2015 Toyota Avensis Saloon Review

Big-selling Toyota Avensis is improved, but still trails the very best.

Always a sales hit in Ireland, the Avensis has been improved with a new engine, sharper styling and better refinement. It’s enough, just, to keep it competitive, but welcome as those revisions are the Avensis still isn’t able to really fight with the best for outright class honours. Even so, it’ll still sell very well indeed.

Review

What is it?
An Irish mainstay in the family saloon market, the Toyota Avensis takes a sizeable portion of sales in Ireland against the usual rivals like the Ford Mondeo, Opel Insignia and Volkswagen Passat. Improved in 2015 with a sharper look, improved interior, greater refinement and the addition of an efficient1.6-litre diesel engine, the Avensis stacks up better against such competition, if not surpassing them. Still, it offers the same solid reliability, decent space and equipment offering, if, as ever, somewhat at the cost of excitement.

What is it like?
The key improvement for the ‘new’ Avensis is found under the bonnet. There’s a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine that Toyota has borrowed from BMW, allowing 109g/km of CO2 and Band A3 tax liability. It’s an excellent engine, which punches with greater force than its 112hp output suggests, while refinement is good too. From the engine, at least, as there's still a bit too much wind noise at speed in the Avensis. Sharper looks add to its kerb appeal.

Carzone verdict: 3.5/5
There’s a good reason that the Avensis has been a big seller in Ireland, and that’s down to its promise of reliability, decent standard equipment and pricing. That all remains, though with the revised Avensis there’s greater economy, even more kit and, at last, sharper, more desirable styling. It still trails its key rivals for driver appeal, but for the majority of buyers that’s of little significance.