The car feels well put together and the doors shut with a nice solid sounding 'thunk'. The general fit of the exterior panels is very good, but I have seen better looking paint finishes. The whole car seems to have a dimpled effect to the paint when you look at it with light reflecting off it; it's not nice and smooth.
The interior plastics are very hard and the whole cabin is a sea of black and dark grey - not a very inspiring place to sit! The fit and finish of things like the dash-top storage lid and the lid of the small cubby hole between the seats is poor - some bargain basement parts have been used here.
The seats are supportive for a maximum of about 2 hours. Any longer than this and they give me lower back pain. There is nowhere near enough lumbar support in them on this grade of car.
The stereo is quite good unless you like your music to have any kind of a bass track. The head unit is okay, but the speakers just aren't up to the job if you turn up the volume.
Personally, I find it difficult to see the instruments as they are orange numerals and orange needles on an orange-lit black background. What's wrong with a black background, white numerals and a red needle??
The 6 speed gearbox is a welcome touch, and makes for easy motorway cruising. I have averaged 50.6 mpg since I started using this car, which isn't bad for a 2 litre.
The handling is very 'floaty' and does not inspire confidence at all. On a windy motorway it feels distinctly unsafe in fact, and a far cry from the solid feel of other cars in this class I have owned (Vectra/Mondeo). Levels of grip are low and the feedback through the wheel is very poor.
The car is roomy though with plenty of space for 4 adults to ride in comfort. The boot is huge too, and if you fold down the seats there's acres of space available.
I am disappointed that this car is not better, given the fact that Toyota were supposedly aiming at executives when they launched the Avensis. My wife has a 2007 Yaris TR, which feels altogether better quality, especially inside, but including the paint finish.
Mine is a company car, but given the choice I'd have something else.