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Require Advice On Avensis 2009>My

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Hi All,

I wonder if you can help.

I am thinking of buying a family size car and the avensis 2009 >MY is on my shortlist.

It seems to tick all the boxes.

The 1.8 petrol valvematic in TR spec has caught my eye.

Impressive fuel economy and quality build ..or so it seems from reviews I have read and its equiped with some toys.

I have another toyota in the family which is a 2006 yaris 1.0 and it has been great returning 53mpg on average mostly around town.I am particularly impressed with the yaris interior space and build quality/materials.All the plastics seem fitted well, no rattles, nothing has fallen off in 3 years of ownership.That car will be staying with us.

I would like to hear of all things both good and bad any 1.8 owners out there perhaps ?

Also I was considering diesel but there are some stories of cylinder head problems especially with 2.2 d4d toyota / lexus vehicles requiring ¾ engine replacement due to head gasket failiure at stupidly low mileage.I read from this forum that some pre 2009 MY 2.0 d4d owners have had similar experiences.

I intend to buy used @ 3yrs old and keep it for at least 5yrs.

One thing I would like owners to comment on is the electronic handbrake, this seems in theory anyway to be awkward to manage if the vehicle is on a hill for example with traffic behind or multi level car park ramps spring to mind.I have looked at the quick guide document for the avensis, am I correct here

Push the button to engage ...then the driver has a choice.

press the clutch to disengage


press the accelerator to disengage


pull out button to disengage

Am I right ?

Is it me but this seems difficult (in theory anyway).

Some models have parking sensors or a reverse camera and some on the same spec dont.

I note that you have to buy a T4 before you get folding mirrors.

I love the idea of the multidrive s, but dunno if I have the bottle to go for one of those as they seem like a lotta cash if they go wrong.( forever the optomist !)

So chaps what do they drive like,any problems getting used to the handbrake and real world fuel economy.

All input welcomed .

Many Thanks in advance..

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Just a reply about the handbrake, you do push to engage it and pull to release or the easier way of finding the 'bite' and having it release automatically from there. Not at all awkward in my opinion and this is the first car i have owned with one. I have a 2.0 d4d estate tourer (09-) and miles per gallon is in the region of 55mpg over a full tank of 80% motorway miles and the rest getting to the motorway. Very roomy inside with alot of storage space aswell. Also a very comfortable drive. If you service it yourself aswell i find it very maintainer friendly.

Hope some of this helps

Regards phil

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Not sure when Toyota began their 5 year warranty but my 2010 TR estate has it. I bought it at around 18 months old and was able to extend the warranty by another year, obviously this will only apply if you buy from a Toyota dealer.

The TR spec has the options most will need.

I have the Multidrive S 1.8 Valvematic. This is my first CVT automatic having had many conventional torque covertor autos before. so far am very pleased with the way it drives, it's very smooth and if you use the sport mode when needing to overtake or pull away quickly it's very nippy.

Fuel consumption is a regular 37.7 mpg which I consider to be OK for such a large vehicle with an auto box.

My only gripe with the car is the electronic parking brake. I have always been used to pulling the handbrake on at traffic lights, when waiting at junctions and in stationary traffic but find that to reach forward to the operating switch is a real pain, but I do sit well back so if you are someone who sits close to the steering wheel it might not be so bad. One word of warning though, it does not release automatically with the CVT box which doesnt help with hill starts or manoeuvring on inclines. Have also just had the actuator replaced under warranty as it was very noisy.

Having said all that I am very happy with the car and at this moment in time would buy another. The ride is very comfortable and quiet and the prices are very competitive compared to the opposition.

As far as a diesel is concerned, documented D4D problems aside, it only becomes an economical proposition if you do in excess of 12 - 15000 miles a year according to all the pundits.

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Hi whitewagon and phil,

Thanks for reply, I note that you both have tourer/estate versions which seem to be very practical.

My mileage is around 10-12k mls yr commute so I am on the edge of diesel/petrol viability.

It seems that petrols are less complicated to maintain in todays engines and I intend to do my own servicing.

I take it you both have parking sensors ?

Some have a camera,some have sensors and some have TR spec.

Spare wheeel space, I take it that you can remove the space saver and there is enough room in the well to accomodate a full size steel wheel from a t2 variant ?

A good investment i feel.

Thanks lads.

