota Avensis Verso, a large MPV, was unveiled in 2001, featuring 2.0-lit engines and offering seating for up to seven passengers. Speaking of the engines, the most powerful one was the 2.0-litre D4 – it was capable of 148 Horsepower, and, back in the 20th century, that was enough to be competitive. Fun fact: that same year this new model won the Australia’s Best People Mover award; they call it just Avensis over there, without the Verso, and it’s the only available edition, so, keep that in mind next time you decide to visit the country and rent a Toyota car for your daily travels.
The Second Generation – 2nd Round’s On Me (2003-2009)
The second generation saw the light of day in early 2003 and Toyota decided to take a different route with this one. Bottom line is, they went for that sex appeal, turning the efficient-yet-boring old Avensis into a truly attractive model, with sleek, enjoyable exterior designs and a strong personality. And, just like the Corolla sedan, the 2nd-gen was designed by Toyota’s branch in France. We had the same old 4 engines from the previous generation (the 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 petrols and the 2.0 turbodiesel), while a brand-new 2.4-lit 4-cylinder from the Camry was also added to the line-up. Fact: this was the first-ever Avensis to be exported to Japan, the company’s native country. Funny how that works these days, right? In the UK the 1.6-lit 4-cyl unit was dropped; as for the market of New-Zealand, the Wagon edition became available over there with both the 1.8- and the 2.0-lit engines (that’s because after the Camry Wagon left, there was a gap to be filled). In 2003 the Avensis became the first car from a Japanese manufacturer to receive a 5-star rating under the Euro NCAP’s redone testing. It managed to earn 34 points in total, which made it the highest-rated car to ever go through the tests. Fun fact: the second generation was the one and only to be available in Morocco and Egypt. Next, the Toyota Avensis 2004 was named the best family car for 2004/2005 by What Car. Furthermore, that same year the model came at #1 in the 2004 Semperit Irish Car of the Year list. Not bad for a full-size sedan, right?
New Features, New Engines, New Markets
After the Camry left Europe, the champ automatically became the largest saloon from the Japanese manufacturer in the region (and by “region” I mean the whole European continent). As for the powertrain, the Toyota Avensis 2.2 L D-4D was added to “support” the original diesel unit. With the Toyota Avensis 2005 the 2.4-lit edition got mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. As for the Verso model, it was still available up until 2006.Fun fact: back then nobody knew that the company would replace it with the awesome Sienna minivan, so, folks only had rumors and speculations, nothing concrete. However, as we know today, the replacement did arrive. Now, a new, fresh and smooth facelift became available with the introduction of the Toyota Avensis 2006. It included an MP3-WMA-ready sound-system (they were “in the spot” back then, much like iPhone/iPad integration is today), a redesigned front bumper/grille and automatic headlights, along with a height-adjustable front passenger seat (don’t confuse it with the driver’s seat). Probably the biggest difference was the 124BHP D-4D engine. It was paired to a 6-speed manual transmission and boasted improved fuel-efficiency, low emissions and a zero to 60 miles per hour jump in solid 10.5 seconds. Furthermore, decent-quality interior materials and cloth seats were added as well, so, yeah, we did get new Toyota Avensis seat covers with the 2006 edition. As for the Toyota Avensis 2008, the company decided to keep it steady and save the heat for the next, third generation, which was about to be announced in the upcoming months.
The Third Generation – Better In Every Possible Way (2009-Present Day)
The current, third generation was introduced at the Paris Motor Show 2008, with official sales starting in January 2009. And, just like the previous gens, this one was (and still is) manufactured at the company’s plant in Derbyshire, England. As far as body styles go, the shoppers now get to choose between a sedan and a station wagon only. Exterior-wise (I mean the design), the Toyota ED2 team was given a task to make the new edition sleeker, smoother and with an upscale character, and they performed handsomely. Furthermore, these fellas wanted to create the most comfortable suspension in the segment of full-size sedans, while still keeping the sporty juices flowing, if you know what I mean (MacPherson struts and rear double wishbones are still in play, by the way). It’s also worth mentioning that with the Toyota Avensis 2009 they had to drop the 5-door hatchback, leaving the sedan and the wagon as the most popular and practical editions (can’t really blame them, though). Optional equipment included adaptive cruise control AFS (Adaptive Front-Lighting System; a fancy name, I know) and bi-xenon HID head-lamps. It was all good at the safety front as well, with 7 airbags coming standard, with 2 front-row side-torso airbags and two side-curtain airbags for both rows, along with the now-traditional driver’s knee airbag.
