2012 Toyota Avensis (Avensis, Sol, Executive) Review - Pictures, features, specs

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The new Avensis made its world debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The new Toyota builds on the spaciousness, practicality and fuel efficiency of the current, third generation model. It features a bolder and more refined exterior design, and interior improvements to finish quality, comfort and Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH).

2012 Toyota Avensis photo2012 Toyota Avensis photoFind more new 2012 Toyota Avensis pictures in our 2012 Toyota Avensis photo gallery

Driving dynamics have been enhanced, and a revised grade structure offers even greater value for money.

2012 Toyota Avensis photo2012 Toyota Avensis photo

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. With a tax threshold set at 120 g/km in almost a third of European countries, the 2.0 D-4D’s 119 g/km brings generous tax benefits to both private and fleet buyers.

2012 Toyota Avensis photo2012 Toyota Avensis photo

With a choice of two body styles, three diesel and three petrol engines, three transmissions and four model grades, the new Avensis has been specifically tailored to the European market. The D-segment demonstrates a 70% focus on diesel powertrains, a 64% bias in favour of fleet sales and a preference for the wagon body style with over 50% of customers.

2012 Toyota Avensis photo2012 Toyota Avensis photo

Designed, engineered and built in Europe, the Avensis was first launched at the end of 1997 and has since firmly established itself in the European D-segment. It sold 70,585 units throughout the region in 2010, representing a 5.8% segment share.

Exterior Design – Elegance and Refinement

— Bolder, more dynamic look
— New Toyota design direction: distinctive new face
— Restyled rear for the Avensis sedan

Though the overall dimensions of both sedan and wagon versions of the vehicle remain unchanged, the new Avensis has been extensively restyled to give it a more elegant and athletic appearance.

A bolder, more refined frontal treatment features the distinctive new face of the next generation Toyota family. Key to the new 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 more assertive, dynamic look.

2012 Toyota Avensis photo2012 Toyota Avensis photo

Beneath the trademark Avensis ‘clamshell’ bonnet, a new, wider and more powerful grille design is flanked by narrower, more expressive headlamps which emphasise the sleek, elegant proportions of the new styling. The new headlamps now incorporate daytime running lights.

The lower bumper has been expressively sculpted with a strong, protruding centre section housing a large air intake to focus attention on the bottom half of the vehicle. In conjunction with the crisp detailing of integral foglamp pockets placed at the bumper extremities, the design gives the new Avensis a wider, more purposeful stance and a more ground-hugging appearance.

To the rear, the new Avensis features a newly designed rear bumper incorporating a centre guard on sedan models. Both combination lamp clusters and foglamps have been restyled for greater prominence and visibility. And a new, sleeker, chromed license garnish design adds a further touch of elegance.

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. 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 photo2012 Toyota Avensis photo

Interior Design – Sophistication and Comfort

— Improved sensory quality
— Touch and feel of frequently touched parts improved
— Toyota Touch and Go Plus introduced

Within a cabin already praised for its comfort, roominess and practicality, the new Avensis benefits from improved perceived quality across the model range, upgraded upholstery in a choice of new colours, and Toyota Touch & Go Plus –the most advanced yet affordable touch-screen satellite navigation system in the D-segment.

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 white for a more premium look, 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 and greater comfort, and the seat upholstery upgraded throughout the model range.

Entry level fabric seat upholstery has been enhanced to offer Sol grade trim quality, Sol grade fabric now features Executive grade trim, Executive grade fabric has been upgraded to an Alcantara finish, and Premium grade seats are now finished with high quality perforated leather inserts for improved comfort. The leather upholstery is available in a choice of three new colours; Light Grey, Warm Grey and Black.

2012 Toyota Avensis photo2012 Toyota Avensis photo

Multimedia System
The new Avensis benefits from Toyota’s unique range of affordable, touch-screen multimedia equipment; Toyota Touch, and the Toyota Touch & Go and Toyota Touch & Go Plus navigation systems.

Toyota Touch & Go Plus
Fitted as standard to Premium grade models and making its world debut in the new Avensis, Touch & Go Plus adds numerous new, advanced technology features to Toyota’s remarkable touch-screen multimedia system.

It features advanced voice recognition for navigation address input, one-shot destination entry, music search and play, and phone contact search and call. It also incorporates email send and receive, a text-to-speech message readout facility, a calendar and, through a Gracenote database, a ‘Play More Like This’ music function.

Enhanced satellite navigation mapping incorporates 3D city modelling and landmarks, and an additional Traffic Patterns database showing the average speed on road segments en route depending on time, day and month. The system includes three years free map and software updating.

2012 Toyota Avensis photo2012 Toyota Avensis photo

Grade Structure – Greater Quality and Value for Money

— New specifications to enhance the appeal
— Grade line-up with a higher differentiation as from the Avensis entry grade
— Increased level of standard equipment

The new Avensis model range will be available in four grade levels –Avensis, Sol, Executive and Premium. Every grade has been revised to deliver greater value for money through improved levels of standard equipment and enhanced sensory quality.

Avensis Grade
The current generation Avensis’ generous standard equipment specification is enhanced by the adoption of integral daytime running lights. Seat upholstery quality has been upgraded by the addition of Sol grade trim, and the sensory quality of the centre console has been improved with a new, silver upper panel and matt black lower panel paint finish.