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I certainly would see no problem storing a full size wheel in the well however i cant comment for other model variants. I have no parking sensors but to be honest it doesnt feel like you are driving a long car at all. I find the steering very light and the car on a whole easy to manoeuver. If you look after your diesel engine it will just keep going. Thats why i do mine myself, least that way i get what i pay for. Plus with me covering 20,000 miles a year it is essential. Dont let it put you off diesels as post 09 models have had previous niggles ironed out for an overall better experience

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The diesel/ petrol issue is to some extent a personal preference thing. If you are doing high mileage then I can see the advantage but at 12000 or less then the extra costs of purchase, servicing and fuel price makes it at best a marginal decision economically. You will have to be guided by your personal preference and what you are going to use the car for.

If you are buying a car still within the manufacturers warranty period then you will probably need to have it serviced professionally and use quality parts to maintain the terms of the warranty, after that then its all up to you.

I have the TNS510 head unit which incorporates a rear camera which is located next to the rear number plate lamp. I find it very useful especially in tight spots.

I haven't checked the size of the spare wheel well so can't comment on its suitability for a full size spare.

The reason for choosing the estate was that we wanted either that or a hatchback. Rear legroom was also important as well as something easy for an ageing parent to get in and out of. Have changed to the Avensis from a Honda Accord saloon, was convinced I would go for the Accord estate until I tried to get into the rear seats, that was the deal breaker for me. Looked at a few different manufacturers and models ranging from the new Civic to a Qashqai and lots between. There were several considerations including not wanting a DSG or auto clutch type gearbox which reduced the choice considerably. Finally came down to value for money and the Avensis came amongst the top contenders. Looked at a few on forecourts and thought the interiors were quite bland but then drove one and found it fitted our needs immediately, very comfortable ride and very little road noise.

What ever you decide on my main advice would be have a good test drive of all the contenders, it's a must if you intend keeping it for a few years.

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Thanks for the replies Phil, all useful info if you are thinking like me of taking the plunge buying used.

I do my own servicing and I understand that a lot of niggles have been sorted with diesels and they seem now to be less of a problem on the >2009 models.

I must say I love the idea of the multidrive,from all the reviews the gearbox seems perfectly suited to the car.

I have on my shortlist

avensis tourer or saloon

mazda 6 2.0 petrol

honda accord 2.0 petrol or 2.2 d

mondeo 2.0 petrol

I have been comparing these and the avensis although some say dull styling comes out top of my list for price/quality.

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Thanks whitewagon,

Strangely, try as i might, I cannot find any avensis auto centre console photos or info on the multidrive s system and how it works (practically). I did not know there was a sport mode.How do you know what gear you are in ? Tried googling photos of the dash display but nothing. Looked at some photos on used avensis vehicles at cargiant website, they are usually good for that sort of thing for research purposes.

I take it you have to be in "manual"/"Flappy Paddle" mode (presumably selector pushed to the left) to see which gear is selected on the dash display as all the dash disps I have viewed on google etc seemed to be lacking this.

There is some comments about the handbrake and extra tourque on actuator/calipers with auto box I read somewhere.

Strange that you too were thinking of the honda accord,seems like a lovely car but expensive used, a bit out of my league to be honest..I did not know it was short on legroom in the back..surprising, I have taken note.

All useful info and many thanks for replies

As for the spare wheel,

I would like to know if the space looks big enough to accomodate a full size 17 inch steel wheel and tyre.

Cheaper than buying an alloy,and a lot safer to drive on than a skinny space saver.

Mazda dont even give you a spare, they give you a bit of foam with a can full of repair squirty stuff stuck in the middle of the foam.

There should be loads of used avensis vehicles on the used market soon ex lease etc @ 3 yrs old.

Prices are still quite high for me, The toyota dealership approved used seem not much more in cost than car supermarkets are toyota have 12mth warranty on used for peace of mind ..I am saving hard.

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After my parking brake actuator- and e-control unit had been replaced, engaging the parking brake now sounds smooth and quiet instead of hair raising.

Operating it takes indeed a bit of pratice, but then it becomes second nature.

Press the button to engage and just drive off to release it.

As for the spare tyre, I hadn't had a puncture with previous cars for over 20 years.

Actually, I cannot even remember when that was.

With the Avensis, now 2.5 years old, I had 2 punctures already and no spare wheel. :ermm:

I was lucky both times to get it fixed without having to use the emergency gunk, but I'm on the lookout for a 5th. wheel.

As soon as I have it, I'll probably won't have a flat tyre the next 20 years. :g:

A rear parking aid, either buzzer or camera, is almost essential on the Avensis.

