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A Whale With A Small Tale


Lashie
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Hi all

Just wondering if there are any other 2005 1.6 VVTi owners out there who are feeling a bit flat after taking a drive on the autobahn...

..we just tax free exported out car from Finland and drove it through Europe...but I get the feeling that the 1.6 just hasn't got the guts to make this car work, ie constantly stalling on standing starts and well on the way to red lining to get it to cruise on the autobahn.. :huh:

..any other 1.6 owners got the same feeling or am I just not gunning the engine enough to put some perk back into the ride...

Toyota doesn't even do a 1.6 here in UK which makes me think that in countries with high speed motorways, they couldn't sell such a big whale with a little too small tail..

regards

David

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Cars are very expensive in Finland if you're not buying tax free. It's perhaps partly for this reason that budget models are available. The import duty is so high that the specs are often stripped too, and then things are fitted afterwards to bring it back up to spec and avoid the import tax. I bought a middle of the range Corolla in 2000 and it didn't have electric windows! Had air-con fitted afterwards.

Speaking of the Corolla, the 110 hp 1.6 engine shifts it very nicely, but I have to say that I wouldn't consider it for the Avensis. Your sea-mammal anology hits it on the head. I even found the 1.8 Avensis a tad breathless since you have to have the revs up a little before it starts to perform. In that respect the 2 litre requires surprisingly less effort around town when turning at low speed.

You may have noticed the Nissan primera was being promoted strongly in Finland -- "genuine big estate, only 23,995 euros" - and that particular 1.6 engine is even worse than Toyota's in a large car. In fact, Nissans 1.8 isn't a great improvement on Toyota's 1.6. So there you have it, in Finland where wages are low, income tax high and import duty crazy (100%), those among us who aren't well-off but want a new and good-sized family car might buy a large tub with a little engine.

You may think it would be better to buy good a used car than a new one with nothing under the bonnet, but in Finland used cars are very expensive too -- as an example, my 5 year old Corolla 1.6 estate is up for 15,750 euros (stems from the old days "well, it might be a crap heap but it's the only tractor in the village). Can't win, which is why I splashed out over 35,000 euros on a 2 litre Avensis estate (Sol = T3-X) with the logic that if I'm going to spend all that money, it might as well be something I like.

So in answer to your question, I would agree that I consider a 1.6 Avensis somewhat underpowered. But you do have a new car that runs well and gets you from A to B. And you didn't have to pay too much. But in retrospect, that little bit extra on the 1.8 wouldn't have gone amiss.

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I own Avensis 1.8 VVTi Petrol 2005, and pleased with it, especialy considering power/fuel consumption relation. I've test drove 1.6 before buying 1.8 and just didn't like it. It was far underpowered. Car is too heavy for that ammount of power. I would say 1.8 is excelent compromise. I spend 7.4 litres per 100 km, driving inside the town and out, let's say mixture of types of roads. 2.0 is better, no doubt, but it costs more and fuel consumption is higher.

Mine is:

Avensis Sedan 1.8 VVTi petrol

+ Rear parking sensors

+ Traction Control

+ 6 CD's changer

+ Roof bars

+ Alarm with windows elevation

Final price (with all taxes etc.): 31500€, January 2005

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Also the way car tax works is the reason for it too.

There's a step change in car tax above 1.6L therefore they offer a 1.6L varient to keep it in a lower tax band.

However your observation is correct and I think most people would agree that the 1.6L varient is underpowered for the UK market where there's no significant tax break in having the smaller engined car

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..well at least its not because I'm just a dull driver I can't get the thing move...

thanks for your thoughts!

..the 1.6 was considerably cheaper than the 1.8, and also cheaper than the 1.6 Corolla (auto)...so we figured that a big slow car was better for the (pending) family than a smaller one...and would resell better in Finland (!?)

..it does seem that this model is for the 'poor mans limo' market, be interesting to see if its going to tow a boat..might have to opt for an inflatable..

..all said and done, Finland is the last place on the planet you want to get a speeding ticket (gets billed proportional to wages) which is easy to do since the highways are generally heavily speed restricted (fair enough)...so maybe once we move there, I really wont notice the lack of herbs under the bonnet except when trying to overtake that village tractor!

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The good news is that Toyota is the most highly respected of non-luxury cars in Finland -- the Corolla and Avensis are the most sold in their class. Nothing holds its price better. Reliability really counts here.

As for the choice of 1.6, you're not alone in your logic. My dealer told me that, surprisingly, it's the most sold. Size, reliabilty and A to B. Practicality comes before flash over here. I assume you have the engine sump heater fitted and a set of winter tyres? If you don't have winter tyres, the friction type are OK if you're around Helsinki since the snow comes and goes. Otherwise don't believe what a minority say and get short stud tyres. Nokian Hakapelit, also known as Nokian 4, are the best for grip over a range of conditions and comparatively quiet.

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..as it stands Toyota are holding onto a full set of winter stud rims and tyres at their show rooms in Vantaa...in anticpation of our arrival in March...seems that a set of winter wheels comes as standard which was a nice surprise..I think they are Nokia 4's but I'm not certain...thanks for the tip all the same...

..as to the Oil heater...I was going to cross that bridge later since we really stretched to pay for this model and the extra 400 was a bit too much. If we do get a residential carpark with electric points...we'll definitely get one fitted by Toyota (as I assume that fitting it myself will invalidate the warranty)..

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Although the compulsory time to have winter tyres fitted ends at the end of February, you are permitted to have the studded variety until the end of March. This is highly recommendable – the legal requirement is conservative, partly to stop us ripping up the asphalt. Most years I have mine on until mid-April (and start in November, once in October) -- I’m in the Tampere area.

The police often announce that the law should be ignored if cold weather persists. And if you still have your winter tyres on in May, as many do, and you get pulled over, you simply claim that you are driving to Lapland. Anyway, it’s handy that the garage will have fitted your winter tyres for you and stuck your summer tyres in the back. Mine were about 900 euros.

I’d still consider the engine heater strongly. Their use is recommended below +5, and in March, even in Vantaa, it can be -15. Wouldn’t give your new engine the best start in life and you’ll be a long while getting warm air into the car. Almost any block of flats would have parking spaces with an electricity supply (admittedly, some older places have a limited number), or on private ground, rented or otherwise, you simply need an extension lead and segmental timer for a two hour blast before setting off. Although it is sold as an ‘extra’, I’m not sure that anyone would buy a new car without an Oil heater, and it wouldn’t help resale.

At the same time you could consider an internal 240v supply (electric socket) that runs off the same line in as the engine heater. Plug in your 60-euro Defa fan heater and your car will be warm inside when you start.

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..driving in -20 degrees will be a whole new world: we have seat warmers which may be useful, but thats a good point about the engine block being frozen so there's no heater for a while...I imagine that unless work is a good distance away, the car could go a week without getting up to operating temperature- wonder if things like thermostats and cooling fans fail in November but you don't figure it out till the following Spring..

I like the idea of Defa (guess thats a brand) heater, and we'll definitely get a Oil heater once we figure out where we're living...

all said and done, the Finnish in-laws are very happy their daughter is driving about in a big car...so though its was alot of money for some underpowered metal, the dowry is now paid ;)

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