An expanded options list now features front foglamps, and a Comfort Pack which includes cruise control, a leather steering wheel and a 6-speaker Display Audio CD stereo system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Sol Grade
To the enhanced Avensis grade specification, Sol grade adds Executive grade quality seat trim, an all-silver centre console paint finish and machine-faced 16” and 17” alloy wheels. The Toyota Touch multimedia system is equipped with a rear parking camera.

Options include the Touch & Go navigation system, rear parking sensors, High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with an Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) and a panoramic roof.

Executive Grade
To the improved Sol grade standard specification, Executive grade adds a nickel and wood centre console finish, Alcantara seat trim with leather bolsters, and a new, darker coloured 17” alloy wheel finish.

Amongst the options available are an 11-speaker Display Audio system with rear parking camera, a choice of Touch & Go or Touch & Go Plus navigation systems, High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with an Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS), and a Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system incorporating Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Warning.

2012 Toyota Avensis photo2012 Toyota Avensis photo

Premium Grade
Further augmenting the Executive grade specification, Premium grade adds perforated leather upholstery in a choice of Ice Grey, Warm Grey or Black colours. Ice Grey is combined with a bright silver centre console finish, Warm Grey and Black with a warm nickel finish.

High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with an Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS), a Touch & Go Plus navigation system, an 11-speaker Display Audio system with rear parking camera and new dark finish 18” alloy wheels are all fitted as standard.

Improved 2.0 D-4D and Enhanced Driving Dynamics

— 2.0 D-4D CO2 emission reduced by 20g to 119g/km without compromising on performance
— 2.0 D-4D to enjoy tax benefit in several European countries

Meeting a wide range of D-segment customer needs, the new 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.

The 124 hp 2.0 litre D-4D turbodiesel has been extensively revised. The unit features a new turbocharger, extensive combustion chamber modifications and improved glow control. As a result, torque delivery has become more linear, 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 figure offers tax benefits for both private and fleet drivers.

In addition to the revised 124 hp 2.0 D-4D turbodiesel, the new 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 Avensis retains the same proven front McPherson strut and rear double wishbone suspension layout of its predecessor. However, platform, chassis and powertrain improvements offer greater ride comfort and enhanced handling agility, promising a more engaging driving experience.

The new Avensis also benefits from enhanced Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) suppression. Extensive insulation modification, and improved dashboard inner silencer and a new, sound-absorbing carpet helping to deliver a quieter, more refined cabin environment.

Safety – Advanced Driver Assistance Technologies

— Meeting the highest safety standards
— Advanced safety technologies such as Adaptive Cruise Control available

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.

Advanced Pre-Crash Safety System
An Advanced Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system is available as an option on Executive and Premium grade 2.2 litre D-4D 150 6-speed automatic transmission models. It employs a millimetre wave radar sensor to scan the road ahead, recognising potentially dangerous objects and assisting the driver in reducing the chances of a collision.

If there is a high possibility of a collision, PCS will alert the driver and, when he begins to brake, provide braking assistance to supplement his own braking effort, simultaneously activating the seatbelt pre-tensioners. If the driver does not brake and a collision is inevitable, the system will automatically apply the brakes to reduce impact speed.

Adaptive Cruise Control
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) works in tandem with the PCS system. It will automatically maintain a selected distance from the vehicle in front. Once the road ahead is clear, the Avensis automatically returns to its original cruising speed.

Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist
Completing the advanced safety specification of the 2.2 litre D-4D 150 6-speed automatic transmission Executive and Premium grade model, PCS is further complimented by Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) systems.

Using digital camera technology mounted behind the driver’s rear view mirror, these systems can help to prevent unintended lane changes by first giving an audible and visual warning and then applying corrective steering torque to help the driver remain within a chosen lane.

Additional Active Safety Systems
All new Avensis versions are fitted, as standard, with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC+).

EBD works with ABS to ensure that the most effective brake force is applied to each wheel, according to road conditions. By preventing the wheels from locking, EBD helps to maintain sure-footed stability during cornering and braking.

BA identifies the need for, and applies, additional braking force if the driver fails to apply sufficient force during emergency braking, or releases brake pressure too soon.

TRC monitors and controls the amount of power that is applied to the road through the car’s wheels. If the system detects that one or more wheels is about to lose traction it instantly determines the best way to restore traction to that wheel, either by decreasing the power being sent to the wheel that is about to spin or, in more extreme cases, momentarily braking the wheel until it regains traction.

VSC+ is designed to prevent loss of car control when entering a corner too fast or in slippery conditions which might lead to a skid. Via sensors monitoring car body rotation, wheel speed and brake pressure, the system assesses vehicle stability and the proximity of either an understeer or oversteer slide.

The system restores stability by automatically adjusting engine output and applying smoothly modulated braking to the appropriate wheel individually, and by providing assist torque through the Electric Power Steering (EPS) to help the driver make the correct inputs to restore vehicle stability.

2012 Toyota Avensis photo2012 Toyota Avensis photo

Adaptive Front Lighting
New Avensis model equipped with High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps are fitted with an Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS). Calculating where the vehicle will be in three seconds time according to steering operation and vehicle speed, the system swivels the low beam projector headlamps in response to steering input, helping to illuminate a bend as the driver steers into it.

AFS is also equipped with a dynamic levelling function, which automatically maintains a constant beam height. The combination of these two functions achieves optimum light distribution in all driving conditions.

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New 2012 Toyota Avensis specifications, review, photos and images courtesy of Toyota.

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