2004 Toyota Avensis T3-S 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Great engineering but poor implementation

Faults:

Squeaking driver's seat at 10,000 miles, replaced under warranty.

Condensation in front lights at 15,000 miles, both front lights replaced under warranty.

Rattle from steering column, at 17,000 miles, fixed under warranty.

Leaking oil from engine and leaking oil from transmission at 20,000 miles, fixed under warranty.

Leaking oil from transmission and engine at 30,000 miles, fixed under warranty.

Rattle from steering column again at 30,000 miles, replaced under warranty.

Boot (Trunk) wouldn't stay open anymore at 35,000 miles, fixed under warranty.

Rattle from steering column at 40,000 miles, replaced under warranty.

Another rattle from steering column again at 45,000 miles. Currently in Toyota dealer's garage with a "major steering problem that we have to investigate". This should be covered by warranty.

General Comments:

On the whole, after over 2 years and 40,000 miles on the road, I feel that the car is well designed, feels solid and it is easy and comfortable to drive.

I have to point out that a few of the faults (especially the aforementioned oil leaks) were unnoticed by me and pointed out by the dealer when I've had the car serviced. This just goes to show the importance of regular servicing.

As far as the positive feedback goes - the car is very spacious. The boot is huge, and I have been able to load it up on several occasions and have been surprised just how much actually fits in there.

I've taken the car on lots of long journeys across Europe (including several 28+ hour drives) and, although not quite as comfortable as my old 1997 Audi A4, the Toyota hasn't failed me yet. Despite all of the things that have gone wrong with it, the car hasn't had anything major go wrong with it that would leave me stranded.

Having said that, I am disapointed with the number of times I've had warranty work carried out on it in just 2 years and only 40,000 miles worth of motoring. The annoyances that are worth mentioning are definitely the rattling from the steering column that has been a recurring problem, the failure of the boot staying open (come on guys, this is a 2 year old Toyota!) and the minor niggles such as the fogged up headlights, and the squeaky seats. Things like this go some way to telling you about the build quality of a car.

The Toyota Avensis is assembled in the UK. My feeling is that, had I bought a different Toyota, one that was assembled elsewhere - perhaps Japan, it would be a much more solid experience.

I have also found that the paintwork on these cars is very prone to scratching indeed.

Judging by the other positive reviews of the Toyota Avensis, I feel that I've possibly been unlucky and was sold a lemon.

I plan to sell mine when the warranty runs out in a few months time.

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

Review Date: 20th December, 2006

2004 Toyota Avensis D4-D T4 5-dr 2.0 D4-D diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Toyota's as they should be-brilliant

Faults:

Rear suspension bushes needed replacing at 40k miles.

Tailgate struts starting to fail (make a groaning noise and don't lift tailgate properly)

General Comments:

My wife inherited this car as a company vehicle when it had done 22,000 miles, it has just gone back with 96,500 miles on the clock, which was covered in 20 months, and it has been brilliant.

Initially I was unsure, as the only criticism I can level at it is the performance for a modern 2.0 litre diesel is a bit sluggish (although the engine did improve with more miles under it's belt).

However, I think this is possibly the best handling car in the class, it is possible to really throw it into a corner and it just sails through (no traction control or esp), I don't think I ever unsettled it, even with some serious driving.

The ride quality was also very good, despite riding on 17" alloys and ultra low profile tyres, the only issue being the turning circle, which is crap because of the big alloys and tyres.

I would also argue that build quality is certainly up there with German competition, perhaps even above some now, after 96,000 miles it still felt very tight and rattle free.

Just before it went back to the lease company we did a 2,400 mile round trip in it to France, Switzerland and Italy, this was the final credit to the car-it averaged 50 mpg despite lengthy autoroute journeys at up to 100mph (125mph at one point!), was extremely comfortable to travel 7 hours + in, the built in Sat Nav was superb and got us everywhere we wanted to go, and it was doing 530 miles on a tank before the warning light came on.

What a car-it will be sorely missed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st June, 2006

2004 Toyota Avensis Aura 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Finally a germanic car feel

Faults:

I purchased the new Avensis in late March. I had it one day and it needed a new indicator bulb. Only a minor problem, but surely not after a day (not the number of new/old Toyota Avensis on the road with one light or another gone!!)

A few weeks ago the clip around the seat adjuster came off in my hand. Put it back together in a few minutes, but I feel this is going to happen again.

There is a rattle from behind the dashboard somewhere. This seems to be a common fault in a number of new Avensis, as a friend of mine down the county has encountered the same problem.

Otherwise, no major problems.

General Comments:

An improvement on the old one in some ways. More space for passengers. Generally more comfortable. But I wouldn't say no to my old one again, why?

A lot more road noise in this than the last one (mainly to do with the brand of tyres fitted).

Major lack of storage space compared to the last model (just for small bits and bobs).

A lot of handy features removed. i.e. rear arm rest, split rear seats (need to go for Strata model for them today).

Speedometer, clock, temperature etc. awkward to read. Too small. It was like that in the 1st series Avensis 1997-late 2000.

A fondness of juice, which is surprising for Toyotas. This has also been commented on by other owners of the car. I am averaging 33 MPG; used get 37-39 MPG average on last model. I am keeping in mind the engine is still new, but the MPG still seems low.

A big improvement in the quality of materials overall. But build quality? Time will tell.

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

Review Date: 21st May, 2004