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How do 2nd generation Avensis models compare to early 3rd ones in reliability?


Fjord
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I'm considering purchasing a 3rd gen Toyota Avensis from 2009 but most of the good things I've heard about the model has been about earlier (2006-2008) 2nd gen ones. Are there any known problems I should watch out for? Or is it recommended I just get a 2nd gen?

Also, in regards to engines I'm looking at a 1.8 petrol version since I've heard that engine is really fantastic in the >2005 2nd generation vehicles, maybe it is with the 3rd gen vehicles as well?

Thanks in advance for any help you might lend!

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The first gen (known as T25) [edit…first gen was 1997, as kindly pointed out by @Stivino below, the gen we're discussing here is second gen] went from 2003-2008, and was facelifted in 2006.  It had a 1.8vvti engine (among others) which could be prone to piston problems until it was reportedly cured in 2005.  Other than that they were pretty bulletproof, and there are still some in use as taxis around here.

The 2009 on (T27) was fitted with a new 1.8 valvematic engine (among others).  It was facelifted in 2011 (or was it 2012?)  It has much more power than the vvti, and is still known to be reliable.  They're also pretty good, there are plenty as taxis around here.

Having owned two T25s and a T27, personally I'd go for a T27.  Much better to drive, more power, more refinement, similar reliability.

edit… actually, two T25s and two T27s (but one T27 was a diesel).

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2 minutes ago, alan333 said:

The first gen (known as T25) went from 2003-2008, and was facelifted in 2006.  It had a 1.8vvti engine (among others) which could be prone to piston problems until it was reportedly cured in 2005.  Other than that they were pretty bulletproof, and there are still some in use as taxis around here.

The 2009 on (T27) was fitted with a new 1.8 valvematic engine (among others).  It was facelifted in 2011 (or was it 2012?)  It has much more power than the vvti, and is still known to be reliable.  They're also pretty good, there are plenty as taxis around here.

Having owned two T25s and a T27, personally I'd go for a T27.  Much better to drive, more power, more refinement, similar reliability.

That's very good to hear, thanks a lot. I'll likely go for the T27 in that case, the one I'm looking right now even has handsfree bluetooth which is a nice touch.

One worry I have however is that it's apparently a 'city-driven' rather than 'highway-driven' car with a mileage of 150kkm. Would you say it could still be a good purchase if we assume I'm not getting a rough deal as far as pricing is concerned? It has been serviced very regularly and by certified Toyota mechanics only.

Thanks again for the reply!

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31 minutes ago, Fjord said:

The first gen (known as T25) went from 2003-2008

1st generation was T220 from 1997 was it not?

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5 minutes ago, Stivino said:

1st generation was T220 from 1997 was it not?

That's what I've gathered too, I think @alan333 was referring to the T25 being the first of the two I mentioned rather than the first generation.

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9 minutes ago, Stivino said:

1st generation was T220 from 1997 was it not?

Yes you're quite correct, I must apologise for my glaring mistake (and hide in shame).  I'll edit my post above.

Thanks 🙂

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1 hour ago, alan333 said:

The 2009 on (T27) was fitted with a new 1.8 valvematic engine (among others).  It was facelifted in 2011 (or was it 2012?) 

2012MY & then again in 2015.

 

Known problems:

some develop cracks in the front doors by the restraining strap

 a small %  experience EPB actuator failure (usually due to moisture ingress). This is an expensive fix although the parts price has come down significantly over the years. Imo the rate of fear of this failure is actually much higher than the actual failure rate of the part! 😛

Not so much a problem as one of expectation - the 1.8 Valvematic has very little torque low down & a highish clutch so it's not unknown for people unfamiliar to stall until one gets used to it. If you were going to be using it principally urban in a large city I would suggest looking for a CVT version rather than manual - I know that is also the transmission that HJ felt best suited the car. The power is there but it's all towards the top end which tbh doesn't really fit in with the way that the car drives overall - it's not what I would call a sporting drive so there really is no need to be revving in the stratosphere.

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For what it’s worth, my T25 2.2d seems to be bomb proof.  It has never broken down and never misses a beat.  I often leave it for 2 months and it always starts first time.

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25 minutes ago, Heidfirst said:

2012MY & then again in 2015.

 

Known problems:

some develop cracks in the front doors by the restraining strap

 a small %  experience EPB actuator failure (usually due to moisture ingress). This is an expensive fix although the parts price has come down significantly over the years. Imo the rate of fear of this failure is actually much higher than the actual failure rate of the part! 😛

Not so much a problem as one of expectation - the 1.8 Valvematic has very little torque low down & a highish clutch so it's not unknown for people unfamiliar to stall until one gets used to it. If you were going to be using it principally urban in a large city I would suggest looking for a CVT version rather than manual - I know that is also the transmission that HJ felt best suited the car. The power is there but it's all towards the top end which tbh doesn't really fit in with the way that the car drives overall - it's not what I would call a sporting drive so there really is no need to be revving in the stratosphere.

