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  1. I disliked the pedal parking brake "I guess some people do not like change" has nothing to do with it. I have driven an Avensis with an electric parking brake for the past 6 years and 180k miles so I have no problem with the Avensis type that ie either on or off. The Prius parking brake foot pedal was something I did not like, namely the gradual application that did not put enough force on it on a slope, then pressing it again which I thought would apply more force but released it. It would be better if the foot pedal was a simple on off switch. Also, the foot brake was positioned where I had grown to resting my left foot. "And the fact that diesel is one of the most poison toxins ever to be allowed to pollute the planet." If I remember correctly, 10 years ago, the government actively encouraged the use it diesel cars, what will happen in 10 years when hybrids are no longer the flavour of the month?
  2. Early in 2013, my company car, Avensis D4D was due for renewal, I tried a Prius plug in and hated it, I felt like the car was driving me and not me driving the car, the car seemed totally under powered and I disliked the pedal parking brake. This bad experience I thought had put me off hybrids for life and I chose another Avensis D4D tourer. Fast forward to today, my Avensis D4D was in for service, after an email from the dealer last week trying to sell me a Lexus CT200h, I looked at the Lexus range and as I need an estate to carry a boot full of work stuff, concluded that there was nothing in the Lexus range in my car budget that was suitable. I asked to test drive an Auris hybrid and what a pleasant surprise. The engine seemed powerful, it passed my test of accelerating uphill on a dual carriageway to simulate accelerating up a motorway slip road. The engine almost pulled as well as my Avensis D4D. The car was pleasant to drive, I felt in control at all times and more importantly, it has a proper lever handbrake instead of the foot pedal on the Prius. In conclusion, driving the Auris hybrid has overcome my dislike of hybrids and I will seriously consider an Auris hybrid tourer when my company Avensis is due for renewal.
  3. Italian tune ups should bo ok as long as you have warmed the engine up thoroughly first. I don't mean 5 miles but go on a long run, you don't have to drive at high speed way over the speed limit, just drop it into 3rd gear and hold it there at high revs for a mile or two.
  4. Recently, I noticed my fuel consumption increasing on my Avensis 2 litre diesel 2013 tourer with 51k miles. This was after the Christmas and New Year break when I had only been doing short runs. Even on a long run, my fuel consumption had dropped fron the usual 55mpg to 50mpg, part was attributable to the cold but I guessed the engine needed working hard. The car is so highly geared that it is possible to drive all day, even at motorway speeds and not exceed 2,000rpm. I always put supermarket fuel, Tesco or Morrisons in and have never used branded fuel. I decided to give the car an Italian tune up, I was on a long run one day, I waited until the engine was nice and hot after driving for about 70 miles and on the motorway dropped it to 3rd gear and held it in 3rd gear at 3,500 rpm at 70mph for a couple of miles. After that, I returned to 6th gear and I could see the mpg increasing on the dashboard display. I monitor my fuel consumption by recording all the fuel I put in at every fill up, that way, it is easy to spot if there is a problem with the car.
  5. The important thing for me as a company car driver renewing my Avensis D4D Tourer early in 2017 is the choice of engines. The 2 litre D4D is a good engine with long life but these days, 124 PS form a 2 litre Diesel engine seems pretty gutless, but as the engine is so low powered, it maybe works well within it's capacity leading to the long life. Also the emissions of 119 g/km from the Diesel engine is quite high compared to other modern Diesel engines. My question is "Will there be a company car tax busting plug in hybrid with sub 50 g/km emissions to rival the new Passat hybrid due to be launched next year?"
  6. IT's a long time until March 2017 when my company car is due for renewal but, in answer to some suggestions gratefully received: The Auris Touring Sport Estate, looks nice and swallows a load comparable to the Avensis Tourer I now drive, but emissions are 85 g/km? The Prius+ again swallows a load, I'm not that keen on the looks of the Prius or Prius+ and the emissions of the Prius + are 96 g/km. As a company car driver, a big motivator is financial, the amount a company car is taxed is 5% of the list price for the car if the emissions are sub 50 g/km, that makes a strong case for going for a plug in hybrid to get below the magic 50 g/km figure. I have 2 years to wait before I start seriously looking and a lot can happen in 2 years.
