2012 Toyota Avensis Exterior Review
Both sedan and wagon versions of the Toyota Avensis are just 15 mm longer than their predecessors, but have been extensively restyled to give them a more elegant and athletic appearance.
The Toyota Avensis represents the first implementation of a new Toyota design language which is based on two key pillars: Under Priority frontal design featuring a trapezoid grille opening, which focuses attention on the lower part of the car for a distinctive, more assertive appearance, and a Keen Look approach for clear, intelligent and expressive styling.
A bolder, more refined frontal treatment features the distinctive new face of the next generation Toyota family. Key to the new Under Priority design direction is a change in the proportions of the upper and lower grilles, with the emphasis now placed on enlarging the latter for a dynamic, more aggressive look.
Beneath a wider and more powerful upper grille design, the lower bumper has been expressively sculpted with a strong, protruding centre section housing a large air intake to give the vehicle a wider stance.
In conjunction with the crisp, Keen Look detailing of integral foglamp pockets placed at the bumper extremities, the design gives the Toyota Avensis a wider, more purposeful stance and a more ground-hugging appearance.
Narrower, more expressive headlamps emphasise the sleek, elegant proportions of the new design. The new headlamps now incorporate Daytime Running Lights, strengthening the Keen Look styling of the new front treatment.
To the rear, the Toyota Avensis sedan features a newly designed rear bumper incorporating a centre guard. A new, sleeker, chromed license garnish design adds a further touch of elegance.
Using LED technology to emphasise the Avensis’ Keen Look detailing, both combination lamp clusters and foglamps have been restyled for greater prominence and visibility, reinforcing the wide, stable stance of the new design.
New wheel treatments and an expanded colour range further enhance the Toyota Avensis’ exterior design. 16″ steel wheels feature a new cap design, whilst the existing 16″ and 17″ Fuji alloy wheels have been enhanced through new colour and machine facings treatment resulting in a dual-tone colour effect. The other 17″ and 18″ alloys also benefit from a new, darker colour treatment.
One new exterior colour has been added to the range; the standard Red being replaced by a deep, premium Dark Red which brings added maturity to the new model range.
2012 Toyota Avensis Interior Review
Within a cabin already praised for its comfort, roominess and practicality, the Toyota Avensis benefits from improved perceived quality across the model range, and upgraded upholstery in a choice of new colours.
The appearance, touch and feel of the entire dashboard have been improved. The centre console layout has been redesigned to improve the switchgear layout and operability. The central air vents have been redesigned and now share the new metal paint finish of the centre console itself, and the side air vents have become chrome trimmed.
The tactile quality and feel of frequently handled parts such as the door trim gripping area, switchgear and the front console all benefit from new, higher quality ornamentation. The driver’s instrument dial backlighting has been changed from amber to a higher quality white, and the rear console box lid upholstery has been changed from polyurethane to leather.
The front seatback side support shape has been redesigned for better lateral holding performance, greater comfort and reduced fatigue, and the seat upholstery has been upgraded throughout the model range.
Entry level fabric seat upholstery has been enhanced to offer higher, Sol grade trim quality, Sol grade fabric now features Executive grade trim, Executive grade fabric has been upgraded to a newly introduced Alcantara finish, and Premium grade seats are now finished with high quality perforated leather inserts for improved comfort.
Lightening the overall ambience within the Toyota Avensis’ cabin, the leather upholstery is available in a choice of two new colours, Light Grey and Warm Grey in addition to the already existing Black one.
2012 Toyota Avensis Engine and Performance
Meeting a wide range of D-segment customer needs, the new Toyota Avensis shares the six powertrain range of its predecessor; three petrol and three diesel engines offering the performance- and economy-enhancing benefits of Toyota Optimal Drive.
Toyota Optimal Drive showcases a combination of wide-ranging advanced technologies and internal improvement programmes designed to optimise the balance of performance and driving enjoyment with fuel economy and low emissions.
These diverse core technologies focus on three key aspects of powertrain development: Firstly, the reduction of powertrain weight through the use of super-lightweight and highly compact engine components and transmissions; secondly, the minimisation of mechanical losses through the reduction of friction throughout the drivetrain; and, thirdly, the maximisation of combustion efficiency.
In recognition of the diesel powertrain’s dominance of the D-segment, representing over 70% of the mix, Toyota has extensively revised its 124 hp 2.0 litre D-4D turbodiesel, which is now available with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and complies with Euro 5 emissions regulation standards.
The unit features a new turbocharger with a lower friction bearing system and an electric actuator, and the torque characteristics of each gear have been adjusted. As a result, low rpm torque has increased from 234 Nm to 280 Nm at just 1,400 rpm, offering a marked improvement in higher gear throttle response.
CO2 emission-reducing lubrication and cooling circuit improvements include a 2-stage pressure oil pump with improved oil jet, an optimised water pump with a reduced flow rate, and a twin-chamber oil pan to improve engine warming speeds. Exhaust emissions are further lowered through a new glow plug control strategy and improvements to the construction and coating of the DPF.
The use of a resin cylinder head cover, oil cooler bracket and water pipe reduce engine weight by 3 kg. The reduction of friction through the adoption of a low friction vacuum pump, a low friction timing chain and low viscosity oil further enhance fuel efficiency. And combustion improvement through a new piston bowl shape and the new glow strategy has perceptibly lowered engine NVH.
Overall, the engine is quieter and torque delivery has become more linear, yet fuel efficiency has improved and CO2 emissions have been lowered by some 15% -from 139 to only 119 g/km- in both sedan and wagon versions of the new Avensis.
This marked reduction in CO2 emissions has significant Total Cost of Ownership implications. A taxation threshold of 120 g/km exists in almost a third of all European countries, and the revised 2.0 D-4D unit’s 119 g/km CO2 and 4.5 l/100km average fuel consumption figures offer tax benefits for both private and fleet drivers.
In addition to the revised 124 hp 2.0 D-4D turbodiesel, the new Toyota Avensis’ six powertrain range further comprises a 150 hp, 2.2 D-4D unit available with either a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) or a Diesel Particulate and NOx Reduction filter (DPNR), a 177 hp 2.2 D-4D DPNR variant, and a choice of 132 hp 1.6 litre, 147 hp 1.8 litre and 152 hp 2.0 litre petrol engines.
All engines are mated to 6-speed manual transmissions. The 150 hp 2.2 D-4D DPNR unit may be optionally equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and both 1.8 and 2.0 litre petrol engines may be fitted with Toyota’s Multidrive S continuously variable transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shift.
The new Toyota Avensis benefits from increased body rigidity, improved aerodynamics and NVH insulation, greater seat comfort, revised front and rear suspension, and an improved Electric Power Steering (EPS) system. In combination, these engineering enhancements deliver greater ride comfort, improved handling agility, and the promise of a more engaging driving experience.
The best-selling variant of the Avensis’ six engine line-up, the 2.0 D-4D turbodiesel, has been revised to deliver significant improvements in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This not only lowers the Total Cost of Ownership, but also -with a tax threshold set at 120 g/km in almost a third of European countries and the 2.0 D-4D generating just 119 g/km- brings generous tax benefits to both private and fleet buyers.
2012 Toyota Avensis Safety
The new Avensis shares the world-class safety performance of the previous generation vehicle, which was awarded a maximum, 5-star rating in the 2009 Euro NCAP crash test programme.
Toyota is committed to providing the highest levels of active, passive and pedestrian impact safety standards, and took the lead in the development of several advanced new safety technologies such as pre-crash safety, lane departure warning and lane keeping assistance systems.