I love it, but am aware of its faults
At around 50.000 it started losing oil suddenly. I went to service/dealer, they checked the compression and found that engine is not sealing properly. In fact that seemed to be the bug with some of 1600-1800 ccm engines, but not with diesel ones. As I was told, the piston seals were made in Slovakia, and were not made of a proper steel, so they had to change half the engine completely at their cost. After 24 hours I had my Avensis back and since then (now 130.000) I have not had a single problem regarding the engine.
However, I drive long distances and I noticed that my legs hurt me after some time spent sitting and driving. The front seats are too long (I am 175cm tall) and the front edge cuts circulation from behind. My wife says that sitting behind is very comfortable (there is really a lot of space in this car), but if I drive fast she becomes sick.
I have driven an Oldsmobile Cutlass, Toyota Supra, Toyota Corolla and many other smaller EU made cars like VW, Fiat, Austin etc. The 2001 Avensis is not as good as the Carina was, but it is certainly reliable, well made and designed car to drive in Europe.
Music system is absolutely superb, there is a lot of space (trunk is enormously big for EU car), it has a nice sporty look, even though it is not a car for very fast driving and certainly not a sports one.
There is power in engine though, but you need to learn how to squeeze it out. To cruise with it is a pleasure beyond what you might expect looking from outside, but not above 160-170 km/h when you start losing control.
As a car for business or small family trips it is excellent. To drive within city limits it is probably not a good solution. This car needs air to show what it can do.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 28th September, 2007