Interesting, sounds very solid still. I'll principally be using my car on highways and through cities only; I expect not too many stops. Though I suppose the low torque could be hard to manage if I'm using a tow hook to move a trailer of furniture or something like that. Would a diesel or 1.8 petrol of the 2nd generation be a better fit in those cases you imagine?

Thanks.

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2 minutes ago, Stivino said:

For what it’s worth, my T25 2.2d seems to be bomb proof.  It has never broken down and never misses a beat.  I often leave it for 2 months and it always starts first time.

Nice, I'm jealous. 2.2 diesel is very expensive in terms of taxes here in Sweden but I've heard similarly good experiences about the 2.0. Might check one out.

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30 minutes ago, Fjord said:

Though I suppose the low torque could be hard to manage if I'm using a tow hook to move a trailer of furniture or something like that. Would a diesel or 1.8 petrol of the 2nd generation be a better fit in those cases you imagine?

The T25 1.8 would be no better. If you regularly need to tow something heavy get a diesel (iirc the T27 has higher tow limits than the T25).

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2 minutes ago, Heidfirst said:

The T25 1.8 would be no better. If you regularly need to tow something heavy get a diesel (iirc the T27 has higher tow limits than the T25).

I see, I just might in that case. I will not be towing things very regularly but the 2.0 diesel seems to very similar in costs to the 1.8 petrol where I live regardless.

Thanks again.

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That's general advice re. towing not just for an Avensis.

Again general advice, remember that on a 10 year old modern emission-equipped,  common-rail turbodiesel when things go wrong they are usually expensive to fix. Depending upon it's mileage/km you might want to check if it has had replacement injectors/DPF/DMF/clutch.

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Engine choice depends how you intend to use the car and where it will be driven. I chose the petrol Valvematic becausemy use was not demanding, plus of the up and coming ULEZ. I was aware of the ULEZ back at the time I got my car in 2015, so diesel was out of the question. My main conecern was the lack of hatchback for the T27, so this is my first estate Tourer, 2009 model. My friend had a T25 1.8 TR Tourer for a while, so we compared the cars. I didn't have the 'Nav' version, but everything else more than made up for it. I have cruise control, more relaxing 6th gear, more passenger space and built in handsfree bluetooth. I have the door cracks, but the large washers seem to have stopped it spreading. The parking brake has behaved itself, with any issues caused elsewhere! The Valvematic engine has been good, with hardly any need to top up Oil between changes. I have only use 0w20 grade Oil during my ownership, since 2015. There is an issue with the Valvematic system, that affected engine ZR engines built 2010 -2011 and 1.6 or 1.8, though not know if the 2.0 has been affect, but since the part is the same, may be included. I have done most of the work/servicing myself, as access is not too difficult. I have never experienced a Toyota diesel so cannot comment personally. Economy has been fine for a petrol, but that may change when E10 becomes availvable in my area. 

My usage has gone down a lot since the pandemic began last year. When I have used my car, have had to carry bikes/ebikes to be serviced repaired, without having to remove the wheels, just turning the handlebars. I have carried two at the same time. I sometimes carry a large wheeled (26") Dahon Candeza folding bike in the load area with the seats up and cover in place, and still have space to carry other items.
A lot of my experience is shared on this forum, but it is better to check one in person. 
 

  

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13 hours ago, Heidfirst said:

That's general advice re. towing not just for an Avensis.

Again general advice, remember that on a 10 year old modern emission-equipped,  common-rail turbodiesel when things go wrong they are usually expensive to fix. Depending upon it's mileage/km you might want to check if it has had replacement injectors/DPF/DMF/clutch.

Mileage is 150kkm on the 1.8 petrol I'm looking at now, but will definitely test drive it and pay special attention to the clutch since it's a city-driven vehicle.

Good to know that petrol will likely be cheaper to maintain in the long run though. I was recommended the 1.8 petrol over diesel from other places too unless I have a good reason for preferring the latter. Likely their reasoning was the same as yours.

