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Hello all,

I have to choose a new company car. My choices include: Avensis T4 2.2D4D Tourer, VW Passat Sport Estate 2.0TDi, Peugeot 407SW Executive HDi, Skoda Octavia 2.0TDi L&K Estate, Honda Accord Sport 2.2 CDTi Estate. Not driven any of them yet, anyone out there have any experience of these cars in comparison with the Avensis? My job is a wide-ranging support role that sees me driving around 45,000 miles per annum, also have to accommodate wife, 2 x teenage kids and a dog at weekends/holidays.

Any thoughts/guidance much appreciated.

Cheers ;)

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Hello all,

I have to choose a new company car. My choices include: Avensis T4 2.2D4D Tourer, VW Passat Sport Estate 2.0TDi, Peugeot 407SW Executive HDi, Skoda Octavia 2.0TDi L&K Estate, Honda Accord Sport 2.2 CDTi Estate. Not driven any of them yet, anyone out there have any experience of these cars in comparison with the Avensis? My job is a wide-ranging support role that sees me driving around 45,000 miles per annum, also have to accommodate wife, 2 x teenage kids and a dog at weekends/holidays.

Any thoughts/guidance much appreciated.

Cheers ;)

Go for japanese german.

Honda accord looks good! shame its not a saloon

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I would go for the Accord as it looks fantastic (not so in estate but still not bad) and engine is meant to be pretty good. I say jap car all the way.

I have no experience with the other's bar the new passet estate. Did all it said on the tin but I'm afraid the electronic parking brake did my head in (like it does on my work disco3) and lacked any enjoyment factor (for me). But then again I spend my work day in a disco - although it spends more time at the main dealer!!

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If I had to do 45K per year in a car it would not be the Avensis, the road noise would give me industrial deafness.

If I was NOT paying for the servicing and repairs I would go French but if I were I would go Japanese. Thats why I sold my Laguna and bought the Avensis, I just wish I was deaf!!

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Appreciate the feedback so far people. Interesting that so few Avensis drivers would actually recommend one. I've held off driving the Avensis until I can get into a 2007 model. Must admit I'm wary of French cars from past experiences of time off road with Citroen/Peugeot. I'm a little concerned the Accord may be slightly lacking in safety equipment (no active head restraints, no knee air bag, not sure about traction control).

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I'd wait until you can give them all a good drive if possible. I can't say either way about the 407 as I haven't driven one. I would add that my Avensis has given me no real problems other than an overly "clicky" handbrake but then I don't do a quarter of your mileage. The road noise issue is apparent but to be fair, that's probably down to the fact that the rest of the usual car noise is so well muffled and that our roads are crap.

As money isn't an issue for you (as it was for me) I'd probably go for an Accord, or if your company will stretch to it, the Avensis T180. I should imagine comfort will be a big issue with all those miles too which isn't something that's immediately apparent on a test drive. Some people have problems with the Avensis, I don't but some do. A friend of min had a Skoda Oktavia L&K and loved it, he said once you get past what he saw as a bland, boxy looking car exterior, it was an excellent car. He's now got an Avensis T3S Wagon and is looking to change, quickly, although the previous owner probably ragged it given the poor response.

How long a term do you have to keep the car? If it's not too long then pick the one you just "feel" like having as you will soon be able to swap it. Or see if you can get the company to loan the cars you want to drive for a couple of days or so to get a feel for them.

Does the Honda need a kneebag? Not sure if it has a "Start" button instead. I do like the Passat ignition method too and the absence of a handbrake? Nice! :thumbsup:

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Thanks JAHill. We now have to keep our cars for 4 years/120,00 miles.

No prizes for spotting that I'll go way over this mileage. To date we haven't been able to change on reaching the contract mileage limit, this is why I currently have a 114,000 mile BMW 320dSE Tourer that is less than 3 years old but was on a 3 yr/90,000 mile contract. The company simply agree a flat monthly excess rather than pay a penalty fee per mile.

Seems a strange way to run a fleet but there are rumours of a 'connection' with the leasing company at board level.

Nepotism - the backbone of British industry!

