The new Avensis joins the Yaris and Corolla to complete the renewal of Toyota’s core product line-up and will play an important role in further strengthening the marque’s European market performance. It will build on the achievements of the original Avensis, which was launched in 1997 and has achieved 111,000 UK sales to date. Toyota plans to sell around 27,000 new Avensis in a full year in the UK, contributing to a European total of 130,000. This will make it a key element in Toyota’s medium term target of 800,000 units or a five per cent European market share by 2005.
The Avensis concept was created at Toyota’s ED2 design studio in the South of France and was designed and developed in record time: lead time for the saloon was just 25 months. It stands as an all-round embodiment of the Toyota DNA: superior quality in every detail, premium styling, driving pleasure and innovation in safety environment and occupant convenience.
Rather than taking a futuristic approach, the designers have styled a timeless appearance that reflects the car’s in-built quality and sophistication. Working to the theme of ‘superior quality’ in all aspects, the new Avensis boasts finer panel fit, thanks to new welding processes, and exceptionally low levels of noise and vibration.
The new Avensis is longer by 110mm at 4,630mm long; wider by 50mm at 1,760mm; and taller by 55mm at 1,480mm. The wheelbase is extended by 70mm to 2,700mm helping to provide extra leg and knee room. The estate benefits from an extra 100mm in length (4,700mm). It is taller, too, at 1,525mm, with roof rails fitted as standard.
At launch the new Avensis will be offered with a choice of two petrol engines: a 129bhp 1.8-litre VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing – intelligent) and a 2.0-litre direct injection VVT-i unit delivering 147bhp. A 116bhp 2.0-litre D-4D diesel engine using second generation common rail technology will be available from May 2003 and is on course to break new ground in its combination of performance, fuel economy and low emissions.