The new British-built Avensis makes its entrance not only sporting some sharp new styling and extra equipment, it has also undergone detailed changes to improve its dynamic performance, ride comfort and, in respect of the best-selling 2.0-litre D-4D engine, lower emissions and better fuel economy.
Thanks to the revised engine, new Avensis is also primed to deliver significant savings in ownership costs through less money spent at the pumps, lower road tax and, crucial for business users, more favourable company car tax ratings. With new, longer service intervals factored into the cost equation for business motorists, new Avensis delivers a best-in-class pence-per-mile cost over three years/60,000 miles.
Revised 2.0 D-4D engine
The 124bhp Toyota Optimal Drive 2.0-litre D-4D engine is well-established at the heart of the Avensis range. For the new model, it has undergone a series of changes that yield remarkable gains in emissions and fuel economy.
Compared to the previous engine, combined cycle fuel economy has improved by 15 per cent, from 53.3 to 61.4mpg and a 14 per cent reduction has been achieved in CO2 emissions, which fall from 139 to 119g/km. Overall the engine is 3kg lighter, quieter and gives more linear torque.
Key changes include a new turbocharger with lower friction bearings and an electric actuator. The torque characteristics of each gear have also been adjusted and as a result, drivers enjoy greater torque at low speeds.
Improvements in engine cooling and lubrication and the use of low rolling resistance tyres have helped cut the CO2 exhaust emissions, along with new glow plug control, changes to the diesel particulate filter and a new piston bowl shape that allows for improved combustion performance.
Elsewhere in the new Avensisline-up the Toyota Optimal Drive 1.8 Valvematic petrol engine with manual or Multidrive S continuously variable transmission and the 2.2-litre D-4D and D-CAT diesels – the latter with six-speed automatic transmission – are carried over from the previous model range.
Ride, handling and comfort
Making new Avensis a more rewarding drive, with better comfort levels, was a prime goal of the development team. To achieve the desired result, the car has a more rigid body and benefits from changes to the front and rear suspension. Small – but telling – adjustments have been made to the aerodynamics and strategic use of extra insulation material has further reduced NVH levels in the cabin.
Particular attention has been paid to the electric power steering, which adopts a quicker gear ratio, giving more direct performance, making the car more agile and manoeuvrable.
The focus on comfort extends to changing the design of the front seats to offer better lateral support.
Improved total ownership costs
Thanks to the substantial reduction achieved in CO2 emissions, the new 2.0-litre D-4D engine delivers a 17 per cent Benefit-in-Kind company car tax rating, four points lower than the previous model. This combines with the new model’s higher equipment specification to make it a very attractive proposition for business customers, delivering significant savings compared to rival models in terms of both tax bills and the features you get for your money.
Among its key competitors, none matches Avensis in providing satellite navigation as standard, let alone the advanced connectivity and information features included in the Toyota Touch & Go system.
Overall, the new Avensis 2.0 D-4D cuts the cost-of-ownership bill by £2,000 compared to the previous model thanks to the improved residual values, fuel economy, CO2 emissions and service, maintenance and repair costs over three years/60,000 miles. Crunching the figures into a pence-per-mile cost.