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I would agree with most of what folks have written but the road noise is on many roads quite obtrusive. I was fed up with bits of my Laguna wearing out so went for Japanese. On hearing the road noise though I took it back to the garage as I thought somethng must be wrong. I do like the car and would recommend it to anyone but the road noise for me at least is irritating. On your own the stereo will drown it out but it is not always possible if you have passengers. It is not due to the rest of the car being quiet, my comparisson is to a Laguna sports tourer estate diesel which had wider tyres.

The one other thing that supprised me was the lack of some features, the reviews always say that there are lots of toys/accesories but I find it lacking a few things.

No heated leather

No memory on the seats

When you turn the ignition off you have 43 seconds before power to the windows is turned off and if you or any passenger opens a door thats it you have to turn the ignition on to shut windows. It cannot be done with the remote. But strangly the mirrors can be folded with the key in the aux position!

CD changer not standard

Cruise control is a bit naff as it can only really handle mirror flat roads, it always oveshoots if not.

It would be nice if the drivers seat would go a bit lower.

No auto level adjustment of lights

No headlight washers

Trip computer MPG way out.

Toyota seem to concetrate on the in your face features and not the suttle thats handy features.

It may sound like a dislike the car I don't, at a steady 80MPH I get 40mpg from a 2L petrol which I like. The handling is good and the stereo is excellent although it is a love it or hate it sound I suspect. The boot is massive, surface area is bigger than on my Laguna estate.

When you test drive one make sure you cover as many road surfaces as possible, when you hear a noisy one you will know it and it appears at 40ish so you don't need to be going mad.

Iain

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Few points on what I've read so far about the Avensis.

The road noise can be reduced with choise of tyres - I've got Dunlop P9000s and the road noise is a LOT better (T-Spirit 17" alloys)

The MPG computer on my car is usually within 1 - 2 Mpg of actual at each fill.

Never had any problem with the Cruise Control and I use it a lot, set the speed and it sticks to it. Big inclines will cause it to kick down and when it does it goes over the speed set by a few MPH and then selltes back to what it was set at - they all do this.

MPG on Motorway is good, but town driving is a bit crap.

The only problem I have had with this car is the rare stall (automatic), apart from that I haven't even had to change a light bulb!!!!

Patrick

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MPG on Motorway is good, but town driving is a bit crap.

I'll second that. If I do a few motorway miles, my MPH hits around the 47-48 mark. Once I've been driving around town or short distances, it's around 40.

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The road noise can be reduced with choise of tyres - I've got Dunlop P9000s and the road noise is a LOT better (T-Spirit 17" alloys)

MPG on Motorway is good, but town driving is a bit crap.

The only problem I have had with this car is the rare stall (automatic), apart from that I haven't even had to change a light bulb!!!!

Patrick

Good information thanks Patrick. Our leasing company usually insist on Michelins as replacement tyres but have been known to allow Dunlops as 2nd choice.

Most of my driving is on motorways & open road - hence my annual mileage of 45,000. Economy bodes well for infrequent fill-ups.

Cheers people, please keep your comments coming. ;)

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Until a couple of weeks ago I had the "quiet" tyres on or four wheels as recommended by Toyota. I now have a different make, they may be noisier but you would need a sound level meter to notice the difference. Just read the reviews, the Avensis is noisy on many surfaces.

The cruise control is by no means useless but it is the least effective of all the cars I have used. I use it 99% of the time, even in 30 zones. They manage to create a complex controls system for the engine but give the cruise control project to a trainee I suspect.

The car is certainly the most comfortable long distance car I have ever driven but as many other threads have also noted the headlights are dissapointing.

As with all points though it depends entirely on what you are comparing against. For me though if someone else was paying the service bills I would swap instantly as the only reason for buying Japanese for me was reliability. That said though in the few months I have had the car it has been back to the garage 4 times and had all the O2 sensors replaced!!!! (under warranty though)

You need to take everything in this thread with a pinch of salt though but bear the minus points in mind when you test drive, as I am sure you will. I asume you have posted a similar question on other forums?

I also noticed another thread where you asked about safety, if thats a concern buy French.

http://www.euroncap.com/content/safety_rat...tings.php?id1=3

Iain

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Iain l Posted Yesterday, 05:45 PM

The one other thing that supprised me was the lack of some features, the reviews always say that there are lots of toys/accesories but I find it lacking a few things.

