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Initial Impressions


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Here are my initial impressions of my new ('53 Plate pre-Reg) Avensis T-Spirit hatchback after a months ownership and about 500 miles.

1. The 2 litre Direct injection engine (1AZ-FSE) whilst still "stiff" seems to have the potential to be quite speedy once run in. Its requires and seems to relish high revs (when the VVT comes in to play) and is totally unlike my previous Vectra 2.5 V6 (a superb engine).

2. The interior fit and finish are first class, with electric leather seats, a superb Optitron instrument panel and plenty of storage space.

3. The Sat Nav is the older CD-based TNS200, and the CD is a bit out of date. As I no longer work, this is'nt a problem for me and I have no intention of paying Toyota £130 for an update.

4. The blue metallic paint is superb, and the doors close with a Rolls-like smoothness. As a hatchback, there is ample room in the rear especially with the back seats folded down.

5. It has a 5 star security rating and also includes Traction Control, Cruise Control (not often used) and a new Vehicle Stability Control.

6. The only things I miss (from my Vectra) is heated front seats and power headlight washers. Maybe they will be added at the next facelift.

7. There are, however, some negative comments. The dashboard computer is both poor and quite inaccurate. Because you cannot reset the average mpg by hand (unlike the other data) but is reset when the tank is topped up, it is impossible to directly check a journey mpg! Absolutely ridiculous!

8. The sting in the tale, to me, is that the Spirit is fitted with those 17 inch 215/45 Dunlop 300A low profile tyres that create such a roaring and unending road noise at any speed above 10 mph. I agree that it gives the Avensis excellent road holding but create a very hard noisy ride not in keeping with the perceived quietness and quality of the car itself. I still do not think that low profiles are that necessary on a family saloon like the Avensis. See also my post on this subject Avensis Tyres of 26 th June.

All in all, the Avensis is a terrific car, but I am still debating whether to downsize my tyres or just put up with the road noise.

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Here are my initial impressions of my new ('53 Plate pre-Reg) Avensis T-Spirit hatchback after a months ownership and about 500 miles.

1. The 2 litre Direct injection engine (1AZ-FSE) whilst still "stiff" seems to have the potential to be quite speedy once run in. Its requires and seems to relish high revs (when the VVT comes in to play) and is totally unlike my previous Vectra 2.5 V6 (a superb engine).

2. The interior fit and finish are first class, with electric leather seats, a superb Optitron instrument panel and plenty of storage space.

3. The Sat Nav is the older CD-based TNS200, and the CD is a bit out of date. As I no longer work, this is'nt a problem for me and I have no intention of paying Toyota £130 for an update.

4. The blue metallic paint is superb, and the doors close with a Rolls-like smoothness. As a hatchback, there is ample room in the rear especially with the back seats folded down.

5. It has a 5 star security rating and also includes Traction Control, Cruise Control (not often used) and a new Vehicle Stability Control.

6. The only things I miss (from my Vectra) is heated front seats and power headlight washers. Maybe they will be added at the next facelift.

7. There are, however, some negative comments. The dashboard computer is both poor and quite inaccurate. Because you cannot reset the average mpg by hand (unlike the other data) but is reset when the tank is topped up, it is impossible to directly check a journey mpg! Absolutely ridiculous!

8. The sting in the tale, to me, is that the Spirit is fitted with those 17 inch 215/45 Dunlop 300A low profile tyres that create such a roaring and unending road noise at any speed above 10 mph. I agree that it gives the Avensis excellent road holding but create a very hard noisy ride not in keeping with the perceived quietness and quality of the car itself. I still do not think that low profiles are that necessary on a family saloon like the Avensis. See also my post on this subject Avensis Tyres of 26 th June.

All in all, the Avensis is a terrific car, but I am still debating whether to downsize my tyres or just put up with the road noise.

Hi,

I would love a set of 17 inch wheels for my 53 plate (13k miles) T3-S. I have just had a brand set of 16 inch 8 spoke alloys courtesy of toyota(due to corrosion. If you decide to swap give me a pm.

Cheers,

Nick.............

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:) I´m glad to hear that you apreciate your Avensis

I have the top of the line grade (called executive) for the Scandinavian market and I have the same features as your T-spirit except for the navigator. All grades here have the headlight washers and the heated front seats.

