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Toyota Avensis D-4D Exclusive

Broadcast date : 1st October 2006

Toyota has been going launch crazy in 2006 and the new Avensis is the much-awaited Camry replacement. The Lexus GS300 is unashamedly targeting a well-healed clientele.

If looks and initial market acceptance is anything to go by, then the Avensis is already a winner.

Gone are the ungainly Battlestar Galactica boot-overhangs of the final Camry version, and in its place is a well-proportioned, and typically well-executed sedan, with just enough of the business suit look to gain customer confidence.

The Avensis shape was conceived in the UK, and is in fact built there in Toyota’s plant in Burnaston, England.

Consequently there’s a degree of flair that is more Eurocentric than recent Toyota sedans seen here, and yet there are some familial trademarks faithful to the corporate design DNA of Toyota product in the twenty-first century.

We hope to bring you a review of the two-litre version in the not-too-distant future, because at the launch, Car Torque found this to be the most impressive model on a bang for your buck basis.

The diesel model comes in six-speed manual configuration, and Toyota has, if you like, celebrated its entrée into the passenger diesel market by configuring it with the top trim package in the range.

This one is known, somewhat strangely, as the D-4D Exclusive.

The gear-shift is particularly sweet on all the Avensis models, with no trace of the notchiness we have noted on the Corolla and RunX models.

And in the suspension department too, a new rear-axle configuration has greatly improved stability in the critical turn-in phase, in fast sweeps and in lane-changes.

The 2,2 litre turbodiesel engine is quite a conservative interpretation of the diesel performance theme.

The lag that Hendrik experienced is not so much a hole in the powerband as a gentle ramp-up onto the turbo boost band.

Its 0-100 claimed figure of 11 seconds is fairly conservative, as is its top speed of 190 km/h.

While the ultimate performance may be lacking, the Toyota diesel characteristics are more relaxing than they are in some other diesels, where the ramp-up is more pronounced, but, so too is the fall-off in power beyond 4000 rpm.

The new Avensis doesn’t pretend to aspire to even junior style-sedan territory, Toyota’s marketing boffins rather referring to more sensible "new management" as its target market.

The Exclusive trim package configured to go with the diesel model includes a six CD changer and turn-by-turn navigation, while seven airbags helped it achieve a five-star Euro N-Cap safety rating.

In opting for a family sedan over an SUV with some off-roading acumen, you are theoretically denying yourself a chance to experience some of the adventure that the African bush still offers.

Yet, as research figures have shown for decades, most people who buy SUVs never get their tyres muddy.

Initial sales reports on the Avensis confirm Hendrik’s feelings that Toyota is on to something big with these new, "proper" cars. Some 800 Avensis models were sold in its launch month, WAY beyond expectations!

Toyota Avensis D-4D Exclusive

  • Engine: Four-cylinder turbodiesel, 2 231 cc
  • Power: 110 kW @ 3 600 rom
  • Torque: 310 Nm @ 2 000 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 11,2 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 190 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 7,5 litres/100 km (estimated)
  • Price: R257 500

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