End of an Anglo-asian era
One of the most faithful cars ever to grace this country’s roads moved quietly into ‘from available stock only’ status this summer. Shed a tear as Toyota’s Burnaston plant in Derbyshire assembled the last Avensis.
After about 27 years of producing this dull, but worthy, family hatch/saloon/estate, Toyota has called time on the lineage that started in 1991 with the Carina E – that’s E for excellent in Europe, remember? I’ve been fortunate enough to have owned, sold and been on the production line of this unassuming yet quality car, so I’m fairly familiar with it. It was Toyota’s last ‘traditional car’, built with a diesel option and no hybrid platform. There will be no replacement.
Just recently, I watched a petrol manual estate finished in metallic grey from a main dealer pass through a part-ex sale following September’s plate change. Registered in 2010, it had covered 64,000 miles in the hands of just two keepers. In that time, it had received six stamps in the service book and both the SD card and spare key was present. It was entered unvaleted, which is the way I like them, and was still very presentable.
It sold outright for £4650 +fees. This was astonishing, inasmuch as top book was £4325 and it had an MOT that could be measured in minutes, although I could see no reason why it wouldn’t dance through a test.
If you want a mid-range Toyota built by a bloke called Bob in Burnaston then you need to hurry – dealers are heavily discounting remaining stock at the moment. Uniquely, Toyota continued to add quality to this car as time went on. The industry norm is to de-content as a model ages, so you’ll be getting a properly sorted car.
It’s also worth mentioning (as nobody else will) that the diesel option is a BMW unit in both 1.6 and 2.0 capacities; the civilised petrol engine is true Toyota and made in Wales. Finally, the autobox is a CVT unit, which some people don’t like, but they’d be wrong – it’s great!