Toyota Avensis Review

Gumtree Rating

4.5 rating

Released in 1997, the Toyota Avensis competes in the highly competitive mid-sized executive saloon segment. Accomplished rivals include the Ford Mondeo, the VW Passat and the Mazda 6. To stand out, the Avensis turned to adaptability and was made available in an estate format, too. Since the first release, there have been two major facelifts that include significant changes to the style and tech. While it isn’t the most well-known Toyota, it offers great build quality, reliability and value – making it a solid choice for families and companies.

Visit the Toyota Avensis model page to explore available cars and learn more

What we think about the Toyota Avensis

The Toyota Avensis is a practical purchase that’s likely to last for many years and can handle significant miles.



Spacious interior


Good value


Refined engines


Somewhat boring drive

Bland styling

The first-gen Toyota Avensis was built as the replacement for the ageing Carina E. Over the years, it’s been available in four-door saloon, five-door liftback and estate forms. The latest generation was in production from 2009 to 2018 and came with three engine choices. Plus, five trim options mean the car is easy to personalise: Active, Business Edition, Design, Business Edition Plus, and Excel.

Driving performance of the Toyota Avensis

Our Driving Rating7 / 10

The Avensis is a car that you buy for practicality, not for fun. If you spend a lot of time on the road, you’ll like the fact that it’s quiet and comfortable. It’s especially good on motorways where the refined engines and soft suspension make for a good drive. However, rivals have managed to achieve the same results, minus the lifeless steering response. Overall, the Avensis is safe and predictable, but not particularly enjoyable.

Safety and reliability of the Toyota Avensis

Our Safety Rating9 / 10

Toyota’s reputation for reliability serves the Avensis well. You can expect great build quality, no matter which model you purchase. In terms of safety, the third-generation model scored the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP tests, so you know you’re in good hands here. Every version comes with seven airbags and head restraints move forward in case of a collision to reduce whiplash. Isofix child seat points, remote locking and traction control are also part of the standard package. For a higher price, you can get cruise control and front fog lights.

Under the bonnet of the Toyota Avensis

Our Engine Rating8 / 10

The third-gen Avensis is available with five engines: three petrols and two diesels. The entry-level 1.6-litre petrol engine clocks 0-62 mph in 10.4 seconds, while the 1.8-litre takes 9.4 seconds. The entry-level 2.0-litre diesel takes just under ten seconds for the sprint, while the 2.2-litre engine takes 9.4 seconds. You can expect efficiency and refinement from all the engines. The 2.0-litre diesel with the six-speed manual transmission is the most popular choice, as it balances performance and efficiency well. Unless you really need an auto gearbox, don’t bother with it as the CVT can be a hassle to use at times.

What you'll find in the Toyota Avensis

Our Design Rating7 / 10

Since the beginning, the one downside of the Avensis has been the bland styling. It’s a fairly dull family saloon that does little to stand out. However, the facelift on the latest generation, which took place in 2015, was well-timed as the Ford Mondeo and Mazda 6 were ageing. It’s quite obvious that the spacious design is meant for comfort. If you don’t mind a car that blends into the crowd but has some sleek lines and chrome finishing, you’ll like the Avensis.

Comfort and interiors in the Toyota Avensis

Our Comfort Rating9 / 10

Given the spacious design, you can expect a comfortable journey with good visibility from the driver’s seat. It’s also quite easy to park. The rear seats can comfortably fit three adults even for long journeys, thanks to good headroom and the completely flat floor. Boot space is generous too, offering 509 litres, which rises to 1320-litres with the seats folded down. Lots of cubby holes for storage in the cabin mean it’s quick and easy to stow away odds and ends.

toyota avensis dashboard

What features you'll find in the Toyota Avensis

Our Features Rating7 / 10

Five trim levels mean the Avensis is easy to customise to your budget and lifestyle. The entry-level trim is fitted with LED daytime running lights, electric front windows, manual air conditioning and a CD/radio system with Bluetooth connectivity. Upgrading to the Business Edition adds Toyota’s Touch 2 system to the mix, which is a decent satnav and infotainment setup. Top-line trims will get you a 10-speaker stereo, voice command recognition and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Unfortunately, there is no support for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay on the Avensis

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Toyota Avensis

Our Fuel Consumption Rating8 / 10

All engines available for the Avensis are pretty efficient. The diesel units provide a good balance between frugality and performance – the 1.6-litre performs the best, providing 67.3 mpg, while the 2.0-litre delivers 62.8 mpg. With the 1.8-litre petrol engine, the auto transmission, which offers 47.9 mpg, is the most efficient. Note that these numbers resulted from an older testing method, so you can expect slightly lower efficiency with real-world usage.

Running costs of the Toyota Avensis

Our Cost Rating8 / 10

Thanks to Toyota’s reliability and solid build quality you can be assured that you’ll be getting a good vehicle – even in the used-car market. Do check the service history before purchasing, as heavily-used company cars can wear out quickly. In terms of insurance costs, the Avensis sits between groups 17 and 24, which is average for the segment. Toyota offers fixed-price servicing, which sweetens the deal further, and the a five-year/100,000-mile warranty is a little better than some competitors.

Our verdict of the Toyota Avensis

4.5 rating

4.5 / 5 Gumtree rating

Safe, comfortable and reliable – the Toyota Avensis is a strong contender for the ideal family car.