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1 hour ago, Konrad C said:

Engine choice depends how you intend to use the car and where it will be driven. I chose the petrol Valvematic becausemy use was not demanding, plus of the up and coming ULEZ. I was aware of the ULEZ back at the time I got my car in 2015, so diesel was out of the question. My main conecern was the lack of hatchback for the T27, so this is my first estate Tourer, 2009 model. My friend had a T25 1.8 TR Tourer for a while, so we compared the cars. I didn't have the 'Nav' version, but everything else more than made up for it. I have cruise control, more relaxing 6th gear, more passenger space and built in handsfree Bluetooth. I have the door cracks, but the large washers seem to have stopped it spreading. The parking brake has behaved itself, with any issues caused elsewhere! The Valvematic engine has been good, with hardly any need to top up oil between changes. I have only use 0w20 grade oil during my ownership, since 2015. There is an issue with the Valvematic system, that affected engine ZR engines built 2010 -2011 and 1.6 or 1.8, though not know if the 2.0 has been affect, but since the part is the same, may be included. I have done most of the work/servicing myself, as access is not too difficult. I have never experienced a Toyota diesel so cannot comment personally. Economy has been fine for a petrol, but that may change when E10 becomes availvable in my area. 

My usage has gone down a lot since the pandemic began last year. When I have used my car, have had to carry bikes/ebikes to be serviced repaired, without having to remove the wheels, just turning the handlebars. I have carried two at the same time. I sometimes carry a large wheeled (26") Dahon Candeza folding bike in the load area with the seats up and cover in place, and still have space to carry other items.
A lot of my experience is shared on this forum, but it is better to check one in person. 
 

  

Sounds very promising, I'll definitely try it in person before any purchase though like you say.

Regarding E10, I called a Toyota mechanic who services these types of cars regularly, and talking among things about the model of the car itself he said it was likely a good purchase only that I would need to stay away from the new E10 fuel. Personally I haven't seen the car on any list of 'E10 usage forbidden cars' but I suppose I'll take his word for it. 98 octane apparently does make this particular car happier regardless.

Thanks for sharing!

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4 hours ago, Fjord said:

only that I would need to stay away from the new E10 fuel. Personally I haven't seen the car on any list of 'E10 usage forbidden cars' but I suppose I'll take his word for it. 98 octane apparently does make this particular car happier regardless.

Toyota say that it is OK for E10  https://mag.toyota.co.uk/e10-petrol-what-is-it-and-can-i-use-it/

Which Toyota models can use E10 petrol?

If your Toyota has a petrol engine or hybrid powertrain and was officially produced for European markets since January 1998, it will be compatible with E10 petrol.

The only exceptions to this rule are the following vehicles:

  • Toyota Avensis with 2.0-litre 1AZ-FSE engine made between July 2000 and October 2008.
  • Toyota Avensis with 2.4-litre 2AZ-FSE engine made between June 2003 and October 2008.
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I would not go for a petrol when buying a Avensis. I have owned a T25 and now own a T27 and both are 2.0 diesel turbo. The diesels are so much better. They have more pulling power, more torque, more power and cost less(where I live). The diesel is more fun to drive and have better acceleration. Toyota offered the 1.6 2ZR-FE   1.8 2ZR-FAE and 2.0 3ZR-FAE. And all of them came with Valvematic which is nice. Overall the petrol engines for the Avensis is crazy underpowered and does not feel comfortable in the left lane on the motorway. The D4D and D-CAT engines is way better on the motorway and is as reliable as the petrol model. But don't get me wrong the petrol engines is also good. But a petrol is fine for sedan. I have a friend with a T27 1.6 sedan and its totally fine because it does not weight alot unlike the stationcar version. But the best petrol engines is the 1.8 and 2.0. The manual is also more fun to drive and suits better the car. The CVT mostly makes petrol engines so slow. 

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The 1.8 Valvematic has as much power as the 2.2 2AD-FHV & more than the 2.0 1AD-FHV  - what it lacks is the low-down torque of forced induction & the power is much higher up the rev. range. In short, it doesn't drive like a turbo-diesel but like a normally aspirated variable valve timing petrol because that is what it is. (btw I have had a T25 2.2 & a T27 2.2 so can compare/contrast from ~ 12 years of ownership)

On the other hand the petrol engines should be cheaper to maintain outside of warranty (see above comment about injectors/DPF/DMF etc.). & whilst I have always felt that the admitted head/head gasket issues with the AD series engines were overblown they definitely exist for some.

In the UK the values of used petrol Avensis are increasing more than those of diesels.

Pick one's poison according to one's own desires/needs.

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1 hour ago, ToyotaGang said:

I would not go for a petrol when buying a Avensis. I have owned a T25 and now own a T27 and both are 2.0 diesel turbo. The diesels are so much better. They have more pulling power, more torque, more power and cost less(where I live). The diesel is more fun to drive and have better acceleration. Toyota offered the 1.6 2ZR-FE   1.8 2ZR-FAE and 2.0 3ZR-FAE. And all of them came with Valvematic which is nice. Overall the petrol engines for the Avensis is crazy underpowered and does not feel comfortable in the left lane on the motorway. The D4D and D-CAT engines is way better on the motorway and is as reliable as the petrol model. But don't get me wrong the petrol engines is also good. But a petrol is fine for sedan. I have a friend with a T27 1.6 sedan and its totally fine because it does not weight alot unlike the stationcar version. But the best petrol engines is the 1.8 and 2.0. The manual is also more fun to drive and suits better the car. The CVT mostly makes petrol engines so slow. 