6 Engines, Lower Emissions, A Stronger Output And Superb Safety
VSC+ (Vehicle Stability Control+) helps the person behind the wheel with steering, while the PSC (the Pre-Collision System) package adds Lane Departure Warning/Keeping Assist. The third-gen Toyota Avensis 2010 earned a 5-star rating under the latest Euro NCAP ratings scheme, receiving an 81 percent overall score and a 90 percent score for adult occupant safety (don’t ask, I know :)). Plus, in mid-2011 the company decided to reintroduce the wagon back into the Japanese market, with the Li and Xi trim levels coming packed with a 2.0-lit 4-cylinder engine, paired to CVT (continuously variable transmission). Engine-wise, with the 3rd gen you have a choice between as much as six units, including 3 petrol and 3 diesel engines. The petrol units are manufactured at Toyota’s Deeside Engine Plant. The new line-up boasts an increased power output and lower CO2 emissions. Go to any Toyota Avensis forum and you’ll find dozens of folks discussing the tiniest details about the various engines – the pros and cons. As for the new, 2012 edition, the model went through yet another facelift, receiving a redesigned front grille and more upscale tail-lights. The new Avensis was first revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2011 and hit the shelves in 2012 (January). Alright, that’s about it, ladies and gentlemen. Before we hit the sack, let me just have a quick run through the 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions and talk a bit about all the important changes/new features they introduced to the line-up. I’ll be swift.
Toyota Avensis 2015
So, with the 2013 and the 2014 editions going with that “don’t change something that’s already working perfectly” theory, the Toyota Avensis 2015 just had to introduce a bunch of new stuff, otherwise, it could as well make folks forget about yet another full-size sedan on the already crowded market. Well, it wasn’t a question of life and death, actually, because you can’t really ruin a nameplate that’s been around for 2 decades with a not-so-exciting overhaul, but still, the team had to put on. With that said, the company decided to go for it and revealed the next facelift at the Geneva Motor Show 2015, with production starting in June that same year. The revision included a redesigned front grille and updated tail-lights – the usual bunch. Toyota’s trademark Safety Sense package was also introduced; plus, a 1.6-lit diesel engine took the previous 2.0-lit 4-cylinder’s place, with the new line-up of ZR engines being the first ones to incorporate the major’s Valvematic tech. Overall, the third generation had 9 engines to offer – some of them were dropped, while others carry on to this day. All of the units are paired to a six-speed manual transmission; at the same time, the 1.8- and the 2.0-lit petrol engines can be equipped with this fancy new Multidrive S CVT (continuously variable transmission). The 2.2-lit D-4D, that’s good for 150 Horsepower, can be paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. So, yeah, there’s enough to go around.
