Test Drive: Toyota Avensis facelift 2.2 D-4D D-CAT image

Inautonews.com has recently went behind the wheel of the facelifted Toyota Avensis and the model is bringing some interesting fresh touches on both the exterior and the interior design.

Engine / Transmission

The model we tested was equipped with the four-cylinder 2.2 liter diesel engine equipped with the company’s D-4D direct injection system which is developing a total output of 150 horsepower and 340 Nm of torque, available from 2, 000 rpm. The unit is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission which is more than suitable for the model because the gear shifting is made without any disturbance or useless vibrations in the steering wheel and downshifting is elegant, refusing to shake the body in the normal Drive mode.

A Sport button is available for when you will want to overtake someone but be aware that pressing it will also mean throwing away some money from your wallet because the fuel consumption will significantly increase but if you ask me, it’s worth it, because the whole car comes to life once you will push the gas pedal.

The Toyota Avensis facelift we tested was also equipped with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters which gave the model a “sporty” touch but that’s about all it did because the paddle shifters are suffering from Alzheimer and they are constantly forgetting what their job is so gear shifting comes with a huge lag regardless of what mode you’re driving in so our suggestion is not to choose this option.

Fuel Consumption

Toyota says that the AVensis 2.2L D-CAT is burning 7.9 liters of fuel in the city and just 5.3 liters on the highway but the real figures achieved were 10.0L in the city and 6.7L on the highway with cruise control set at 110 km/h and with the AC on. We have to mention that turning off the AC will drop the fuel consumption to about 9.8L in the city and to 6.5L on the highway but this were really the best figures we could achieve. In Sports mode, the fuel consumption will quickly increase to around 8.2L outside cities and to over 11L in an urban environment, but the thrill offered by this four-cylinder diesel engine in high revs is worth it.

The Ride

The facelifted version of the Toyota Avensis is as comfortable as the previous version and you won’t notice small holes in the asphalt or speed limiters at normal speeds but you will definitely notice them once you will get the car serviced. For instance, the model we tested had around 40,000 km on its odometer but the car kept pulling to the right.

The steering doesn’t appear to be improved and even if the car seems light on everyday use, on mountain roads with tight corners you suddenly realize that you’re in a family sedan and you should go easy on the gas. It’s useless to talk about under steer because the Avensis hasn’t been developed to tackle on dirt roads or for track days and this won’t be noticed by the everyday driver who is using it to go to work.

Visibility in the facelifted Avensis is satisfying and after just a couple of minutes of driving it, its generous size will start to feel more like normal. The pillars won’t get in your way when you will be trying to squeeze it into tight parking spaces and the rear-view camera will help you avoid obstacles while maneuvering the car in reverse, so choose the rear-view camera if you plan on buying an Avensis because you won’t regret it.

Interior Design

The center console of the facelifted Avensis has been modified and thanks to this, access to the gear knob is easier. The ventilated air vents have also been restyled but even if the chrome surroundings may look good, in certain cases they will reflect in your front side windows exactly over the side mirrors, partially blocking your visibility in them.

Another inconvenient will be the side support of the seats, or better said, the missing side support from the front seats, which will be noticed if your driving skills are sportier because you will be thrown left and right. A small vibration can be felt in the steering wheel when the standing still and the driving position is too high for its class even with the driver’s seat adjusted at its lowest point.

These will be the only noticeable inconvenient because all other things are where they are supposed to be and they are doing exactly what they are supposed to do. All the buttons are in the right place, the AC works well, the navigation system will get you to your destination, the rear-view camera is a “must” and the best part is that the facelifted Avensis’ interior “smells” like a Lexus.

Equipment Level

The model we tested came with a dual-zone climate control, rain sensing wipers, a multimedia system, the Touch and Go Plus, Bluetooth, USB, Aux, partial leather seats, multi-function steering wheel, electronic parking brake, automatic headlights, xenon headlights, keyless entry, keyless go, automatic heated electric folding side mirrors, curtains for the rear windows and more.

Likes / Dislikes

Just like every other car out there, the facelifted Toyota Avensis has its ups and downs and probably the most significant “minus” is the fuel consumption compared to its rivals, which will be improved with a stop/start system. The noise insulation is also a chapter where Toyota has to do some homework, the paddle shifters are useless even is Sport mode, the driving position is too high and the front seats don’t have any side support.

On the other side, the facelifted Avensis looks and feels like a Lexus both outside and in the cabin and this will be highly appreciated by its future customers. The audio system is enough to make you forget your problems, the ornaments inside give it a new touch, the rear-view camera is highly appreciated when maneuvering the model in tight spaces and the Sport model will transform the engine.

The main rivals of the Toyota Avensis are models like the Honda Accord, the Mazda6, the Volkswagen Passat or the Peugeot 508 and the model can be bought from just over 20,000 euros. Prices for the version we tested are set at almost 31,000 euros.