New Toyota Avensis: Quality And Innovation

19 November 2002


  • All-new car, designed, developed and built in Europe
  • Three bodystyles (saloon, hatchback, tourer), all on sale from 1 March 2003
  • Toyota first manufacturer in Europe to offer SRS driver knee airbag as standard
  • Launched with 1.8-litre VVT-i and 2.0-litre direct injection petrol engines
  • 2.0-litre D-4D common rail diesel available from May 2003
  • All engines comply with Euro IV emissions from launch even though this legislation is not required until January 2005
  • European debut of Toyota Clean Advanced Diesel Technologies (D-CAT) in last quarter of 2003
  • High standard specification to include nine airbags, air conditioning, eight-way electrically adjustable front seats and eight-speaker sound system
  • Optional automatic transmission now fitted with sequential type shift facility which allows the driver to shift up or down gears independently (available on 1.8 and 2.0-litre petrol engines)
  • Rear double wishbone suspension for sharper handling and superior ride comfort
  • Turn-by-turn satellite navigation with Electronic Traffic Avoidance available
  • Full colour map DVD satellite navigation with full European coverage and voice activation available as an option

The all-new Toyota Avensis is a car designed and built in Europe, for Europe. On sale in the UK from 1 March 2003, it will set new standards in the highly competitive upper medium ‘D’ segment with its precision build, excellent ride, handling and performance qualities and superb specification.

The new Avensis will also pioneer new standards in engine emissions control and passenger safety. It will be the first model in Europe to benefit from Toyota’s Diesel Clean Advanced Technologies (D-CAT) and, in another European ‘first’, it will be equipped as standard with a driver knee airbag. Production of all three versions – saloon, hatchback and tourer – will be at Toyota’s Burnaston plant, in Derbyshire.

The new Avensis joins the Yaris and Corolla to complete the renewal of Toyota’s core product line-up and will play an important role in further strengthening the marque’s European market performance. It will build on the achievements of the original Avensis, which was launched in 1997 and has achieved 111,000 UK sales to date. Toyota plans to sell around 27,000 new Avensis in a full year in the UK, contributing to a European total of 130,000. This will make it a key element in Toyota’s medium term target of 800,000 units or a five per cent European market share by 2005.

The Avensis concept was created at Toyota’s ED2 design studio in the South of France and was designed and developed in record time: lead time for the saloon was just 25 months. It stands as an all-round embodiment of the Toyota DNA: superior quality in every detail, premium styling, driving pleasure and innovation in safety environment and occupant convenience.

Rather than taking a futuristic approach, the designers have styled a timeless appearance that reflects the car’s in-built quality and sophistication. Working to the theme of ‘superior quality’ in all aspects, the new Avensis boasts finer panel fit, thanks to new welding processes, and exceptionally low levels of noise and vibration.

The new Avensis is longer by 110mm at 4,630mm long; wider by 50mm at 1,760mm; and taller by 55mm at 1,480mm. The wheelbase is extended by 70mm to 2,700mm helping to provide extra leg and knee room. The tourer benefits from an extra 100mm in length (4,700mm). It is taller, too, at 1,525mm, with roof rails fitted as standard.

At launch the new Avensis will be offered with a choice of two petrol engines: a 129bhp

1.8-litre VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing – intelligent) and a 2.0-litre direct injection VVT-i unit delivering 147bhp. A 116bhp 2.0-litre D-4D diesel engine using second generation common rail technology will be available from May 2003 and is on course to break new ground in its combination of performance, fuel economy and low emissions.

All engines already comply with the Euro IV emissions standards, due to come into force in 2005. During the last quarter of 2003, the new Avensis will further benefit from Toyota’s Diesel Clean Advanced Technologies (D-CAT). This innovative system will yield a major reduction in NOx and particulate emissions from low sulphur diesel fuel, well below the Euro IV requirements.

The safety provisions within the new Avensis include no fewer than nine airbags as standard, including a driver knee airbag – a UK first. Located beneath the steering column, it is designed to protect the driver’s knees and lower legs from injury. In addition, there are dual stage driver and passenger front airbags, plus side and curtain airbags.

The seatbelts are equipped with pretensioners and force limiters and are linked to a new dual stage warning system. If the driver and front seat passenger fail to buckle-up, a dashboard warning light comes on, followed after 30 seconds by a warning buzzer. ISO-FIX child seat mounts are fitted to the outer rear seats, with an additional top tether fixing to help prevent the seat tipping forward in the event of an impact.

The suspension of the new Avensis was developed through extensive testing on European roads to ensure the highest levels of handling, ride comfort and body control. A rear double wishbone system derived from the Toyota Celica sports coupe has been deployed, with settings tuned to achieve the more compliant ride required in a family-sized car.

Intelligent engineering solutions have also been used to reduce ownership costs. For example, bumper mountings feature a new bolt-on crushable box structure which can be replaced without welding or cutting, bringing down repair costs and labour time. The new Avensis will follow Toyota’s extended service intervals schedule with major services only every 20,000 miles with a 10,000-mile or annual health and safety check with oil change.

The new Avensis will be protected by a three-year / 60,000-miles warranty, three-year paint and 12-year anti-perforation warranties, in line with all other Toyota models. Full details of UK specifications and prices will be announced nearer the launch date.


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New Toyota Avensis: Quality And Innovation


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