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SAM LOVERS HER TOYOTAS

Carina E Vs Avensis

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Hi people,

I used to own a 1997 toyota Carina cdx 2.0L afew years back...1 owner...unmarked metallic sky blue....had everything...had it for 2 years...62k on the clock...and it was a dream to drive...not a single problem at all...only problem i had was selling it as for some reason it took me ages to find a buyer! Paid £2k for it and had to let it go for £1k 2 years later with 9months r/tax aswell!!! guy i bought it from couldnt sell it either until i came along...think it was just one of those bad luck sellers...funny enough i found it for sale again a couple of years back...guy was so desperate he was asking for £600 but would accept £400...lol. Only sold it coz the other half was learning to drive so wanted a micra to do that job.

Anyways sorry to bore you with my story....but years on...a few months back i sold the micra and bought a 2001 51 Toyota avensis 1.8 SR hatchback...86k on the clock...nice example on the outside i must say...but talk about never ending problems...water leaks in boot...rattling/rumbling from broken rust bits in the cat/manifold i think (common i now hear!)...o2 sensor triggering engine management light...and a few other niggly bits!

My question is...is the carina E a more reliable...strong...built to last car than the avensis? Or are toyotas just a waste of time. Any thoughts??? again sorry to bore you people, was just a thought! Thank you in advance.

Sammy

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Hi I have owned 2 carinas in the past and wanted to go from them to an avensis but did not as I felt that the quality of the avensis did not match that of the carina.

Saying that I do not feel that the quality of my t sport matches that of the carina, all said and done it is your decision if you like the car or not.

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I've had a V reg Avensis 2.0 SR (3SFE engine) for the last 4 years. Good solid car and smooth. Never gave any trouble what so ever. It had about 85k on the clock when a carless driver crashed into me - looks like a write-off as the frame near the engine is bent. As a run around I just picked up a K reg Carina E with about 124k on the clock. Even after all these miles it still drives nice and smooth. The Avensis was fitted with lowered suspension which has now been transfered to the Carina along with the Celica ST202 brakes that were fitted on the Avensis.

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I would say that both the Carina E and the Avensis are good reliable cars espicially if fitted with the 3S engine - 2.0

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Never had a Carina E. Had 2 Carina II, a Camry and now the MK1 Avensis. The thing with the Avensis MK1 is that it received a new engine lineup in 2000. Mine is 1999 and has the same 2.0 engine as found in the Carina E and Carina II. IMO one the most reliable 4 cylinder engines ever made. So, don't expect the same reliability on a past 2000 car. Especially not with the 1.8, which is known for it's high Oil consumption.

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Carina E and MKI pre-VVTi Avensis are pretty similar, there essentially the same car just with a few tweaks, although I prefer the design of the Carina having had experience of both.

VVTi engined Avensis are pretty poor though, no way near as smooth or reliable as the earlier pre-vvti ones.

I've said to a few people on here, the only way of getting a modern Toyota that resembles the old days in terms of quality and comfort is to find a Camry. Made in Japan, proper velour rather than some nasty cloths, or decent quality leather akin to a Lexus rather than the tough plastic like stuff in the Avensis.

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Yes, the MK1 Avensis is even called Corona in some south american countries. The Carina E was, as some of you may know, the european version of the JDM Corona. Same car, different name.

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hi guys

this is my first post

ive got a 1993 carina 1.6 gli

and its a great car, ive owned it for 10 years and she has 197000 miles on her

i bought it off my Dad when he bought an Avensis to replace it

he always said the Carina was 10 times the car the Avensis was

as he was fed up with the Avensis needing to go back to the dealers for silly things

like loose interior panels and rattles and things

but after all that was fixed it was ok

in fact my brother in law has it and he likes it

but he did have to replace the gearbox for some reason

the only complaint i had about my carina was the red paint kept going white

i used many different products to get rid of it but it always came back

so i sanded it all off with 1600 wet and dry and buffed it up with g33

and now it stays red

Dad gave me his steel Avensis wheels when he got alloys put on his Avensis

so i put them on the carina and it improved the handeling

ill be keeping the car as she is my 5door saloon for 5 door saloon activities

i have 4 other cars and alway like driving the carina

all ive done to her is change the rad water pump usual servive stuff and the thing

that improved her the most was a new toyota fuel pump

a friend of mine who has a sporty big 25g ford of some sort complained to me bitterly

one day about my Carina when i gave him a lift in her

"why does your car go better than mine "