No heated leather

My Avensis have heated leather. I guess Toyota dare not sell a car in chilly Sweden without heated seats. I think SAAB was the first car to offer heated seats as standard so they must have set the standard in Sweden.

Cruise control is a bit naff as it can only really handle mirror flat roads, it always oveshoots if not

My cruise control do not overshoot as far as I noticed. I use my cruise at least 80% of my driving, even in town.

CD changer not standard

Even worse, no provision for playing MP3 music

It would be nice if the drivers seat would go a bit lower.

I have noticed that the manual seat goes a bit lower than the electrical. I guess it is the motors and electrical crap required under the seat that prevent it from going lower.

No auto level adjustment of lights

Comes with HID headlights since it is required by law

No headlight washers

Again, required by law if you have HID headlights.

Trip computer MPG way out.

Now on this I must agree with you. Absolutely useless. And even if it was correct in its calcluations, I hate it when it reset every time you fuel the car. On my previous Corolla it had to be reset manually. This meant you could decide if you wanted it to calculate for a specific distance, per month, per year etc. Same goes for the average speed. It resets every time you turn the ignition on. Why not let the the driver decide how to measure the average speed?

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I have nothing to add as others already said almost everything about Avensis. Maybe the only thing is my, still unresolved, problem with steering wheel. It works fine but on turning it quickly point to point while stationary or moving slowly, it makes clicking sound. Went to the dealer many times, they contacted Toyota Data Base and final answer is that it was air-bag coil that makes that noise and it wasn't considered as a fault. Nothing to do. I mean, car of that class and that much money with problem like that? It started with 2000 km on the clock 3 months old. Not all of Avensis have that problem but many of them do.

Yes, and one more thing. There is aerodynamics problem with side mirrors. They make loud noise above 150-160 km/h. Sometimes on higher speed, it depends on the wind orientation. Solution - retract (close) outside mirrors. No solution by dealers too. Yes, and the question: "Why do you need to drive so fast?".

Yesterday, I went to Skoda dealer and just for curiosity took test-drive on Skoda Elegance 2.0 TDI 140 HP.

Let me tell you, behavior on various road surfaces and curves left me suprised. So damn good. It's quite, no any noise, excellent construction and materials on the dash and arround. Alarm comes with it already. Boot bigger then in Avensis, lot of room for legs at the front and back. Steering wheel is fully adjustable but goes up-down and in-out much more then in Avensis. Driver's seat goes down more then in Avensis. It's 6 speed (my Avensis is 5). Tyres same as Avensis.

Conclusion:

My Avensis is 1.8VVTi 129HP.

If I today wanted to change it for the same one,

I get:

Avensis Saloon 1.8 VVTi 129HP, there is no central diplay and buttons anymore, Alarm is extra option.

Price total Portugal: €31800 (with alarm option)

If I go for Skoda:

Skoda Elegance Saloon/Hatchback 2.0 TDI 140HP with Alarm.

Price total Portugal: €32400

And not to mention power and consumption difference.

When I took test-drive in Octavia I got suprised with it's pulling power on low revs. For example: you're driving slowly in 2nd. If you press accelerator fully, car pulls so much that you might loose control. In 6th gear on standard speed, you want to take over few cars at the front of you, just get the 4th gear, press the accelerator and no more gear changes untill passing was done. Then back from 4th to 6th.

In my Avensis, to get the full power, if I drive 70 km/h and want quickkly to take over few cars, I have to go to 2nd for 1-2 seconds, then 3rd then 4th to get 130km/h. Just after passing back to 5th. Also, one problem. If I was on 80 km/h, I can't change to 2nd because it would go to too high revs with no accelerating power. So I go to 3rd but I feel lack of power untill higher revs. You can imagine how much I hate to came to the back of the lane moving 80 km/h. If it was just 70 or 90 km/h...

Sorry for this long post. It was because I love my Avensis but I don't see why to go on with gasoline in the car that is getting worse, having unsolved problems etc, etc, while there is a car whose name has bad history but now gives you something you find out only driving it for a while.

Friend of mine has Octavia with 300.000 km on the clock (186.000 miles) and had never have single complain, just regular servicing.

