This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Toyota Avensis Hatchback (03-08) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Engine choices are 1.6i, 1.8i and 2.0i 16-valve petrol engines and a 2.0 diesel. VVT-i petrol engines after August 2000 are perkier and better all-rounders than the original units. The same applies to the D-4D introduced in November 1999 – more refined and more powerful than the old 2.0 TD, with a noticeable improvement in fuel economy (47.9mpg, as opposed to 43.5 mpg).

An excellent ride makes Avensis well suited to motorway life. Push it hard on country roads and you’ll find it’s less assured. There’s lots of bodyroll, the steering lacks feedback and the engines have to be worked hard.