Toyota has given the Avensis a thorough mid-life makeover in a bid to improve its performance in the upper-medium segment.
Surrounded by new competition at the Paris auto show, the revamped Avensis may not look like the natural choice of the driving enthusiast. But beneath the skin Toyota has developed all-new Variable Valve Timing-intelligent (VVT-i) engines, improved ride and handling, and made the Avensis a safer car to drive.
The 1.6-, 1.8- and 2.0-liter VVT-i engines offer better fuel consumption while improving performance. The 2.0-liter engine, for example, offers 17 percent more power and 12 percent more torque than the old 2.0-liter unit. It also cuts fuel consumption by 7 percent on the European combined cycle.
Suspension improvements have focused on high-speed stability, ride comfort and steering feel, says Toyota.
European engineers were key to the improvements. The Avensis continues to be built at Toyota's main European plant near Derby in the English midlands. Avensis production in Europe fell from 63,535 during the first six months of last year to 60,368 in the same period this year.
Starting early next year, Toyota's second big European plant at Valenciennes in northern France will start making the Yaris supermini. Current Yaris models are imported from Japan.