"whys your car smoother than mine "

"whys your car quieter than mine "

"whys your car faster than mine "

" what do you mean its only a 1600 "

says it all doesnt it.................................

regards sam

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hi guys

this is my first post

ive got a 1993 carina 1.6 gli

and its a great car, ive owned it for 10 years and she has 197000 miles on her

i bought it off my Dad when he bought an Avensis to replace it

he always said the Carina was 10 times the car the Avensis was

as he was fed up with the Avensis needing to go back to the dealers for silly things

like loose interior panels and rattles and things

but after all that was fixed it was ok

in fact my brother in law has it and he likes it

but he did have to replace the gearbox for some reason

the only complaint i had about my carina was the red paint kept going white

i used many different products to get rid of it but it always came back

so i sanded it all off with 1600 wet and dry and buffed it up with g33

and now it stays red

Dad gave me his steel Avensis wheels when he got alloys put on his Avensis

so i put them on the carina and it improved the handeling

ill be keeping the car as she is my 5door saloon for 5 door saloon activities

i have 4 other cars and alway like driving the carina

all ive done to her is change the rad water pump usual servive stuff and the thing

that improved her the most was a new toyota fuel pump

a friend of mine who has a sporty big 25g ford of some sort complained to me bitterly

one day about my Carina when i gave him a lift in her

"why does your car go better than mine "

"whys your car smoother than mine "

"whys your car quieter than mine "

"whys your car faster than mine "

" what do you mean its only a 1600 "

says it all doesnt it.................................

regards sam

My late grandfather had a carina II for 10 years when I was younger it was the best car I have ever been in top of the range automatic, what a car.

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hi guys

this is my first post

ive got a 1993 carina 1.6 gli

and its a great car, ive owned it for 10 years and she has 197000 miles on her

i bought it off my Dad when he bought an Avensis to replace it

he always said the Carina was 10 times the car the Avensis was

as he was fed up with the Avensis needing to go back to the dealers for silly things

like loose interior panels and rattles and things

but after all that was fixed it was ok

in fact my brother in law has it and he likes it

but he did have to replace the gearbox for some reason

the only complaint i had about my carina was the red paint kept going white

i used many different products to get rid of it but it always came back

so i sanded it all off with 1600 wet and dry and buffed it up with g33

and now it stays red

Dad gave me his steel Avensis wheels when he got alloys put on his Avensis

so i put them on the carina and it improved the handeling

ill be keeping the car as she is my 5door saloon for 5 door saloon activities

i have 4 other cars and alway like driving the carina

all ive done to her is change the rad water pump usual servive stuff and the thing

that improved her the most was a new toyota fuel pump

a friend of mine who has a sporty big 25g ford of some sort complained to me bitterly

one day about my Carina when i gave him a lift in her

"why does your car go better than mine "

"whys your car smoother than mine "

"whys your car quieter than mine "

"whys your car faster than mine "

" what do you mean its only a 1600 "

says it all doesnt it.................................

regards sam

My late grandfather had a carina II for 10 years when I was younger it was the best car I have ever been in top of the range automatic, what a car.

Hi guys/or maybe girls...

Hmmm some very interesting reading i must say...THANK YOU all for taking the time. So i conclude then that the carina is of a better build and a more reliable car regardless of engine size...and that the avensis...well there's the good ones which are pre vvti...and the bad ones post vvti...and avoid the 1.8's especially...which is exactly what i have...damn why i didnt i do more research before buying it...and only have it for 3 months now! Always believed anything with a toyota Badge on it would serve you well...well may be in the old days! Next car will prob.be a mazda now...as nissans are rust buckets yet very reliable so i heard! Takecare people.

