1997 Toyota Avensis GS 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland
Good, but not great
Trim loose in interior.
Brake pads, calipers and discs replaced under warranty at 30000 miles.
Windscreen wipers wear out quickly.
Battery failed at 85000 miles.
Faulty bonnet release catch.
Rear shocks wearing out at 80000 miles.
Econo dashboard light failed at 50000 miles.
This is a very comfortable and economical motorway cruiser. It's cheap to run, insure and relatively cheap to fix.
The build quality leaves much to be desired however. It's just not very well screwed together, and the metal on the body panels is pretty thin too. If the build quality was up to the standard of the mechanicals, it'd be perfect.
The mechanical parts, such as the engine, gearbox and power steering are perfect. Smooth, easy to use and ultra reliable, you can run this engine for weeks with little oil (If you should so wish!) and it'll still go on and on.
The design of the car is OK. Not great and not awful either. The cabin is easy to live with for a few hours each day.
The handling is not so great. In a straight line it's fine, but push it into a corner, especially in the wet and you can force it to lose grip, slide and all manner of bad things. The body roll is quite a lot, the design could do with stiffer suspension. However, the softness makes it very comfortable.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th November, 2004
Few people seem to know this, but body panels on newer cars are often more flexible (can easily be pushed in) than older models due to pedestrian safety, but they are just as safe because of crumple zones, side impact bars, multiple airbags etc.
I think you have been unlucky with your Avensis. Toyota, Lexus and Mazda have a top reliability record.
Yeah, I've been very unlucky, as now it's got up to 87000 miles it's burning oil like mad and I'm going to have to get rid of it. An oil leak would be preferable to this.