The safety provisions within the new Avensis include no fewer than nine airbags as standard, including a driver knee airbag – a UK first. Located beneath the steering column, it is designed to protect the driver’s knees and lower legs from injury. In addition, there are dual stage driver and passenger front airbags, plus side and curtain airbags.
The seatbelts are equipped with pretensioners and force limiters and are linked to a new dual stage warning system. If the driver and front seat passenger fail to buckle-up, a dashboard warning light comes on, followed after 30 seconds by a warning buzzer. ISO-FIX child seat mounts are fitted to the outer rear seats, with an additional top tether fixing to help prevent the seat tipping forward in the event of an impact.
The suspension of the new Avensis was developed through extensive testing on European roads to ensure the highest levels of handling, ride comfort and body control. A rear double wishbone system derived from the Toyota Celica sports coupe has been deployed, with settings tuned to achieve the more compliant ride required in a family-sized car.
Intelligent engineering solutions have also been used to reduce ownership costs. For example, bumper mountings feature a new bolt-on crushable box structure which can be replaced without welding or cutting, bringing down repair costs and labour time. The new Avensis will follow Toyota’s extended service intervals schedule with major services only every 20,000 miles with a 10,000-mile or annual health and safety check with oil change.
The new Avensis will be protected by a three-year / 60,000-miles warranty, three-year paint and 12-year anti-perforation warranties, in line with all other Toyota models. Full details of UK specifications and prices will be announced nearer the launch date.Published 21 November 2002