  7. As said earlier, it's a ford and I too have not had good experiences with my local dealer. Their attitude when I last dealt with them in 1990 was "Customer is a mug and we're doing him a favour." I tested a prius plug in in February 2013 and hated it, partly due to being unused to driving an automatic. When my company car is due for renewal in March 2017, I will look at hybrids but I will take one or two lessons in an automatic so that I am better prepared for the test drive. I currently drive an Avensis tourer and need a big car because the equipment I need to carry around for work fills my avensis boot up to the load cover. No doubt, in 2 years time, there will be a lot more hybrids and lower emission (low company car tax liability) vehicles to choose from, there may even be an avensis sized hybrid estate. The new VW Golf TDE looks good on paper, due for launch next year, I wonder if they will do an estate version.
  8. I had those warning lights randomly appear on my previous Avensis Tourer 2009. They would come on and go out after the engine was turned off. After it happening a few times, I put it down to it happening within a few days of me stalling the engine. Somehow, the computer rememberer the engine had stalled and a few days later displayed warning lights.
  9. My previous Avensis Tourer, 2009 had the fixpoints become more difficult to put the Thule roof bar fixing bolts into when the car was about 3 years old. I simply ran a tap (M8?) down each threaded hole to clean the threads, no problem.
  10. Drive in London, never, I thought the public transport system there was so good that a car wasn't necessary. I visit London twice a year, once on business when I either take the train or drive to High Barnet and take the tube. Once in November, take the train, if booked well in advance, 2 x return tickets for a 130 mile journey costs me £40, a no brainer. On the subject of cleaning up London's air, until most ofour electricity is generated by Nuclear, hydro, solar or wind power, all that is happening is that the cars driven in London will be emission free but the emissions will be produced at a power station away from London.
  11. Do away with the floor mounted parking brake and replace it with either an Avensis style dash mounted push button or a conventional handbrake. Give it more grunt, the prius plug in (same engine?) I test drove 15 months ago felt woefully underpowered. Dare I say this: Replace the automatic transmission with a manual gearbox. I have a dislike / fear of driving automatics. (When I test drove the Prius Plug In, it was one of the most stressful driving experience I have had, I am even considering having one or two driving lessons in an automatic before my company car is due for renewal in 2017 to see if I can overcome this dislike / fear, and give the Prius or other low company car tax vehicle a fair trial.)
  12. Why do maunfacturers insist on fitting fragile alloy wheels to cars? In my job, I occasionally have to go onto some challenging sites including quarries and waste disposal sites where there are large speed bumps to slow traffic and the roads are pot holed from the lorries. We are not allowed 4 x 4s so the Avensis T2 tourer with steel wheels was an obvious choice of company car.
  13. Yes it should auto release, but I wouldn't recommend driving it relying on it to auto release as it leads to premature clutch wear, the engine is pulling against the parking brake through the clutch.. My last Avensis 2009 D4D tourer, I always let it auto release. The result, a parking brake actuator failed at 60k miles and the clutch needed replacing at 72k miles.
  14. LOW COMPANY CAR TAX. This was the ONLY reason for me considering a Prius Plug In, a tax liability of 5% of the car's list price instead of 20% of the car's list price with an Avensis D4D Tourer. Unfortunately, I couldn't get on with driving an automatic so I chose the Avensis. I will look in 3 years time when the car is due for renewal but my criteria are: Is the car big enough to carry me, my equipment and passengers if necessary? What car in that class has the lowest company car tax liability? Test drive the car to see of it has sufficient torque, is comfortable, boot space etc.
  15. For what it's worth, my last 3 company cars have all been Avensis D4D 2 litres. They were: 2006 inherited it at 26k miles, went back at 80k miles. 2009 got it brand new, it went back at 151k miles. 2013 got it brand new, so far it has 21k miles. I think I put some oil in the 2006 car but I never put a drop of oil in the 2009 car. It was serviced every 10k miles and lived on motorways and A roads.
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