2012 Toyota Avensis T-Spirit Tourer 2.0 D4D diesel from UK and Ireland
Good family car with a few limitations
Clutch started to fail after 34k miles during towing in heavy traffic.
Driver's side wiper blade smeared every 2-3 months so had to be renewed very regularly.
Online connectivity mostly didn't work due to the central Toyota site for accepting the Google T&Cs on this model of Touch & Go Plus having been taken offline after the service was upgraded.
Aftermarket towing kit caused electrical problems due to poor routing of wires to difficult to reach car battery at front of engine bay. A proper CANBUS connection for towing (situated in the boot) could have avoided this and added other benefits, like switching off reverse sensors when towing etc - Toyota don't support this. No idea why Toyota are so far behind with this kind of thing and yet have ingenious hybrid systems etc.
Equipment levels on this car were exceptional for the money. From memory seats to adaptive Xenon lights to voice controlled sat nav, etc etc. But as is typical of Toyota, the implementation of the tech is often poorly thought through. How stupid is it to have electric seats and electric steering column adjust on the memory function, but then not include the electric mirrors in the feature? How can you have an expensive and generally decent sat-nav that is too dumb to mute the speakers when instructions are read out? How can Toyota send out modern cars from the factory with rear parking sensors that have a quiet buzzer mounted in the boot instead of issuing beeps through the car's speakers? I've seen better aftermarket systems.
Annoying though these failings are, they weren't deal breakers. What was far more intolerable was the road noise on certain surfaces. I added some old carpet to line various parts of the boot, and that helped a lot but it was still pretty poor. Worse yet was the awful gear ratios that were clearly chosen to help get the best MPG on the official tests but were unpalatable in the real world. The gap between first and second was huge - a real pain below 25 mph in busy conditions. This combined with towing caused the clutch and flywheel to wear far too early and that was enough to get me to dispose of the car.
On the plus side, when not towing and not driving in slow traffic, it was a pleasant enough drive with comfortable enough seats, good looks (on this model with the panoramic roof at least) and enough gadgets to amuse you on a long trip. It was quite narrow too, which is always handy on the many single track roads I often use.
Things like keyless entry (the car even lit up when you walked past with the key) made ownership quite enjoyable - up to a point.
The integration with my iPod was one of the best I've had, but the poor standard speakers took some of the shine off that.
I'll try and finish on a high and say the reversing camera was great - even useful at night. I wish all cars had one as standard.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th August, 2016