The New Toyota Avensis
Transported directly to the French Riviera, where TD2 (the European design team of Toyota Europe) is based, the discovery of the New Avensis by Toyota is unveiled. The Toyota Building is modern, clean and accompanying their utterly environmentally friendly building of their UK headquarters in Derbyshire, this building also is keeps house with the environment too. Please see this article on my column on Girl Racer magazine
For me to tell you about the difference between the old Avensis and the new Avensis will be a bit tricky, seeing as I haven’t really driven in an old Avensis, instead I can tell you the aspects that have been updated, mid-season to accommodate a European Clientele. Amongst the many updates the most important for me is the new consistent design language, allowing the brand to be really distinctive. The new front has been re shaped from a ‘happy go lucky’ grill to a more eager, more aggressive image, lower design elements, to allow the eye to perceive the body to hug the ground, to feel more sporty and with more attitude something, that will be continued throughout the range. This is the ‘face’ of the next generation.
Inside, they have thought about everywhere the driver and passenger touches and feels, the quality of the plastics and materials used are certainly pleasing, allowing for a well thought out cabin. The upholstery for me was a good choice, it’s all very well having good quality leather seats but in a hot climate, ones legs can get stuck to the seats, so a suedette area where your knees are, is a perfect thought. The door grips and gear stick very happy to hold. One item I never managed to check out is the luggage steady straps in the boot, I think this is a brilliant idea and sometimes I see nets holding flat items, but these straps can hold boxes and cases, perfect for salesmen, perfect.
The design of the console works well and the Touch and Go Sat nav system worked really well. The Sat Nav and Touch and Go system has different upgrades available depending upon the model of car. The versatility of the advanced models includes email, advanced traffic data mapping and voice recognition and well as 3 years of upgrades on the maps.
At first I was daunted by the idea of emails on the go however, this is clearly a fleet car and Toyota are making the process of the ‘businessman’ a lot easier. Emails are coming to our Blackberry’s these days, so why not the car. Voice recognition allows you to text and email back and of course call, which by now is the norm. It is a big screen and if it helps improve the safety of the driver then I am all for it. The advanced systems have rear view camera, which I wanted to use, but nothing for me beats the head over the shoulder idea…. However, once you have done the head over the shoulder, tight city parking to avoid the bumper to bumper, the rear view camera will kick in perfectly. Again, Toyota are thinking about the busy businessman who needs to drive park get in to the meeting and get out again, without any disruption.
Now here is where I cannot tell you the advancements of the new Avensis, apart from test driving it. The engine performance: The steering has been improved with a new electronic power steering; yes this was fluid and direct. Suspension on the front and rear…….yes the ride was pretty firm………. But secure, rather than hard. Body rigidity has been increased, when I chucked it round corners on the hills of the French Riviera, the car certainly held together in one piece, so that I believe is a tick. It was a quiet ride too and the diesel version did not really sound like a diesel until you revved it to find out. There is a revised 2.0 D-4D diesel engine, delivering 119g/km CO2 emissions and 61.4mpg fuel economy and the lane departure warning and lane keep assist have been included in the new Avensis.
This car does what it has set out to do. It has listened to the market and developed mid -season, the car that its customers are wanting and improved the user contact and ‘usability’ of the car for its main clientele. The metallic red is a fabulous colour on the new Avensis, I hope they sell lots of those, I would love to see them on the roads.
For technical details on the new Avensis by Toyota please see:
Thank you to the fabulous breakfast team at the hotel where we stayed at in Nice:
Please see this article on my column on Girl Racer magazine