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hi guys

this is my first post

ive got a 1993 carina 1.6 gli

and its a great car, ive owned it for 10 years and she has 197000 miles on her

i bought it off my Dad when he bought an Avensis to replace it

he always said the Carina was 10 times the car the Avensis was

as he was fed up with the Avensis needing to go back to the dealers for silly things

like loose interior panels and rattles and things

but after all that was fixed it was ok

in fact my brother in law has it and he likes it

but he did have to replace the gearbox for some reason

the only complaint i had about my carina was the red paint kept going white

i used many different products to get rid of it but it always came back

so i sanded it all off with 1600 wet and dry and buffed it up with g33

and now it stays red

Dad gave me his steel Avensis wheels when he got alloys put on his Avensis

so i put them on the carina and it improved the handeling

ill be keeping the car as she is my 5door saloon for 5 door saloon activities

i have 4 other cars and alway like driving the carina

all ive done to her is change the rad water pump usual servive stuff and the thing

that improved her the most was a new toyota fuel pump

a friend of mine who has a sporty big 25g ford of some sort complained to me bitterly

one day about my Carina when i gave him a lift in her

"why does your car go better than mine "

"whys your car smoother than mine "

"whys your car quieter than mine "

"whys your car faster than mine "

" what do you mean its only a 1600 "

says it all doesnt it.................................

regards sam

My late grandfather had a carina II for 10 years when I was younger it was the best car I have ever been in top of the range automatic, what a car.

Hi guys/or maybe girls...

Hmmm some very interesting reading i must say...THANK YOU all for taking the time. So i conclude then that the carina is of a better build and a more reliable car regardless of engine size...and that the avensis...well there's the good ones which are pre vvti...and the bad ones post vvti...and avoid the 1.8's especially...which is exactly what i have...damn why i didnt i do more research before buying it...and only have it for 3 months now! Always believed anything with a toyota Badge on it would serve you well...well may be in the old days! Next car will prob.be a mazda now...as nissans are rust buckets yet very reliable so i heard! Takecare people.

The 2.0 vvti is ok i think. As to the Oil issue on the 1.8, i've only read about it on forums like this. Never heard anyone in my community complain about it. That said, i wouldn't buy a 1.8 anyway, due to lack of torque. On paper it says 130 hp, which is roughly the same as my 2.0 3S-FE. But my brother in law's parents had a 1.8. After trying my car one day, he said that it felt much more powerfull than his parents's, proving the old saying "there is no replacement for displacement".

In any case i would go for the 2.0 or 2.2 D-cat

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It was a difficult question. Carina E VS Avensis.

The Carina E was only produced for a short while and the Avensis is in several generations right now. The first gen Avensis T22 was not any good looking in the lines, my opinion. It was almost the same as the Carina E, but had some smaller changes like doorpanels etc... For the gen 1 Avensis I believe that the Carina E with the 3s-fe engine would win because it looks better than the Avensis.

The second generation Avensis (T25 I believe it is called)is much better looking than the first generation was, great improvements. What about the material I am not sure. The modern cars do get new technology that is making the journey much safer. That is a huge plus. But what happens when rather new technology gets some years old? It might become lot of problems that will cost much money to repair. It is very difficult, but I would choose the Avensis because it has more safety equipment. Lot of Carina Es don't have ABS!!! It was only those with rear discs that got ABS. The quality of the Avensis I can't say, but I believe that the quality is becoming less in modern cars. I don't belieev that a modern car is not built to last for ever. The manufacturer has to come with new generations too often to be able to keep the quality in top.

The latest Avensis I don't have any clue about. They are way too expensive for me to buy.

I have been thinking of changing my old Carina E for a gen 2 Avensis, for a while. The Carina E start to cost some money in repairs right now. We will see later on if I find a good Avensis or not.

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It was a difficult question. Carina E VS Avensis.

The Carina E was only produced for a short while and the Avensis is in several generations right now.

The Carina E was the successor to the Carina II and being more or less the same model, it had more in common with the Carina II, than the pre 2000 MK1 Avensis had with the MK2 Avensis. So, as the Carina, it was around for cirka 15 years. And considering, that the CarinaII/E was in fact a rebadged Toyota Corona, it was around much longer, since the Corona started production in '57. Mind you, in some region the MK1 Avensis is also called Corona.