I would have liked the MD-S automatic, but the MD-S was so expensive over here that I rejected the offer.

Half way 2010, Toyota NL had a special promotional offer, where you could order MD-S on an Avensis for € 1 extra.

Needles to say I was not amused... :blowup:

Even with the manual gear, I find the Avensis very smooth and very comfortable.

Apart from the preventive parking brake replacement I had no problems with the Avensis sofar, in ~36.000 Kms.

I would buy another one, and maybe trade it in immediately when they come up with an "MD-S for € 1" offer again.

Good luck hunting.

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Not sure how much you know about automatic gear boxes so apologies if this seems too obvious. Currently there are four main types of so called automatic transmission systems offered by the various manufacturers, they are torque convertor autos, CVT autos, dual clutch systems and automated clutch systems.

Conventional torque convertor autos are used by Honda, BMW and a small number of other makers. They are becoming less popular as a relatively large amount of power is lost through the system.

CVT used to be limited to smaller engined cars as they couldn't cope with higher powere engines. Toyota and Audi have seemingly overcome this problem and now fit them to some of their larger cars.

Dual Clutch systems are not true autos, they are mainly known as the Powershift systems fitted to Ford and Volvo or the DSG gearbox fitted to the VAG group of companies.

Automated clutch systems are simply that, there is basically a simple clutch system but no clutch pedal, electro hydraulic systems operate the clutch for you, they are fitted to some Citroen, Peugeot and Fiat cars to name the main ones.

The Toyota CVT system, in simplistic terms, uses a steel belt between two pulleys that have an infinitely variable pitch allowing the pulleys to change according to engine speed and road speed. This gives the term constant velocity as there is no physical step or gear change as in a conventional auto or DSG type system. The result is a very smooth transmission with no jerks or sudden engine rev changes as the speed of the car changes.

The perceived downside of this is that the engine revs higher for longer than the other types of auto until the speed matches the throttle setting. In fact this is not so bad as it used to be in older CVT systems but is still very noticeable compared to the other systems. However both Audi and Toyota have seemingly improved on this enough to produce better fuel consumption figures over the other systems they use.

To finish off this now long winded section, in the Avensis I have there is a manual override using the gear lever as well as paddle shifts, a la Formula 1, these allow you to select a pre determind set of 6 ratios, speed permitting, so that you can either hold acceration for longer or use engine braking for slowing down. The indicator is situated adjust above the fuel/temp gauge in the main dash, it shows just "D" for normal drive along with P, N and R as in normal autos. If you use the manual or paddle operations then you seem 1 to 6 instead. Coming to a stand still or flicking the gear lever to the right and back again reverts the box to normal drive. The Sport Mode switch is on the centre console next to the gear lever, it effectively allows the engine to rev higher for longer in preset modes giving more rapid acceleration, very useful for quick overtakes or getaways.

Hope this helps, will address your other questions a little later.

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Stage two. Apologies for a couple of typos in the last post ( iPad and wine isn't a help)

The Honda Accord is a very nice car. I had a 2003 2.4 EX Auto saloon bought at 18 months old. Sold it earlier this year to get the Avensis. Apart from servicing all I replaced was a Battery , tyres and brake pads so just normal wear and tear. It still had the original exhaust system on it. It was a superb drive and a bit more stable and sharper handling than the Avensis. Have also driven the 2L auto which is still very nice. The rear seat room is better on the saloon than the estate, it seems they have moved the rear seat forward on the estate to give a longer luggage length which gives the rear leg room problem I found. Yes, they are a fair bit more money than the Avensis which makes the Avenis seem better value for money.

Have had a closer look at the spare wheel well, it seems as though it would take a full size spare. The diameter is definitely there at a fraction over 26 inches. The depth is about 8 inches which is tight so you should check it out if that's a must for you. I have the space saver tyre which has a polystyrene insert for the tools, if fitting the full size spare you might have to ditch this.

My car is an ex Toyota one, either a staff one or direct lease. Most manufacturers do this and then sell them direct to their main dealers. The big bonus with Toyota is you get the residual of the 5 year warranty which can be extended. Given that a CVT gearbox or an engine replacement would cost around £5k each that's a big piece of mind bonus.

Hope you find what you are looking for and please ask if you need more information.

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Strangely, try as i might, I cannot find any avensis auto centre console photos or info on the multidrive s system and how it works (practically).

Is this any good?


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Thanks a lot whitewagon for the explanation of the auto gearbox,I have to confess ,I did not know that there are so many variants of auto.

