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Old 07-09-2011, 01:56 PM
 
2,186 posts, read 7,660,846 times

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The Toyota Avensis is well renowned for its reliability and economy, it is however, often looked upon as slightly 'boring' car. Toyota's 2008 model looked to change this perception and combine the Avensis trademarks of build quality, reliability and economy with a spikier engine that would give the car some kick, along with a newly redesigned body.

From the outside the evolution from the last model is a very pleasant one. You may even mistake it for the Lexus IS which is also designed by Toyota as its new form is a much classier, sleeker design. The front bumper protrudes forward, and alongside that sits the two headlights which are sunk deep into the bumper, giving a very pleasing look. The Avensis is a big car, of this there is no doubt. What Toyota have done however, is create a nice aerodynamic shape so it doesn't feel like driving an overly sized car. The size does have its benefits of course. Take one look in the boot and you will realise just how much space and luxury the Avensis will provide. Inside the car itself, there is ample leg room and and a high roof. Five adults could comfortably fit inside this car.

With a larger car, often the actual drive becomes sluggish as the engine struggles to handle its weight. This is not the case with the Avensis, largely due to the new 'Optimum Drive' which Toyota have included. This provides fuel to the engine much quicker, allowing you to pull away more faster than you would expect. 0-60mph can be achieved in a very respectable 10 seconds for a car of its size and type.

The Avensis is famed for its economy of fuel, and this model is no exception, the aerodynamic shape contributes further to this extra fuel economy. In my experience, you can expect around 50mpg under normal driving conditions, which compares very favourably to other cars in its class.

The other big feature of all Avensis models is safety. The new 2008 model once again scored 5 stars under NCAP testing. It includes seven in-car airbags as standard, with an additional driver's knee airbag. Toyota has also included its VCS skid control system to aid the driver in all conditions. Whilst driving this car I was involved in a minor traffic accident, where another vehicle drove in to the back of my car. It was quite an impact as the other car was going at some speed, but apart from a scratch on the rear bumper, there was absolutely no damage to the Avensis. The other vehicle however, was in a state.

Overall the Toyota Avensis 2008 model saloon is a great all round performer. The build quality is exceptional and the spacious interior makes for a comfortable experience for drivers and passengers alike. The on-road performance is also very solid; never does the car feel underpowered. Compared to other more expensive cars in its class, the Avensis manages to hold it own fantastically.
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