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My present runabout is a K reg Carina E with drum brakes at the back and it has ABS.

I have a set of Celica ST202 rear hubs complete with discs and ABS which will be soon transfered to the Carina.

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The Corona is a better car generally

Sent from my iPad using Toyota OC

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Carina E vs Avensis. It's seems to have been settled quite conclusively...... Carina E brilliant, Mk1 T21 pre vvti great, T22 vvti rotten, nothing but a shed load of woes waiting to happen so steer clear of them as if it were a leper with VD. lol.

The Carina was the last of an evolution of models so as you would expect all the little weaknesses and potential failure points had been discovered and long since worked out. Some of these cars are clocking up millions of miles now on the same engine I hear.

The Avensis was a new model made in the UK for the first time I believe. It had a lot of parts carried over from the Carina but doesn't share any panels or frame, it was a whole new Shell but with the tried and tested Carina engine and running gear.

As with all new models there are going to some unexpected issues that rear their head later down the line like the aforementioned water in the boot (had that one myself too) but overall the Avensis has proven extremely robust and reliable in the extreme. It's been a favourite of taxi drivers from the get go and those guys don't run unreliable tempremental cars that can't take heavy use and high mileage.

I had a W plate 1.8GS with 150,000 miles on it when i bought it. The guy said it was he was selling it for his brother in law who probably the one who had ran it as a taxi cos all. the signs were there to be seen. A lot of wear and tear but solid and working well. Screw holes were the radio had been and the taxi license on the rear bumper. It looked as if it had ended up in a ditch as there were signs of minor damage repaired on the passenger side. Sounds unpromising but I drove it for 9 months daily with the only problem was when a coolant gasket blew and she overhearted but no damage was the result.

After that I bought a clean, low mileage 2002 1.8 vvti so the comparison back to back has been interesting in the extreme. Of course one man's pearl is another sows ear so remember my experience of the vvti is from a pool of one so hardly representive but hopefully of interest to someone.

The Carina I can't talk of but from everthing I hear the old adage should be the only things that will survive a nuclear war would be cockroaches, Keith Richards AND the Toyota Carina E. They go and go and go which explains why they are still plenty on the road 18 years after they stopped making them yet by the same token there are 1000s of T21/T22 Avensis (shouldn't the plural be Avensi lol) being used as daily drivers with the newest around 13 years old now.... that should speak volumes, another indicator that's not solid proof but strongly suggests is you rarely see them in the scrapyards even still.

The original 1997-2000 Avensis was strong, well built with, in the 1.8,the legendary 7A-FE engine. Again tried and proven tech here, the 7A refers to the 7th generation of the A series motor so utterly ironed out and proven. If you want to blow this motor you'd have to replace the Oil with sea water and even then it'd probably still run nicely.

Somebody in an earlier post suggested it was smoother and more responsive than the 1ZZ-FE or the vvti as everyone knows it. To be honest I find it hard to believe that they could have driven them both because the 1ZZ is a lot more responsive,lively, free revving and has a broader power delivery than the 7A.

If I have one criticism and that's an big if then it's the sudden drop in power at low revs when you pull away in 1st or 2nd from standstill. You find that as you engage the clutch and the drive is taken up it can seem to die, hesitate and stutter or near stall.

More revs on take off cures that problem though you learn to slip the clutch a little as it surprisingly easy to spin the wheels even on a dry day. Perhaps what some see as more being more raucous and harsher is more low down torque than expected for a 16 valver. Again that is manifested in the the spread of power when driving, she starts to pull nicely around 2500 with useful power for over taking at 3000 and significantly so from 4000 to over 6000 and more.

The 7A-FE has a more steady even power band that starts higher up the rev range but there's little or no step up in power like with the vvti that to my mind makes the later vvti a more enjoyable driving experience all round but that's personal preference i suppose.

Ok so let's get down to that old chestnut Oil consumption and the vvti, the two are inextricably linked and not without cause but does that make it a certaintity that every 1ZZ-FE will develop Oil problems sooner or later??

