The New Toyota Avensis: Superior Quality That Won't Punish Your Pocket

Toyota Avensis
Key Points The new Toyota Avensis will bring premium car quality into the upper medium D segment when UK sales begin on 1 March, but without punishing owners’ pockets. The comprehensive range of diesel and petrol-powered saloon, hatchback and Tourer models boasts an exceptionally strong cost of ownership profile, including equal best in class insurance ratings and substantially reduced maintenance and crash repair costs. The result is a car that conquers on all fronts. The new Avensis, Toyota’s flagship model for Europe, offers superior quality in every department, from its elegant styling and generous specification to its excellent dynamics, pioneering active and passive safety provisions and range of advanced, fuel-efficient engines.

Class Leading Insurance

Unlike some of its competitors, the new Avensis does not hide high running costs behind an attractive on-the-road price tag. For a start, it has achieved equal best-in-class insurance ratings and, comparing like for like versions, is cheaper to insure across the board than the model it replaces. The 8E rating for the 2.0 T3-x petrol models beats all key competitors, while the 7E classification for the 1.8 petrol T2, T3-s and T3-x versions and the 2.0D T2, T3-s and T3-x diesel models are equal best in class. None of the new Avensis models is rated higher than 9E and all versions have achieved the ‘E’ designation for exceeding insurance industry standards on security measures. Full details of insurance groups for the new Avensis are given below.

1.8 VVT-i petrol T2 7E
1.8 VVT-i petrol T3-X 7E
1.8 VVT-i petrol T3-S 7E
1.8 VVT-i petrol T4 8E
2.0 VVT-i petrol T3-X 8E
2.0 VVT-i petrol T4 9E
2.0 VVT-i petrol T Spirit 9E
2.0 D-4D diesel T2 7E
2.0 D-4D diesel T3-X 7E
2.0 D-4D diesel T3-S 7E
2.0 D-4D diesel T4 8E
2.0 D-4D diesel T Spirit 8E
The fiercely competitive insurance groupings have been achieved through the new Avensis’s strong performance in key areas including: Clever Touches Bring Lower Costs

Achieving strong cost of ownership benefits was a fundamental consideration for the Avensis’s engineering team, which was tasked with the job of using intelligent technology to keep running and maintenance costs to a minimum.

Special attention was paid to utilising components which would be cheap and simple to replace in the event of typical low-speed front and rear impacts. For example, a bolt-on crushable box section is incorporated in the front bumper mountings, which can be replaced without cutting or welding, and headlamp brackets are designed to break on impact, before the lamp itself is damaged. Not only are parts cheaper, they allow repairs to be carried out more quickly, saving on labour costs.

Shorter Servicing, Longer Intervals

Measures like these are part of an engineering philosophy that extends to all new Toyota models. Furthermore, the new Avensis follows Toyota’s pan-European Health & Safety schedule, which calls for a major maintenance service only every 20,000 miles. Health & Safety checks with an oil change are required every 10,000 miles or annually. The time it takes for such routine maintenance to be carried out has been slashed. Over 60,000 miles the time required is one-and-a-half hours less for petrol models and four-and-a-half hours less for diesels, compared to the previous generation Avensis.

Going Farther On Less

Special attention was also paid to ways in which fuel consumption could be optimised. For example, an engine undertray and under-car aerodynamic treatment help reduce drag and weight savings of around 30kg have been achieved by using new Ultra Light ConceptÔ damping material for sound absorption. Another innovation is a variable displacement compressor in the air conditioning system, which requires less power under acceleration. This can improve fuel consumption by up to three per cent over conventional systems.

And Knee Airbag Makes Nine

The new Toyota Avensis goes on sale on 1 March in all three body styles and with a choice of 1.8 and 2.0 VVT-i direct injection petrol engines. The 2.0 D-4D diesel engine follows in May. Trim levels progress from T2 through T3-s, T3-x and T4 to the top of the range T Spirit. All models feature nine airbags, including a first-in-class driver’s knee airbag, air conditioning, alarm/immobiliser with double locking, eight speaker sound system with cassette and CD tuner and steering wheel controls, Optitron instrument displays and body-coloured exterior detailing. Standard specification of all 2.0 petrol models now includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRC) and Brake Assist (BA).

Published : 03/02/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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