2006 Toyota Avensis Hatchback 1.8 VVT-i


A sensible and reliable family cruiser


Normal age-related ailments:

- Air conditioning leaking refrigerant.

- Exhaust pipe rusted and snapped just behind the catalytic converter. Repaired by the dealer at no cost.

- Suspension parts and underbody alarmingly rusty.

- Rust bubbles on rear door frames.

- Windscreen broken by a flying pebble (the worst type of pebble).

General Comments:

We needed a large family car, my wife likes the looks of the Avensis and I like hatchbacks, so we bought the Avensis 5dr.

The very low mileage for the age of the car fooled me into skipping a more thorough inspection prior purchasing. Something I am now regretting, as the price was steep.

As a family car:

- The big boot is easily accessible and it can take a stroller and a suitcase, no sweat.

- The rear seats fold flat easily, which allows for relatively ambitious trips to IKEA.

WARNING! The rear seatbelts are too short for our baby seat, so we had to buy an ISOFIX base.

- Has ISOFIX in the rear.

- Rear windows are relatively high and small, so children are not particularly happy about the riding experience.

- 9 AIRBAGS, ESP, EuroNCAP 5*.


- Comes with all the kit a simple man needs: a decent stereo (but no Bluetooth or AUX input), multifunctional steering wheel, automatic climate control, a trip computer, electric windows and mirrors, rain sensor, external thermometer.

- Interior looks well put together, and the materials have a quality feel to them, bar a few edges on the plastic mouldings here and there.

- Fake leather on the steering wheel, gear knob and the doors, feels nice.

- Cruise control was never available on the 1.8, unfortunately.

- The dashboard layout is simple and easy on the eyes, I like the orange backlight.

- Seats are OK, but lacking back support. Can be tiring after a few hours.

- Steering wheel adjustable in height and depth.

- Headroom in the back limited, but can fit 3 adults.


- The 1.8 is not particularly refined, but quite torquey and pulls strong throughout the revs. Don't expect wonders, though, as the long gears care for economy and not speed.

- Gear changes are smooth and precise. Toyota use steel ropes, instead of solid linkages. The shift throw is on the longer side, though.

- Suspension is comfy, rather than sporty. Some body roll when pushed, but stable and predictable. Feels solid at high speed.

- Road noise is very limited till 100 km/h, acceptable up until 140 km/h, and bearable above that. An issue to have in mind on the German Autobahn.

The dealer:

- Very friendly before purchasing, did not budge a cent on the asked price.

- Absent-minded after payment was done.

- Mechanics are good, but the dealership management do not seem to care too much for the customer.

The bad:

- The underbody and many suspension parts are rusting, which must be due to the car having been driven in the German Alps for 10 years. Just surface rust and no holes yet, but it does not look pretty, and it will be only getting worse.

- Automatic air conditioning was blowing warm air at the time of purchasing. Inspected and refilled by the dealer, but I suspect it will need a refill again next summer. Not too much of a worry, as German summers are not that hot.

- I want a GT86.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th January, 2017

9th Mar 2018, 13:45

An update on the Avensis after two years and 15 000 km.

Front suspension control arms have rusted through, meaning a failed inspection.

The rear doors on the hatchback model are too low for comfortable placing of a toddler in the child-seat. I need to "maneuver" my child in and out, bumping her head into the ceiling, every now and then.

Other than that, trouble-free motoring.

2006 Toyota Avensis Executive Estate 2.2 DCAT




Nothing too new to tell... but I will update.

General Comments:

As I have only just got it, this review will be pretty short.

I first drove one back in the UK circa 2003 - I was impressed with the cruising ability and the space and finish offered by Toyota - now I was in a position to select one as a company car - this review will thus not focus on dealership issues as they do not effect me.


On the motorway it pulls nicely from ca. 2500 rpm to 4000 rpm - this equates to (in 6th gear) to 120 to 230 km/h - In Germany the whole Audi/BMW/Merc brigade (except for the real big guns) get a shock when they try to either come up behind me at 200 or overtake me... I think the whole "the car in front is a Toyota" thing is new to them, nevertheless she can keep up with the similar sized Teutonic diesel engines, if not out perform them. One added comment to make like the Swiss gentleman who reviewed his last year, I agree the Xenon lights have not been set up for fast speeds - great beam just to short - perhaps I will ask my dealer to adjust (if this is at all possible)

In town the accelerator and clutch are very light and sensitive, something my size 13's (UK) need to get used to, so I drive slower than before in the Passat, yet if I need to be quicker...whoosh, second, third gear - oops already at 60 miles an hour - so yes she is quick.


Now, we all now that the Avensis is no Porsche or Evo, so the handling is not tight, especially not at 200 km/h and above. I shall compare the handling to the Saab 95 estate 2.3T I once drove, it is direct, but the suspension could be harder thus reducing the amount of role into corners (well at 200 km/h at least).

The overall urban handling is very relaxing, suspension soaks up the bumps well and the light steering makes manoeuvring easy. The turning circle could be greater, I seem to be doing 3 point turns nearly every where I go - annoying, but not tragic.


How does one say this best - lovely! That is what the interior feels like. OK, I have the fully suited and booted version, leather this, electric that, buttons for everything, 7" DVD Navigation, sauna, coffee maker etc.. But really she is a joy to sit behind. The buttons are well positioned, OK the volume button is a bit fidgety, but I have the fine fingered skills of a gorilla so maybe I am at fault. The sound system is great, bass heavy, but I like the shaking sound anyway. The seats are comfy - first day I drove 400 km to Bamberg and felt like I had just gone round the corner..nice.

OK, I shall stop there…you all get the message, I like the Avensis…lets hope she stays that way for the future…and I can continue to surprise the standard 40 year old BMW 320d, Merc C220 tdi, Audi tdi brigade and out perform them.

For humour:

P.S. Since my best friend has just named his cars after his daughters favourite stuffed toys, I shall join suit, sort of and name the Toyota after a Jackson family member crossed with a big thighed Tennis star….I have christened my

Toyota Avensis…………LaToya Venus - you may all laugh!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 24th May, 2006

23rd Jul 2006, 13:41

Thank you for taking the time to write this review. It is great to know that the car you are planning on buying goes well at 200kph, just in case I needs that. But I don't live in Germany, if you go 200kph in Mallorca you will end up swimming in the Mediterranean Sea or in some huge Villa's backyard's pool.

Thank you again, and enjoy the car as much I will do.

20th Nov 2006, 04:58

I test drove an Avensis T180 yesterday. It's quite a machine. The power from the engine is very impressive as is the general fit and finish of the car.

Handling isn't too bad either. I expected worse, but it handles in a similar way to a Vectra (not the insult it once was) not as precise as a Mondeo or 3 series, but not bad.

Very comfortable cabin, a bit dark, but all very logical and well made.

Bit of an ugly duckling on the outside, but I was so impressed with the car I could learn to love it.

Too expensive for me right now so I'll be waiting on the 1yr old cars to appear.

The T180 engine is going to be put in the new Corolla. That will be a rocket.

19th Apr 2007, 14:28

I've been driving a 2006 2 litre Toyota Avensis T4 auto for a few weeks now. I'm on secondment and have to drive 140 miles a day so my company have hired the car for me. The ride is very smooth. I have to say though that the interior is not as luxurious as it should be for a car of this cost, and that it is terribly underpowered as well as being an extremely juicy car; I would say, in fact, that this is the most uneconomical car I have driven. My personal car is a Toyota Hilux Surf - a 2 ton truck, in other words - and even that is more economical to drive than the Avensis.