Meet The New Family Holdall!

Picture002_4de26571075ff-lightboxAs you know from the last Journal I did, the tough decision was made to part with my Zafira. It was no easy decision but it had to be done. And this is its replacement. A Toyota Avensis Tourer T180 D4D.

I found the car purely by chance at a Toyota dealer in Chelmsford while looking on AutoTrader one day. Knowing that Toyotas have very good reliability as my father in law has owned them for the past 15 years and never had a problem I instantly liked the car. Also the fact it has a 180BHP diesel engine helped a great deal. A phone call was made and within half an hour I was at the dealer waiting to test drive it. I knew it was the car for me after that drive so a deal was done. The car was £8995 and I manage to negotiate a straight swap!

The following Tuesday I picked the car up. The car has a full Toyota history and 2 previous owners and is loaded with sat nav, dual zone climate climate control, 6 disc auto changer, half leather, traction control and lots of other toys. The car was immediately pressed into service on a week’s holiday to Yorkshire.

So with me, my wife, our 2 children and my mum and all our luggage onboard we set off. The car was fantastic and never put a foot wrong, proving to be very comfortable and still rapid even with all the extra weight. One of the major draws that Yorkshire has is 2 of the best driving roads in Britain. The A169 runs from Pickering to Whitby across the middle of the north Yorkshire moors and the A171 that runs from Whitby to Scarborough. Now I know this is no Elise but there is still fun to be had especially on roads like this.

And that brings me to my impressions of the car after my first 2 weeks of ownership. I am seriously impressed with it as a package. It is fantastically engineered and it’s so refined. You would never know it was a diesel once you were on the move. It is so refined and with 300 Ib ft of torque it is seriously fast. Third gear is especially devastating and before you know it you are doing 80 to 90 MPH. In fact it’s one of the fastest cars I have owned. The handling is very good with strong grip and great traction although the steering could do with more feel. I also think it is a handsome looking car especially in this color. And now I’ve debadged it (something I always do to my cars as I prefer the look) it looks quite stealth as no one knows what’s under the bonnet.

Only niggles are some scratches on top of the back bumper done by the previous owner so this will be sorted, and the gearshift is quite notchy. Apart from this I am very happy and looking forward to life with the Avensis. Watch this space for another update!

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Daniel Smallbone