I'm open to both alternatives because the turbo-diesel (especially 2.0) does seem very appealing for the reasons you mention. Though I will admit the higher maintenance costs, while they don't worry me too too much, have me leaning more towards purchasing a petrol.

The 1.8 petrol I'm looking at right now is a sedan model from what I understand, (lowish back portion) and I would assume that's somewhat better in power/weight than with a 1.6 station-wagon. Any lack of torque on low revs I'm thinking I can probably cope with simply by reeving up a little extra as I raise the clutch, maybe even with a trailer hooked up.

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42 minutes ago, Heidfirst said:

The 1.8 Valvematic has as much power as the 2.2 2AD-FHV & more than the 2.0 1AD-FHV  - what it lacks is the low-down torque of forced induction & the power is much higher up the rev. range. In short, it doesn't drive like a turbo-diesel but like a normally aspirated variable valve timing petrol because that is what it is. (btw I have had a T25 2.2 & a T27 2.2 so can compare/contrast from ~ 12 years of ownership)

On the other hand the petrol engines should be cheaper to maintain outside of warranty (see above comment about injectors/DPF/DMF etc.). & whilst I have always felt that the admitted head/head gasket issues with the AD series engines were overblown they definitely exist for some.

In the UK the values of used petrol Avensis are increasing more than those of diesels.

Pick one's poison according to one's own desires/needs.

Ultimately I'll probably end up with a petrol version for these reasons. Diesel can't be a mistake I'm thinking but costs and reliability are two very big things for me at this time.

Of course there are many more important things to think about when trying to be smart with money and cars but a 1.8 Avensis feels like a very decent move for me at the moment, particularly since the one I have in scope is very regularly serviced and at good places.

Thanks for all the help!

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Yeah, with everything else being equal the diesels would be the pick; They are better in almost every way, and if you can get a pre-DPF one they are just as reliable as petrols. A great thing about diesels is they are a lot gentler on the turbos so as long as they're driven a lot, the turbo will last a long time, whereas even on small displacement petrols the turbos tend to fail much sooner because petrol engines were always poorly suited for forced induction compared to diesel.

But it depends on the country you are in: In western countries especially, diesel has gone from the environmentally-friendly darling to the combustion cycle of the devil, and in the UK you won't be able to drive a diesel into any city without being incurring a daily penalty fine - If you drive long distances regularly and never need to visit a city then it is a viable choice, but with increasing penalties looming for it, it's hard to recommend.

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It's pretty much down to what people like. The 1.8 i also a good choose since in UK it's expensive to own a diesel.

But Heidfirst I have 17 years ownership and the AD series never had any issues with head gasket unless u overheat the engine or not look after it and service it. And I don't agree with u saying the 1.8 147 hp is as fast as the 2.2 DCAT 177 hp and fatser than the 1ad. Yes the 2.0 td has less horsepower but more torque and a turbocharger that makes the car produce more acceleration than the 1.8 . The 2.2 without traction goes 0-60 in 7 seconds which is way faster compared to the 1.8 which does it in 9-10 sec. 

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On 8/12/2021 at 7:53 AM, Heidfirst said:

Not so much a problem as one of expectation - the 1.8 Valvematic has very little torque low down & a highish clutch so it's not unknown for people unfamiliar to stall until one gets used to it. If you were going to be using it principally urban in a large city I would suggest looking for a CVT version rather than manual - I know that is also the transmission that HJ felt best suited the car. The power is there but it's all towards the top end which tbh doesn't really fit in with the way that the car drives overall - it's not what I would call a sporting drive so there really is no need to be revving in the stratosphere.

What he said.

I test drove my T27 Avensis 1.8 manual in a rural area (because that's where the selling dealer is located), but I live in a city. To this day I regret not buying one with the CVT transmission.

Negative points about the manual:

  1. The lack of low-down engine torque, plus a big gap in gear ratios between first and second gear, mean the engine can struggle at low speed if you've got a load on board. I struck this with three people on board when taking off up a hill.
  2. Like the previous poster said, the clutch has a really high engagement point, which annoys the hell out of me when driving in the city.

Unlike a lot of other brands, Toyota CVT transmissions are pretty bulletproof. In New Zealand we have a huge number of Toyota Corolla rental cars with the CVT transmission and they do a huge mileage without any problems.

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