1999 Toyota Avensis S 1.6i from UK and Ireland


Bloated, under powered and dull


Had to go back for repairs 'cos they "forgot" to put fluid in the power steering! God.

Then a recall brought it back to the garage for new brakes.

Dent against a multi-storey pillar (it's fault as it's so huge at the back you can't tell what starts where).

General Comments:

Soggy & oh-so-bland to drive.

Ugly as anything on 4 wheels.

Plastics inside gave off a revolting stench that made everyone sick (seriously).


Awful for the motorway because you can't overtake anything and it wallows and bounces all over the place.

Handling is so numb it's almost impossible to control down winding country lanes.

By the way, I didn't like it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th February, 2001

29th Oct 2001, 13:01

It was a company car, and the other choices were either impractical or totally unacceptable.

25th Nov 2001, 02:11

Fair comment, I must say after reading a number of reviews about Nissan's and Toyota's made in Britain, I'm starting to think that maybe they are just not built to the same standard as the Japanese built ones, it's a shame because they are fine cars in my opinion.

18th Aug 2002, 14:38

I think you're being a little harsh. We own a Toyota Avensis 1.6 SE Saloon and we have had absolutely no problems with the reliability. The drive is a little dull, but the interior comfort more than compensates. The hatchback does look bloated, but the saloon looks very classy.

19th Jan 2003, 08:21

72,000 miles in an R reg Avensis since October 1998. Breakdowns - none. Recalls - one for steering column. Drives well in all conditions. Carries five adults with room for all their luggage. When I was considering buying it, I test drove it for a day and took it to Renault, Peugeot, Nissan, Citroën, VW and Rover, inviting them to beat it on price and equipment. They couldn't.

6th Feb 2003, 06:36

Both my parents had one each. The 1.8 GS and the 2.0 SR. They both seemed to have a common squeal on the front brakes. Dealer couldn't find any problem with it.

I didn't think 1.8 GS finish was up to Toyota's usual standard, but no other problems really.

9th Nov 2003, 14:25

Well...What can I say??? He had a Mondeo!

9th Jan 2007, 17:40

The Toyota 2.0litre turbodiesel estate I bought secondhand 4 years ago had 70,000 miles on the clock. Now it has 224,000 and most of the time these were trouble free miles. The engine has never missed a beat, the only replacement parts were the airbag and a steering assembly part (bought used as the new part was about £700). Don"t ever doubt that Japanese cars are superbly engineered and astonishingly reliable. If you buy a tricky example it may well have been made in Britain.