Toyota Avensis T4 2.0 D-4D (2012) road test review

Toyota Avensis T4 2.0 D-4D (2012) road test review

The TotallyMotor Verdict


Here we have the latest, 2012-spec Toyota Avensis saloon in its most frugal form, with a 2-litre D-4D turbodiesel engine that’s said to be good for 62.8mpg on the combined economy cycle, and with the dreaded CO2 pegged at 119g/km, which is a respectable level compared to the competition. Performance is rated at 124bhp, and you wouldn’t want much less power in the car this size; D segment size.

Our TotallyMotor test car comes equipped to the T4 level which is the third rung up the trim ladder, above T2 and TR but below T Spirit. So, for £23,585 OTR, plus £450 for metallic Dark Blue paint in this instance (£24,035 total on-the-road price), we get a frugally-minded Avensis that gets some pretty decent kit like Toyota Touch & Go sat-nav, 17-inch alloys, electric lumbar support on the driver’s seat and an 11-speaker “premium” audio system.


Toyota Avensis T4 2.0 D-4D (2012) road test review

First impression:
The model year 2012 Avensis we see here is a revised and facelifted version of the previous model, and most of that restyling was to the front-end where we now see Toyota’s latest family design language.

The large and inner-detailed, swept-back headlights are a main feature, as is the chrome strip-topped front grille that forces its way forward in the shape of an arrowhead.

The Dark Blue metallic paint isn’t perhaps the most dynamic of shades for any car and not one I’d chose personally, but it does add a dash of extra solidity to the well-proportioned Avensis even if in general the styling drama is on the light side.

I think an inch bigger and a more adventurous design with the wheels would bring some more pizzazz to this understated saloon, but there is plenty to be said for understated styling for a lot of new car buyers.


Into the interior:
To match the exterior style, the interior styling is also quite a low-key affair, but executed with experience and quality by the very long-running Japanese manufacturer.

The seats are a mix of leather and Alcantara in this TotallyMotor test car and offer adjustment and support for height and tilt, and electric lumbar support which bought some extra comfort to a 200-mile drive down the M1 one day.

I would have liked some more reach from the steering wheel to improve my overall driving position; recent test drives in Fords and Volvos have highlighted how far a little extra steering wheel reach goes for taller drivers, and I’m riding high at 6’ 4”.

Toyota’s latest infotainment and sat-nav system is called Touch & Go and it’s simple enough to operate with full postcode entry for the navigation address and the “premium” stereo does indeed sound better for bass and punch than more average kit.


The drive:
With an eco-focus to this Avensis – 119g/km of CO2 for road tax band C – we could excuse this test car for feeling on the sluggish side, but I’d say it’s about right in relation to its 124bhp power output.

The to-62mph sprint is completed in 9.7secs and while you can feel the 2-litre turbodiesel engine doing its torquey job via the easy-to-use 6-speed manual gearbox, it did feel to me to be a little down on mid-gear punch, with a few more down-changes needed to pick up overtaking pace here and there.

I did two, 200-mile drives in the Avensis and plenty of daily, bumper-to-bumper commutes and I found it an easy companion in these circumstances, but I wasn’t hugely inclined to hit my favourite back lanes in search of quick cornering fun. I was more interested in building the on-board economy readout past 50mpg.

And I did. By the end of my week with the Avensis, and around 600 miles on a tank of fuel – the orange digits in the dash proudly showed an average economy of 54.4mpg. And that’s always happy reading!

Now, there were a couple of very long and cruising motorway runs in there, but even before the long trips, the mpg-metre was hovering around the 50mpg mark and that’s decent for a car of this size.


Ten second sum up:
The Toyota Avensis T4 2.0 D-4D goes about its business in a quiet fashion with styling inside and out that’s definitely understated, and that will appeal or not, depending on personal taste. With fuel economy becoming of greater importance on an almost daily basis, tested fuel economy of 50mpg+ is one of this car’s more magnetic attractions.


Prices and availability:
The Toyota Avensis range starts at £17,945 for the T2 and rises to £24,705 for the T Spirit. Price as tested, £24,035, for the Avensis T4 2.0 D-4D, including Dark Blue metallic paint at £450. Available now.

By Daniel Anslow

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