Used Toyota Avensis Review (2009-2018) MK3

Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force

4-minute read

Toyota Avensis Exterior Front

Toyota Avensis (2009-2018)

Popular amongst families, the Toyota Avensis is a comfortable and spacious hatchback you can rely on

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  • Great to drive
  • Excellent build quality
  • Comfortable ride
  • Rivals are better looking
  • Dated interior
  • Equipment could be better
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What's the Toyota Avensis like?

The Toyota Avensis is one of those cars that some people discount because of its rather bland styling.

But they're excellent cars to drive and to live with, and the series built between 2009 and 2018 is as good as or better than most competitors.

Add the fact that it’s a Toyota – i.e. almost bulletproof and hugely reliable – and you have quite a bargain a few years down the road – given the very necessary full service history of course.

The Avensis has always been a cracking car to drive, with marvellous handling and beautifully informative power steering.


There's a decent range of petrol and diesel engines, but the majority on the used car market seem to be diesels. That’s not surprising because many of these started their lives as company cars.

Petrol models start with a 1.6-litre which had no less than 130bhp and covers the 0 to 60mph sprint in 10.1 seconds, while managing 42mpg.

Later in the production period, there’s just one other petrol, a 1.8-litre with 143bhp that covers the 60mph sprint in a very good 9.1 seconds and should also do 42mpg at best.

Diesels are 1.6-litre, 2.0-litre and 2.2-litre and, like the petrols, were sold with either a 6-speed manual gearbox, a 7-speed automatic or a continuously variable automatic.

The 1.6-litre has 110bhp and can cover the 60mph sprint in 11.0 seconds while giving economy of 67mpg.

The 2.0-litre has 124bhp and brings the sprint down to 9.4 seconds while averaging 62mpg, and most 2.2-litre models will have 147bhp. They get to 60mph in 8.6 seconds and should average 52mpg.

As mentioned above, all are good to drive and the petrols sound brilliant when revved.

But diesel performance is right up there with them or better, even if they don’t have the same aural soundtrack.

Driving Experience

The road-holding is excellent, with tremendous grip even when pushed mercilessly, and the ride is comfortable over the worst of surfaces at speed and when pootling around town.
Peter Hayward

Inside, the cabin has an upmarket feel with impressive refinement and very comfortable seats even over long hauls.

The driving position is comfortable for all shapes, there's plenty of space for a family of five and there’s a good size boot with a split folding rear seat in both the saloon and the estate.


All have an alarm, alloy wheels, audio remote controls, traction control, stability control, air conditioning or climate control, electric windows, and remote locking.

Move on up the range, and you’ll get Bluetooth, automatic headlights and wipers, leather seats, and a sat nav.

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The Toyota Avensis stands out from the crowd in the used hatchback class, offering a quiet and comfortable ride, with plenty of space both up front and in the back. An ideal choice for busy families looking for reliability at a reasonable price, the Avensis has a lot to offer.