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Thanks Bosnjo, some good points raised.

I already drive a diesel so I can understand your comments made when comparing the 1.8vvti Avensis with the 2.0TDi Octavia. Diesels have much more torque than corresponding petrol engines hence your findings with overtaking performance - much more mid-range 'shove' from the diesel.

I'll be comparing the Octavia 2.0TDi with the Avensis 2.2 D-4D so this should be more of a genuine match.

I've arranged to try the latest (facelifted) Avensis 2.2 D-4D on 28th July so I'll let you know how I get on.

The Octavia/Passat 2.0 TDi and Peugeot 407 SW 2.0 HDi are also being arranged for test drives. The 407 has a tremendous specification (Executive model) but the boot looks much smaller than that on the Avensis. Friends report reliability/service/quality issues with Peugeot cars and the local dealers. I know our local Toyota dealer from my wife's Yaris - we have always received excellent service/treatment.

Watch this space. B)

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Avensis 1.8 VVTi, Saloon 2005, Traction Control, Automatic AC

Just got Recall Letter from Toyota to take the car there so they can do the work on my steering rack. Letter says:

"... We have verified some Avensis cars equiped with EMPS (Electric Motor Assisted Power Steering) with possibility of gaining unwanted space between intermedium shaft and adjustable cardan that connect steering wheel with steering rack. If there was an excessive force applied on the steering, these parts may get loose or even separated, that might result in loosing the control of the vehicle..."

I guess (and hope) they are going to change the steering rack.

Dealer is official Toyota dealer Portugal.

Uhhhh, just thinking about what might happen if those parts get separate makes me wishing to keep the car parked untill going to the dealer. :crutchy:

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Hi Selfbuild. It will be the T4 Tourer 150bhp, however the dealer (Ron Brookes, Ilkeston) has said that he can supply a Toyota-approved TTE tuning box to improve performance if I feel the need to more 'go' after my current BMW diesel.

I have checked the performance forum on this web site so I also know I can obtain similar products elsewhere (possibly at a lower price).

There are currently no cars with more than 150bhp on the company list, unless you are a senior manager (driving very few business miles). Usual brown end of stick for the workers!! :!Removed!:

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Don't even consider the Octavia -- sure the petrol 2.0 litre I test drove (sorry no experience of the diesel) has a nice 6-speed box and that FSI engine really goes, pulls even at low revs and is economical. Handles well too if you don't mind the typical VW spongy steering. BUT, although they try and sell it as a big car, it is not. It is big for it's size category, but it is nevertheless in the Corolla/Focus etc. category, based on the Golf chassis.

In other words, for a man of your mileage and family needs you'll find it rather small and a bit of a fraud. The same goes for certain aspects of the build quality, the minute displays and narrow seats. Once you take into account its true size category, you may decide it's not actually good value at all. Be interesting to see what you think of the cars you test drive.

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Thanks for your comments Avensis wagon :thumbsup:

I haven't driven an Octavia yet. I've tried 3 Skoda dealers and Customer Service at Skoda UK. 2 dealers didn't want to know and the 3rd has let me down so I think that tells it's own story about Skoda. If you can't obtain good service when looking to buy a car (I have made it clear that the order will be placed with a local dealer) then it doesn't bode well for ownership of the car.

Have also visited the Briskoda owners forum and I'm surprised at the number of faults referred to on recent models. Common faults include: fuelling probs on 2.0TDi, climate control probs, cruise control failures etc. Makes me wonder how Skoda scored so highly in the JD Power survey. :unsure:

Our local Toyota dealer was only too pleased to arrange a test drive and you're right the Avensis has a lot more room inside than the Skoda. :thumbsup:

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Have also visited the Briskoda owners forum and I'm surprised at the number of faults referred to on recent models. Common faults include: fuelling probs on 2.0TDi, climate control probs, cruise control failures etc. Makes me wonder how Skoda scored so highly in the JD Power survey. :unsure:

After your post I've made long visit to Briskoda Forum and found out that there people make their posts arround 30% about problems, 60% doubts and 10% future upgrades.

Our forum is 90% problems and it's bigger then Briskoda.

Please, don't get me wrong, I still love my Avensis, just getting more worried day by day.

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