So the multidrive is a kind of cvt and you also explain that the 1-6 manual gearshift would only show on dash if the car was moving which is why i cannot find any pics from showroom photos.

Auto was not something I would have considered previously but I have recently driven a 2008 accord 2.0 auto and a merc 180 kompressor blue efficiency auto(2010). Both cars showed me how far auto transmissions have moved on from what I was used to.

When i was a nipper, I remember the daf 33. That had a sort of cvt too !

Some say with that car you could do scary speeds in reverse gear.

CVT would not have a kickdown , you would use the manual shift to do this.

Great write up whitewagon, sorry that I disturbed your wine tasting session.

At last I found a video showing the dash in manual mode, the driver is giving his engine a right pasting,not my driving style at all but useful for reference

and also a video of a driver using multidrive on his avensis 1.8 eco driving, more my style/wish list i suppose as I am used to 27mpg avg from my 1.8 litre petrol..I note the exremely low revs of engine at speed .

My 1.8 mazda has 3000rpm cruising @ 70mph in 5th (top) gear.

Other readers of this thread may find the links useful.

Any other advice ?

All things avensis t27 good and bad,please assist.

Many Thanks.

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Also I found this one which shows a tour of the lastest avensis, this clearly shows the mds selector around 5 mins into the video

the links may be useful for other readers of this thread.

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Ah the Daf 33. Now this was the original CVT. it had two large rubber bands running from the engine to the rear of the car. Wife had a red one for a while and thought it was great, I was driving it when one of the bands broke, just stopped the drive completey. Volvo took it on and put it in the Volvo 44 if I remember correctly. Fortunately the modern CVT is far more refined and hopefully much more reliable.

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<< the Daf 33. Now this was the original CVT >>

Hmmm... not quite.

Hub van Doorne, DAF's technical director and inventor, invented the "Variomatic", a small and efficient automatic transmission for future small cars.

He built several prototypes and installed them in various light weight cars of that time, for instance a Lloyd. (Remember that one?)

To make his invention usefull, DAF, who were producing mainly lorries and trailers in the early 1950's, decided to design a small passenger car and install the Variomatic in it.

That first car, introduced in 1958, was the Daf600 and was a great success.

It was later succeeded by the Dat 750 and "Daffodil", before the Daf 33 arrived.

The Variomatic, although not very reliable in its first series, combined with the small car seemed to have a bright future, until Daf's public relations team launched a stupid campaign with the slogan: " every old tart can drive a car" or something similar in Dutch, emphasizing the car's simplicity of operation.

That degraded the car's image and all further models with their "smart stick" tremendously.

The Variomatic was simply too far ahead of its time.

And yes, the Daf variomatic had only 3 settings: Forward, neutral and Reverse.

Maximum Reverse speed was equal to Forward speed. :blushing:

The design of the Variomatic evolved over the years into what we now know as the CVT.

Various car makers were interested in the design and refined it to the current reliable transmission system, among others Toyota's MD-S.

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Hi guys and thanks for all the info.

If you are reading this thread now or in future,an avensis 2009 brochure is very useful.

There seems to be a problem with the place that these are stored on the toyota uk website,well it seems in a strange place to me anyway.

The used car data archive is NOT the place to look.

Navigate to toyota uk website,then "owners" then "your toyota" webpage.

To the bottom right of this page is a dialog box to select the model and year, the brochures for previous models are there.

There is a 2009 copy and a 2010 copy for download along with other models.

I am not "an owner" yet, but i wanted info so i think i would have been considered as a "potential buyer" so to that end I searched in the "used car" section where the "car data archive" suddenly stops at 2008 cars.

Anymore drivers real world comments with mpg figures perhaps ?

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I've had my 2011 1.8 Multidrive Tourer for about a month. Another ex Toyota car from a main dealer with 8500 miles and 3years 8 months warranty to go. The gearbox is very good. Left in drive you don't notice it. It just works. Kicks down like any other auto. Over 2500 miles I've seen no reason to use the manual mode. If I need a bit more go I use sport mode. Again consumption has been 37mpg plus or minus a bit almost regardless of conditions. 1000 mile round trip to Scotland in driving rain was comfortable and relaxed with loads of room for the luggage. Mine has the rear view camera which takes a bit of getting used to but works well. I use the parking brake as just that and haven't found it necessary otherwise.

Overall we've been really pleased. Nothing else we considered - VW, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Skoda, etc - seemed to offer as much for the money and, as it's our 4th Toyota, peace of mind.

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