My old man would love an Avensis

Mabuyane Kekana

Mabuyane Kekana

Toyota has never tried to impress in looks when designing and building its cars. All it cares about is reliability.

The manufacturer has a reputation for producing boring and uninteresting cars.

The new Toyota Avensis is no exception.

But in no time you will be seeing hundreds of them on our roads.

Caution: If you are in your 20s and 30s, don't you dare look at Avensis - RAV4 is the car for you.

I cannot say I enjoyed driving the Avensis. Our test car was a 2,2litre diesel, which proved a disappointment in city driving. I could feel the turbo lag every time I tried to pull-off from the traffic lights.

There are geniuses of diesels and there are students. Toyota certainly does not fall into the first category.

There is a choice of two petrol-engine capacities: the D-4 2litre and the D-4 2,4litre, both with electronic direct fuel injection. And there is a 2,2litre D-4D common-rail direct injection turbocharged diesel version.

The performance of the Avensis 2,2litre diesel is comparable to that of the 2litre manual model.

Maximum power is 110kW at 3600rpm and 310Nm of torque is available between 2000rpm and 3200rpm.

The car benefits from exceptional interior space utility that allows for compact exterior dimensions without compromising interior space.

When it comes to comfort and convenience, Avensis is one of the best.

The audio system specified for the Avensis is based on an integrated unit built into the dashboard. The large controls and clean lines add functional and visual appeal. Satellite audio controls are standard.

Both the "advanced" and the "exclusive" audio systems have eight speakers. Eight-way electronic adjustment is provided for both the driver and the front passenger.

The steering wheel is adjustable for both height and reach to give an optimised driving position.

The Avensis boasts an automatic rain sensor that detects moisture on the windscreen and triggers the windscreen wipers (this mode has to be selected).

The car is fitted with latest active safety features, such as ABS with electronic brake-force distribution, vehicle stability control and emergency braking assistance.

Driver and front-passenger side-airbags, curtain-shield airbags front and rear, and a driver's knee-airbag complete the safety features.

A fuel cut-off system linked to airbag activation is also available for the Avensis.

My old man would be more than happy to own an Avensis. Our test Avensis was priced at R262700.