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Toyota Avensis Touring Sports engines, drive and performance

2015 - 2018 (change model)
Performance rating: 3 out of 53.0

Written by Gareth Evans Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

There are three engines on offer here: pick from either 1.6- and 2-litre diesels, or a 1.8-litre petrol. Just don’t expect a fast car, because none of the available powerplants offer anything more than average performance.

Diesel power

We’re expecting the fleet favourite to be the 1.6-litre D-4D diesel, which offers the best combination of low CO2 and fuel economy to appeal to company car drivers. This engine makes 110bhp and 270Nm of torque between 1,750rpm and 2,250rpm. It’ll cover 0-62mph in 11.7 seconds and go on to a top speed of 115mph.

The better engine to drive, though, is the new 2.0-litre D-4D. This one makes 141bhp and 320Nm of torque between 1,750 and 2,500rpm. It’s a smooth and highly refined drivetrain that doesn’t make a lot of noise, but with such a small power band you do have to change gear fairly frequently in order to make brisk progress.

Officially the Toyota Avensis Touring Sports performance figures show a sprint from 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds and a top speed of 124mph.

You can only buy the diesel engines with a six-speed manual gearbox, but that’s no hardship because it’s an excellent transmission. It has a solid feel and a positive shift action which helps add an element of quality.

Petrol power

The sole petrol offering is a 1.8-litre Valvematic, which is available with the same six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic. With 145bhp and 180Nm, this version will cover 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds for the manual and 10.7 seconds for the CVT. Top speeds are both 124mph.

The way the Avensis Touring Sports handles is best described as ‘safe’. It isn’t going to win any awards for engaging cornering, but that isn’t to say it’s bad. There isn’t a huge amount of bodyroll compared to the Passat Estate or Skoda’s Superb, and there’s also a surprising amount of grip on offer.

If you’re after the ultimate in driver feedback then look elsewhere, because the Toyota’s steering is as numb as it gets, even for an electrically assisted car.

Its biggest rival in this sense is the Ford Mondeo, which roundly trumps the Avensis thanks to far better steering and an imperious blend of ride and handling.