It seems that it's that there's guarantee that it will start drinking more Oil than petrol but I'm not sure how you determine successfully which will or won't beyond how well it's maintained, how regular the Oil and filter are changed. Also the previous owners driving habits should be taken into account. Did they use it for short stop-start city trips or on long main road drives that get it up to temperature for long periods. Did it spend it's time below 3000 mostly or have it's nuts revved off regularly. The variables involved suggest it's not an easy call to make so perhaps if viewing a vvti for sale all you can do is take the normal precautions you would buying any other car. How can you detect major Oil useage during a test drive, you can't exactly take it for a 500 mile drive or whip out the plugs and compression test it on the forecourt.lol.You could go for a recently tested car and ask to see it's emmisions sheet,an HC rating cloae to the limit should cause concern but if it's passed with plenty to spare last month then there's a good sign it's healthy still Obviously clean looking Oil at the full mark (on level ground before start up) is a must, overall under bonnet condition and plenty of service history suggests a well maintained car.

It seems that by late 2002/2003 the problem isn't so prevalent and unheard of in cars around 2004 but thats no consolation for T22 Avensis owners as 2002 which the last of the T22s were made there were still plenty of these Oil burners being made.The problem is not in the engines overall design which in every other aspect is a great one. Their desire for lowering friction led to the low friction but less well sealing rings being used.There weren't enough Oil holes and the ones that were there were too small and not angled well. What this actually means that there is a greater potential for these holes to gum up if cheap Oil or old Oil was used without being changed often. This prevents piston cooling promoting more heat build up, emulsifying more Oil and the viscious circles spins faster and faster. Ally this to a ridiculously shallow sump and small filter giving the engine 3.2 litres of life's blood to do the job. The average 1.8/2.0 engine had around 4.5 litres so it has a third less Oil to do the job where potential. Oil issues could arise.Add to that the engines crowning glory it's vvti system is physically run off Oil pressure though contolled at the ECUs instructions. As you can see there is an in built weakness in the lubrication system that if not looked after properly could quickly spiral but as a vvti owner so having a vested interest I've looked into this from all angles. On US forums I've read posts by Corolla owners using a quart of Oil, roughly about a litre in 250 miles yet the engine runs as smoothly as it always did.... it's just costing more in Oil than petrol to run.

The 1ZZ in the Corolla or MR2 is a performance minded application where it's marketted less so in the Avensis although there is a nicer set of lower geared ratios in thw vvti addded a little more punch than in the earlier GS but an MR2 or Corolla is much more likely to have been driven hard while the Avensis much less so which would seem to make more healthier examples a greater likelyhood.

So why buy a later 1ZZ vvti with all that potential for trouble when the a car a year or two older will be almost completely bombproof to near Carina E levels of robustness.

Good question and if you're simply after a decent daily runner and you don't have any great interest in driveability or spirited driving it seems hard to justify the risk of buying a lemon but if you want a large 4 or 5 door car, you want a Toyota and you enjoy driving something with a bit of go thats fun then the vvti is much the nicer car to drive. it's also a nicer interior although similar. In my experience it's also about 3 mpg better on fuel overall.

If you are confident in your knowledge and up to looking beyond the mileage and shiney matts you should be able to find a clean low mileage vvti still, in great nick and with regular Oil changes there's no reason to assume it will go bad on you.

There is a lot and i mean a LOT of column inches on how bad the vvtis are for Oil and obviously there have been plenty that were but also plenty that Toyota took back and redfitted with a new redesigned short block with suitable rings and drain holes. I don't know if the reputation has had an effect but there are a lot of good, clean 1.8 vvtis out there for sale for not a lot of cash. I mean a clean, well maintained car with a years ticket is worth the 1000-1200 they seem to average these days.

I've had mine for some time now and it's not eating Oil at all and it's not getting driven like a an OAPs car, it gets a good caning regularly.

Carina E........ that's up to you bulletproof and a safe buy if not rust in the chasis.

Avensis 1.8 GS 7A-FE...... again tried n tested bulletproof reliability. Speaks for itself, nice to drive but staid,a bit unresponsive to similar 1.8s from Vauxhall or Renault for exampme.