Just A Bit Behind The Modern-Day Class-Leaders
With everything said and done, at the end of the day, Toyota rolled in with yet another exceptional edition, keeping it real and being honest with the customers, which, in my opinion, is by far the most important part of any business, cars included. Sure, it’s not necessarily an apex luxury predator, but you’ll still get the company’s traditional class-leading reliability, safety, and quality. The cargo capacity remained the same, and that means it can easily take in all the luggage you and your family can ever think of. Seating is comfortable, again, more than enough to haul an average European family to the mall and back. You could argue that the VW Passat and the Ford Mondeo (the Fusion, remember?) offer more interior/cargo space, but the Toyota Avensis 2015 is far from cramped. However, if you like your car nice and quiet, you’ll be a bit disappointed with this one, because there’s quite a lot of noise sneaking into the cabin. It’s not the end of the world, but still, Toyota could do so much better. As for the dashboard, as long as you don’t go with the basic trim, you’ll be alright. You’ll get a fancy touchscreen with a user-friendly interface and smart shortcut buttons. The only downside is, the system is kinda slow with the response, and that can be a major turn-off. The material quality is much better than in the previous editions, but, again, compared to the rivaling VW and Ford, the Toyota Avensis just can’t perform on the same level, which is a pity, because otherwise, this is the real deal, folks.
Toyota Avensis 2016
With the 2016 edition, the Japanese company issued a significantly redesigned front, with a brand-new grille and headlights, and a restyled rear end, with a fancy bumper, new tail-lights and 17/18-inch wheels. Overall, the exterior now looks and feels far more up-to-date and sexy. Furthermore, the dimensions have been boosted up a bit, meaning the body has been extended and the front is now more in-your-face. The lower part of the grille is now a lot bigger than it used to be back in the day and boasts a glossy black center. In addition, the fog lamps are placed (or, rather, engraved) on the outer edges of the front end, which makes the full-sizer look wider and even bigger. On the inside, the team put more effort to pull the Avensis up to the level of the best in the segment, going for a classier, more elegant look with new trim and colors. Noise-reduction has been significantly improved as well, thanks to heavy use of thick (but high-quality) materials for additional sound absorption. So, if you really loved the previous, 2015 edition, but was actually disappointed with the material quality and the sound of the engine peaking in, the current model is a dream come true for you, for real. I mean, if you’re in the market for a solid large sedan, it doesn’t get much better than the latest Toyota Avensis.
A Mighty Line-Up Of Engines And Trims
The seats now come with Alcantra upholstery and a sleek color scheme that gives the interior a premium-class feel. The mighty 5-star engine collection now comes with 2 new diesels, a 1.6-lit D-4D, good for 112HP, and a 2.0-lit unit, capable of 143HP. If you’re interested in the release date, I can say that all the estimates were right and the new edition hit the markets late spring 2015. As for the new Toyota Avensis price, it remained pretty much the same as before – about 28K for the entry-level Terra trim (that’s 26K Euros), while the ultimate trim might just cost you 30-35K (if not more). The transmission is quick and slick in action, while the overall ride quality is pretty smooth to allow for a fun experience behind the wheel. However, keep in mind that the regular 1.6-lit diesel engine won’t really cut it, especially if you love to travel with your family and take all your stuff along with you. On the other hand, the 2.0-lit unit will do just great, putting the Avensis right there among the A-class models. In corners the car feels like a real king, but steering is a bit too light, so, watch out for that. In terms of the warranty, Toyota beats all the other majors in the industry, offering a 5-year/100K miles deal, as opposed to the standard 3-year/60K miles package that comes with the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat. But, I gotta say that even the mighty T can’t match the South-Koreans – Hyundai (5 years + unlimited mileage) and Kia (7 years + unlimited mileage). Ok, that’s pretty much it, folks.
Toyota Avensis 2017
Oh, so, it’s coming? Aha, most definitely! I could tell you everything I know about the upcoming release right here and right now, but it would be wiser to send you to the article. Go check it out and don’t forget to share your thoughts and notes in the comments. As for the Toyota Avensis history course, I believe we’re at the end of the line, my friends, and it’s time to take our different roads. Please, do come back later, but for now, that’s all I have to say. If you’re a European man/woman who appreciates reliability, safety, and durability that go hand in hand with an attractive design, tech-savvy, a cozy, comfortable interior and a solid ride quality, then the Avensis is definitely worth taking a look at. Go do that right now and I’ll go take care of my own business. See ya! Oh, and yes – drive safe! That’s the most important thing.
See this video: Toyota Avensis im EuroNCAP-Crashtest