Toyota Nation Forum banner

1 - 1 of 1 Posts

2001 Toyota Avensis
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I thought it was time to give you an insight on European Toyota's. Not the reviews from car magazines who in Europe most of the time have their verdict ready even before they step inside the car for a testdrive.

So my first review will be on my current car. It is a silvergrey Toyota Avensis 1.6 VVT-i Linea Luna with a 5-speed stickshift. To start with what for a kind of car the Avensis is. At the time of sale the Avensis was positioned between the Corolla (which sold mostly as hatchback) and the, now no longer sold in west-Europe, Camry. Later models of the Avensis where a bit bigger to make up for the (poor selling) Camry.

My Avensis, a T220, is of the first generation. It replaced the T190 Carina E in 1997 as the midclass saloon of Toyota. The Carina E was sold as a Corona in the rest of the world and was rumious but had no feedback at the wheel. Toyota Europe was aware that the Carina E had a dull image came with a European specific car. The appearance was based on the Japanese T210 Toyota Caldina wagon. But the front suspension and steeringmechanism was redesigned to give the car more European-style handling. Also the wheelbase was stretched compared to the Caldina to give the car class-best rear legroom. Like the Carina E it came in three different bodyshells: 4-door saloon, 5-door liftback and a 5-door wagon

At launch in 1997 most engines where carry-overs from the Carina E with some minor improvements, which where:
1600 16v EFI (4A-FE) 110ps 145nm
1800 16v EFI (7A-FE) lean-burn 110ps 155nm
2000 16v EFI (3S-FE) 128ps 178nm
2000 8v turbo-diesel (2C-TE) 90ps 203nm
which was replaced in 1999 with
2000 16v D-4D commonrail turbo-diesel (1CD-FTV) 110ps 250nm

In 2001 there was a facelift with and all petrolengines where replaced:
1600 16v VVT-i (3ZZ-FE) 110ps 150nm
1800 16v VVT-i (1ZZ-FE) 129ps 170nm
2000 16v VVT-i D-4 (1AZ-FSE) 150ps 200nm
2000 16v D-4D commonrail turbo-diesel (1CD-FTV) 110ps 250nm

So far for specs. Lets get to my car. To start with how I end up with this car in 2010. Why in gods name did I, as a 28 year old guy end up with a car that was typee as dull and was only seen driven by people that where enjoying there pension.

It started with an accident. A bloke in a Citroen hit the side of the nose of my 1990 T180 Celica GT. Te ensurance company decided it was my fault and I end up paying for e repairs self. But I had no interest in spending money on a 20 years old, 300k (!!) car. Then, like now, the financial crisis was hitting Europe and under pressure from Germany ('s car industry) the goverment had a cash-for-scrap program. Offical goal was to make the carfleet younger by giving €1000,- when you scrap your pre 1998 car and buy a post 2000 car. Thus my plan was clear. Find a post 2000 car. Because I had some problems after I bought my Celica (a lot of hidden problems and no garanty from the seller) I decided to buy a car at a place I thrust. That brought my choice to two places: The Toyota dealership of my Uncle or a Ford dealership a friend recommend. The Toyota dealership had a 2002 E120 Corolla 1.4 VVT-i 3-door which looked like it never left the showroom even as it had 130k on the clock. Problem was that the engine had to little grunt for my taste and my knees where a hairwidth away from the dash when I sat behind the wheel. Beside the Corolla they had nothing post 2000 within my price-range.

Next up was the Ford dealer. They had four cars that fit my demands. First was a Seat Cordoba 1.4 sedan. Interior looked like it had lost a fight with a bear and the build-in radio had a cassette player...
Next in line was a Ford Focus 1.6 wagon. Decend power and the Focus-famous handling. But a cheap looking interiour, no A/C and rust on the seals sealed its fate.

Next was a red VW Passat 2.0 sedan. Biggest car I had to choose from, but the 2 liter engine didn't feel more powerdull then the Focus but its thirst was fenominal. It was also the heaviest and thus put it in the a higher roadtax bracket.

Last was this Avensis, which had only 90k on the clock but had some paint damage on the passenger side. It was only 1250kg which put it in the same taxbracket as the Focus. And because of its weight and the VVT-i engine it drove good enough. It was no highway star and pulling things with the present trailerhook would not be a drive in the park. The interiour was clean. Not a spot, previous owner did not smoke and climate-control was present. Also radio-CD combo and front electric windows (rear uses the swing) and power mirrors.

After taking place behind then wheel two thing I noticed. First was that the horizontal cushen of e seat was shorter then the other candidates. Second was that I fit perfectly behind the wheel, but people taller (or as a big belly person) then me (188cm) will run out of space. The driversseat can be adjusted in distance from wheel, hight, angle of the backrest and then the curve in the backrest. Even with the seat at its lowest position the roof is pretty close to the head so that there is not much feeling of space when sitting behind the wheel. Although it is longer then its JDM derivate, it has still the same width, which is for European spec in this class pretty narrow. It translate in a narrow centerconsole with between the front seats just enough space for two cupholders behind each other and the handbrake. Behind the cupholders there is a (way to low) armrest that is also a bucket to store CDs.

When sitting in the backseat the things are different. The longer wheelbase results in legroom unfound in the other candidates. The center backrest can be pulled down to make an armrest with a little storage bin and two cupholders. Technically three people would fit on the backseat, but because of the narrow with it is not recomended for long journeys.

At last the trunk. It isn't small, but there is a structural brace just behind the backseat that prevent to put high boxes near the backseats. The backseat can be put down creating an opening to the trunk. But here again this structural brace make the opening just big enough to put skies thru it. And the last problem I have are the hinges of the trunklit that pretune into the trunk, stealing space on the left and right. Something most competitors have solved with different hinges.

So, after all this negative talk, why did I buy it? I think it is the Corolla-syndrom: car is overal good but it isn't terrible good in a single thing. But it is a Toyota so it will run for a long time with no problems.

Tomorrow I'll continue with the handling and feul economic and some pleasant quality customer support from Toyota.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts