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The Avensis is a large family car which has been produced by Japanese manufacturer Toyota since 1997, assembled in the UK at the Burnaston plant in Derbyshire. Production of the Avensis succeeded that of the European Carina E model, and since its 1997 debut the car has undergone three generations of production and proven a commercial hit, achieving substantial sales success for Toyota. The current Avensis model is available in saloon or estate bodystyles and was launched at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. A 2015 facelift has kept the styling and engines offered in the Avensis fresh, keeping it competitive against well-known models like the Volkswagen Passat, Vauxhall Insignia, Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb.
The engine line-up in the Avensis is concise, simply comprising a choice of three units. The sole petrol offering is the naturally-aspirated 145bhp 1.8-litre Valvematic, capable of the 0-62mph sprint in 9.4 seconds and mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox. The 141bhp 2.0-litre and 110bhp 1.6-litre diesels complete the line-up, completing the benchmark sprint in 9.5 seconds and 11.8 seconds respectively. The smaller capacity BMW-derived diesel delivers the best blend of efficiency and economy, returning up to 67.3mpg and low CO2 emissions of 109g/km. All engines are frugal however, making the Avensis a particularly appealing choice amongst company car drivers.
The four-strong range of trims on offer start with the base Active trim, which comes with air-conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth, six-speaker audio system with CD/radio, a Pre-Crash Safety system and Autonomous Emergency Braking as standard. Moving up through Business Edition, Business Edition Plus and range-topping Excel trims or choosing optional accessories packs gives the opportunity to add much more tech. The Avensis scores well in its class in terms of comfort, and features a large cabin and competitive 509-litre capacity boot. The five-year/100,000 miles warranty of the Avensis makes it a desirable prospect for long-term ownership, too.
The Toyota Avensis is a great value large family car, offering a refined driving experience and proving a hit amongst company car drivers thanks to its excellent warranty and low running costs.