I also have the 17 inch Dunlop SP3000A and sure enough there is a lot of road noise. I had my car updated by Toyota with extended sound proofing and a new set of rear bushings and this did reduce the road noise to some extent but it is still rather annoying when riding on rough surface. But here in Sweden there are many different surfaces on the roads and riding on the smooth surfaces the car is very quiet indeed. Even when driving on the rougher surfaces it makes a big difference how I position the car on the road and I find that driving in the most worn part of the road it reduces noise significantly.

I will live with this for the time being but when it is time to replace the Dunlops I will find tyres that are less noisy, for instance Bridgestone Potenza RE050 has been reported to have low road noise but still have top performance road handling.

Cheers :thumbsup:

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The only complaint I have with mine is the front low beams are very poor. I have just rectified this by installing 8000K HID's and man what a difference. This is the best investiment I've ever made on a car.

The whole thing is plug and play. The longest time installing was trying the get the plastic covers back on (especially on right front). Took 40 mins, skint knuckles and a lot of profanity to get it back on but well worth the pain. :thumbsup:

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spwolf

Headlight power washers and seat heaters are not fitted to any of the new Avensis models even the top of the range Spirit, here in the UK nor, as far as I know, are they available as an option. Maybe, they will be fitted in the next facelift.

ulro

I read your original comments on getting Toyota to fit additional noise reduction measures to your car (Sept.2004), and was very interested to hear how you got on. Can I ask you whether you had to pay to have this work done? I can't see Toyota UK being so receptive to customer feedback.

My experiences on the matter of road noise on the Toyota due to low profile tyres have been well documented. The latest news is that when I asked my local dealer how much it would be to change my 17 inch 215/45's to 16 inch 205/55 (as fitted to some of the lower spec models in the UK), I was quoted over £1,200 because they would not give me any discount for my alloys (1 month old) and tyres (500 miles on them).

It looks like I will have to persevere with these tyres and change them to "quieter" tyres when they are worn, although I still think that the improvement would be marginal at best.

In the UK, and indeed, it would seem other European countries, the quality of road surfaces leaves a lot to be desired and, whilst road design technology must be improved, it is also the responsibilty of both tyre manufacturers and car makers to

contribute to solving this problem of road and general traffic noise. That is my humble opinion.

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ulro

I read your original comments on getting Toyota to fit additional noise reduction measures to your car (Sept.2004), and was very interested to hear how you got on. Can I ask you whether you had to pay to have this work done? I can't see Toyota UK being so receptive to customer feedback.

Depending on when your Avensis was produced, you may already have the complete or parts of the modification. As I mentioned earlier my car was updated with acoustic insulation mats on the floorpan by removing the seats and interior and the insulation mats were glued down. A good 8 hours of labour for the Toyota guys. Then the two largest rubber bushings in the rear suspension was replaced by a new type of bushing. All this was done under warranty at no cost for myself. The modification was said to reduce the road noise by 3 Decibel which in theory is the smallest difference a human will notice.

I did notice an improvement and Swedish car magazine did some tests on a modified Avensis and found the noise level was on par with the Volvo S 60 with similar setup for wheel size etc.

But the biggest reduction in road noise I noticed was when I put on my studless winter tyres mounted on 16 inch alus. These winter tires (Michelin X-Ice) are also quieter due to their extremly soft rubber compund. For the sake of comfort I am tempted to run on the winter tyres all year round but that would not be practical since they wear really fast when run on bare tarmac and the road handling is to say the least, !Removed! horrible.

You probably have not yet had the oppurtunity to test the traction control in the Avensis but I can tell you that with last winters roads covered with ice and snow, it was good fun to go all the way around a roundabout with full throttle and all that were required was to aim the steering in the right direction and the electronics took care of the traction with total absence of over or under steering. Very impressive.

:thumbsup:

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ulro

Thanks for the additional information.

Although my Avensis T-Spirit was new when bought last month with only 50 miles on the clock, it is actually a '53 plate for which I got a substantial discount off the list price. It must have been sitting somewhere in the Toyota GB system since November 2003, and so I would be surprised if any such improvements had been incorporated.

I think that I might once again comunicate with the Technical Department at Toyota GB's Customer Support to see if, in light of the modifications carried out in response to Swedish owners complaints about the road noise, they have any similar improvements in the pipeline for UK Avensis models.

I am not very optimistic that will have. My only other thought is they might incorporate noise reduction mods. on the next facelift, and hopefully make retrofitting a possibility.

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