Avensis 1.8 vvti..... again solid, reliable well built... it is a Toyota so...nice lively, responsive engine matched to nicer set of ratios that transforms how it drives BUT the Oil issue looms ever present over it even if the reputation is probably worse than the reality that's no use if yours starts drinking Oil so go. armed with knowledge, experience and look into the cars history i. e previous owmers, recent mot emmisions test etc. If you get it right yiu scored, get it wrong then buy a super tanker of Oil to keep. it running lol

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Actually there is no problem with the vvti cars. The problem is lack of maintenance. We all know the old cars go on and on but the newer ones can't be treated in that way. Different engines require different maintenance. The will go on and on the same as the old versions if the schedules are followed. Most stories you will hear about the vvti going wrong come out of Africa and the poorer Asian countries where they mix fuel with crap.

A well known fact is that the Toyotas that are offered to us in the UK are rubbish compared to real Japanese versions. Especially when it comes to the Carina lol.

I could never purchase or drive a UK Carina or Avensis after having my Corona.

I did see a beautiful Carina e the other day online, white with Mercedes w123 wheels and white walls, it looked awesome.

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Actually there is no problem with the vvti cars. The problem is lack of maintenance. We all know the old cars go on and on but the newer ones can't be treated in that way. Different engines require different maintenance. The will go on and on the same as the old versions if the schedules are followed. Most stories you will hear about the vvti going wrong come out of Africa and the poorer Asian countries where they mix fuel with crap.

A well known fact is that the Toyotas that are offered to us in the UK are rubbish compared to real Japanese versions. Especially when it comes to the Carina lol.

I could never purchase or drive a UK Carina or Avensis after having my Corona.

I did see a beautiful Carina e the other day online, white with Mercedes w123 wheels and white walls, it looked awesome.

Well you're right and wrong aswell because there aren't enoigh drain holes under the Oil control rings not it seems were they big enough. The top two piston rings were too thin and the tension they were under when fitted was lower than usual,the intent was to lower friction so they produced less heat, drag and required less force to move up and down the bore.

Couple that with the shallow sump which holds only. 3.2 litres which by any standard is noticeably less than an equivalent engine of it's size and power. Given the narrow drain holes in the pistons which had a tendency to emulsify less than clean Oil which can quickly sludge up and block them leading to the loss of any cooling effect intended.

The fact that any number of 1ZZ-FEs of that period are still running with out guzzling Oil at an incredible rate shows that it isn't wholly a design problem My car has around 89, 000 on it and after taking into account the Oil leak I discovered this weekend which isn't visible unless you have the tyre, liner and undertrays removed and really look hard so if I was to say half my Oil use is now loss, half use then my Avensis is using @ 0.5 ltr per 3.5-4,000 miles which is significantly better than Toyotas acceptable Oil use which in any other engine I'd rate chronic Oil consumption.

I've said for a long time that this engine is a superb engine that has suffered unfairly from a bad reputation due to early failures put down to the lubrication system but it's hard not to imagine that both maintenance and use had a big impact on the situation.

The engine wasn't actually a bad design but rather had a flaw or potential weakness built in around the Oil's capacity to drain through the hot pistons and into the shallow sump that didn't allow it to cool as well as if a bigger sump would have, again working on the engines one possible weak spot. Less a probl when serviced from new by a reputable Toyota dealers but when the services aren't being kept up,oil left longer and longer before changing and collecting around the hot, uncooled skirts which gets even hotter in a viscious circle.

Is that a design fault or is all the blame with the owner???

I'd say it's the owners responsibility but certain areas of the design do leave much to be desired. That being the lubrication. The inherent dssign was always going to run hot, it's the nature of this type of engine so it's hard to imagine Toyota not being aware of the pitfalls but clearly they put a lot of stock in those low friction piston rings that due to their lower sealing capacity allow Oil to slip past and don't clear the bore aswell as more conventional rings would have.

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Me from the Avensis corner will say that the pre-vvti Avensis, inherited the reliable engines from the Carina.

The vvti engines are great but and were sorted by 2005-2006 - too late for the vvti Avensis. There are vvti engines with no issues at all.

My Avensis seam to be well made compared to rival brands, but have seen some nice Carina's.

