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Dego

Advice Required Buying an Avensis

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Hi All,

After many year of driving VW's & BMW's I would like to buy a Toyota Avensis. I get on in age now and just want something reliable. I have a budget of £4500 and would like a top spec model Reversing sensors natnav etc also automatic.

Could I have your ideas what is the best models what ones to avoid. What to look out for when buying, anything that can help me to get a pick up a good car.

Thank you for any advice

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Hi Desmond, welcome to TOC 🙂

I see that you are in London so probably don't want a diesel as you will get clobbered by the ULEZ daily charge (have you considered an Auris hybrid?).

Normally I would say a T25 (hatch/saloon/estate)  facelift (mid-2006-2008) 1.8 VVTi but not sure about the auto (torque converter) with that - no doubt someone will be along shortly who does 🙂 . Part of the reason for suggesting a facelift is that some of the 1.8 VVTis before that develop a very high thirst for Oil which gets expensive/bothersome. I would also normally suggest a 2007/8 TR spec. as being the best value (it has most of the toys that you would want other than power seats/leather). & you would probably have a chunk of change from your £4500.

Next would be a T27 (2009>, saloon or estate) 1.8 Valvematic M-drive S (this is a CVT transmission - very reliable but if it needs work done very few can work on it & it can be very expensive). It also has an Electronic Parking Brake which, again, if it goes wrong is very expensive to fix but tbh the fear of it going wrong seems to be disproportionate (no doubt due to potential cost) to the actual failure rate . The other thing to look for on a T27 is potential cracking on the front doors between/by the hinges/door check strap.

Obviously look at condition, service history & mileage for any car.

You may have to get reversing sensors fitted to any of these cars but if you do you can buy a 3rd party kit for ~£25 & it's an easy fit for an auto electrician (or yourself if you are 1/2 competent).

The satnav on any of these is going to be old technology & relatively expensive to update to current mapping - you may well be better off either using a standalone Garmin/Tomtom or a smartphone/tablet running Google Maps/Waze.

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Scott has covered everything regarding buying an Avensis and being suitable for London. The problem is that the petrols are rare and seem to be at a premium. 

I looked on Auto Trader and could only find a few cars that would meet your criteria and near your budget. I made £6000 the maximum. You may have to travel!

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-search?sort=sponsored&radius=1500&postcode=se92bj&onesearchad=Used&onesearchad=Nearly New&onesearchad=New&make=TOYOTA&model=AVENSIS&price-from=2000&price-to=6000&year-from=2008&fuel-type=Petrol&transmission=Automatic&page=2

You should try and haggle the price. There are a couple of cat 'S' cars, so find out what the damage was and the repair. Some of the cars don't have Navigation, and make sure the SD cards are with the cars. They are needed to reboot the infotainment system, if the Battery has been disconnected! obviously avoid the T2 spec, as they don't have a lot of the kit on TR or higher. TR is the lowest spec to go for, but not all have the Nav system. Even if the Satnav is not that good, the reverse camera will be very useful.  
I am not clued up on CVT servicing, so you need to research that too. They are generally reliable. 
Having owned my manual V Matic, it has been good, with only the wear and tear items (including clutch) need changing. There has been an issue with cracks on the door strap, where the bolts fix to, on the front doors. The car should have 2 keys and the owners manual and most importantly, the locking wheel nut key. 

Happy hunting.  

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The auto box in the 1.8vvti T25 eats a fair bit of the power up and the car feels flat above about 50mph unless you're booting it on.  The 1.8 valvematic with the cvt in the T27 is much more powerful but the box is a bit revvy, especially up hills at motorways speeds.

The T27 is a much better/newer feeling car to drive.

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You may also come across the odd 2.0 VVTi or Valvematic. The 2.0 VVTi didn't suffer the same potential Oil consumption issues as the 1.8 VVTi so you could go a bit earlier & is a bit more powerful to go with the auto box to ameliorate Alan's comment about performance in the T25 but it will be thirstier on fuel. The 2.0 Valvematic in the T27 doesn't have that much more power than the 1.8 Valvematic & again, are thirstier than the 1.8 which is why Toyota UK eventually stopped offering it in the UK.

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