Despite having the power to propel relatively heavy bodywork from 0 to 62mph in 9.3 seconds, the all-aluminium engine is showing itself able to return as much as 50mpg over motorways and major routes.
Under less favourable operating conditions like town centres and urban areas, economy can fall to the high 30mpgs, a result that still ticks the box for an upper-medium segment model of generous proportions.
However, the open road is obviously the ideal environment for this unit, particularly when it is mated to a six-speed transmission featuring a long-legged top ratio.
Toyota had to play catch-up when it found it was trailing key rivals in the fast-developing world of diesel power. But with its latest engine under the bonnet of the Avensis, the Japanese firm is back up with the pacesetters in Britain’s diesel car market.Experience so far suggests that the model it powers is well-suited to lugging loads over long distances.
Though not appearing as sharp in handling as some of its rivals and also lacking some of the dynamism, too, the Tourer’s strut front suspension and a double wishbone set-up at the rear allow it to be hustled through corners with confidence while also providing the flat, compliant ride that makes a significant contribution to overall comfort levels.
The D-4D engine pulls strongly and smoothly from as low as 1,500rpm, but as the full brunt of the 228lb-ft of torque it develops makes its presence felt after 2,000 rpm, it’s best to reach 50mph before flicking the impressively slick gear lever into its top gear.
Like most other compression-ignition units, the D-4D engine announces its presence after a cold start, but quickly settles to subdued operation and is mostly inaudible when operating temperature is reached, thanks to a low compression ratio and the use of a balancer shaft.
Model: Toyota Avensis 2.2 D-4D Tourer T4
Price (OTR): £20,645
CO2 emissions (g/km): 156
Company car tax bill (2006) 22% tax-payer: £79 per month
Insurance group: 10
Combined mpg: 47.1
Test mpg: 48.4
CAP Monitor residual value: £6,575/32%
Expenditure to date: Nil
Typical contract hire rate: £417