Asif is right in a way about owners looking after their cars. I know a few owners that don't do the basic checks on there cars, and care until something tells them or goes wrong.

FastBob has said that the vvti Oil burning issue only affected a few cars, and some modification to the pistons and rings would help reduce problem.

For me the 7A-FE leanburn Avensis is a faithful car. My bias to owning one.

The argument goes on.

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Arguement Konrad???

I would call it informed discussion..... debate may be a bit pretentious sounding, in my case anyway lol.

Ah you know where my vote is but I will say there's a pay off for a higher mileage early vvti n that's constantly keeping an eye on the Oil etc..... fine if you're like me and can't leave your car alone anyway lol but if you want easy, worry free, solid reliability you cannot beat the 7A FE and that's simply a fact lol

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Of course I really have to say that as as my response to Asif's comment suggests I may not agree or see much value in what he said he is absolutely right about owner's bearing responsibility for the care, maintenance and knowledge about the car they own. I stand by what I said about the design flaws in the early 1ZZ-FE engine creating the potential for later problems.

A similar and equally well know example of this was the old Ford Pinto engine which had an Oil spray bar mounted above the camshaft to keep it lubricated which was badly designed. It was narrow had tight corners and the holes where the Oil was meant to spray out of were tiny and prone to gumming up which led to the cam bearings knocking out. After numerous wrecked cams and timing belts breaking they realised there was a problem and redesigned it...... much as Toyota did by 2005 with the 1ZZ-FE.

I suppose the issue has much to do with what the owner actually knows about their engine.

Me, I want to know every little last detail I can find about it. Cars have been a major obsession of mine since I was first able to say the word car.Went into Primary 1 able to read, write a little, no times tables but could tell you the make and model of all the cars in the street lol.

That's fine but alot of people think as much about their car as they do their microwave, in terms of what's actually go on under the bonnet. As long as it starts every time, doesn’t go wrong and doesn't cost half their salary in fuel or servicing they're perfectly happy to let the dealership do the servicing and look after it mechanically. Which is perfectly understandable if that's what they want AND the dealership is both professional and values it's customers and reputation but my experience of main dealers from working for one and knowing people who have relied on them to do what they've charged you for each service doesn't fill me with confidence but that could simply be due to a pretty small. pool. of dealers I've experience of that are below the general average.

Asif, is it a true and well known fact about the quality of UK Toyotas compared to Japanese ones???

I'm not saying your wrong because this is my second Toyota. My experience of cars has been pretty much Ford, Vauxhall with a hint of Nissan and now a W reg 7A-FE Avensis GS and my present 02 vvti. It's not something I've heard much about to be honest but that makes no difference as to it being a fact or not lol.

In what way are they better???

Better built?? Higher quality??

Is it due to higher demands by the Japanese buyer maybe or a different ethic about the product they produce??

Have you got an imported Corona then???

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I have said this before, but when the motoring mags review cars, performance and handling was placed high. So if a car seemed 'boring', it would not rank as high as a 'dynamic' or great performance. The Ford Mondeo, Peugoet 406, VW Passat and Nissan Primera were rated better cars than the Avensis in Autocart dated 19 November 1997. I still have the magazine! Now how many of these rival cars do you see on the compared to the Avensis? In 'Motoring Week' section of the same magazine, Editor -in-Chief Steve Cropley whilst agreeing with the verdict given by the review, was impressed with the quiet engine, suspension and most the 'truly excellent' fuel economy.

Now performance is becoming less relevant on todays road with speed cameras, and traffic calming.

Then there is the servicing, reliability and running costs. Build quality - apart from a few dents, my car is mostly rust free. I polish my car after washing. The water beads off my car when it rains.

I think Toyota got most things right and the early vvti engine Oil burning issue, has been the only major design issue.

It is perceptions that can be the real issue. Also majority of owners not looking after cars due to a makers reputation, like reliability. As FastBob has mentioned some don't care what is under the bonnet, just put fuel in it and drive. When signs of a fault appear, the owner ignores these signs and drive around them, oblivious of the pending breakdown or danger.

If it was not for the MOT, some cars would be moving death traps! And there are some without MOT, cue ANPR.

The Oil burning issue caught out owners who thought you only checked the Oil once in a while, because they may have owned a Toyota Carina or Avensis pre-vvti.

I say get a newer car as parts get harder to find for older, especially if they are bespoke.

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I will say this and so far I've found it to be true. Or at least since 2012 when I got my first Avensis and became aware of them for the first time (well, i knew they existed but like the Carina E itself I never gave one a 2nd look). In fact, I was saying the very same thing to my old man this morning when i ran into him n he was telling me about his brake binding on the Rav4.When do you, and I can say this with confidence for the last 3 years but when do. you ever see an Avensis in the scrapyard. You don't have to look hard to find a Mondeo or Passat, nor much harder to come across a 406 or Primera for that matter. Ok there were no doubt a significant number more Mondeos and Passats on the road to than our T22s but I've yet to see one and I'm often in there looking for something for someones car i'm working on or. simply to see what's on offer lol.

Also I should day my first one, the 1.8GS with the 7A-FE motor was 12 years old at the time I bought it, the same as my present vvti is now but the big difference is I've just topped 90,000 miles this week where as the GS had well. over 150,000 when i got it, that's 150,000 taxi. miles I should add and it was clear it had been a working car. So perhaps my scepticism of the 7A is based in an engine that wasn't exactly past it, not at all but maybe tiring lol. It handled ok, drove fine, was 100% the entire time I owned her it was just the lack of liveliness or spark in the engine I bemoan.In all honesty, I'm basing my ooinion on a pool of one car. Not exactly good science lol.

In fact the car it most reminded me of was the 1.8 zetec mondeo. my mate had a few years back. Good, very competant but a little dull compared to the 2.0 ecotec Cavalier SRi 16v I had which funnily enough reminds me of my vvti in the way the engine preforms. Unfortunately neither Avensis or Mondeo handled with the ability of the Cavalier but then I have to keep. reminded myself this isn't a sports car or a hot hatch, it wasn't designed to be so I shouldn't judge it on those standards. There's a reason you don't see a lot. of modified Avensis and that's because that's simply not the market it's aimed at. Though like. I say that's exactly why I want to modify mine by incremental, subtlr but effective steps.

Like Konrad's. mine is straight, solid but with those annoying little dents amd ripples that I can't help but notice yet again same as K,if I haven't time to polish it I won't sash it till I have the time.

I think our Avensis stacks up well. against all it's rivals and.is almost peerless when it comes to. reliability and ease of maintenance and running costs. The old early vvti thing has taken on the status of urban myth almost. Everyone has heard of the issue but probably their knowledge came from the guy down the pub more that anywhere else.

It's just like the fabled porous heads that will forever be associated with the Vauxhall redtop engine. It was a batch of Cocast heads that weren't up to scratch being made. from cheaper alloy but if you listen to the 'knowing' petrol heads you'd think it was every second redtop that left the factory.Even then not all cocast heads were bad, like not all vvti's will drink Oil for fun.

I think konrads right, a. lot of it was the Carina and 7A Avensis with peerless reliability that made the situation seem so stark in comparison. If it had been Ford instead we'd see it as just another amusing quirk from the Blue Oval but cos it wad Toyota it's taken on legendary proportions :)

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Plenty I agree with in this long running thread. Having owned a Carina e 1.8 and now an Avensis 1.8 GS both 7AFE lean burn I think there is little to pick one over the other. There are odd details that spring to mind. The feel of the gear change in my Carina felt better to me than my Avensis does. In the Carina e the gear selection was more positive but a bit heavier to engage gears, the gear change in my Avensis baulks and feels more fragile.

I will probably think of the odd other detail so may well add to this later.

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I know one T25 Avensis 1.6 VVTi and feels less robust than the much older Carina E 1.6 (mine, inherited at 240k miles, now on 280k miles).

Well, the Carina E was still made in JP (1993), and by that time the cabin materials were not supposed to be recycled...

Fuel consumption not any better, but of course Avensis drinks less Oil and weighs more...

Steering and handling is sportier in the Carina...

I will keep it running as long as possible, and maybe after that :driving:

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