Advantages Reasonably priced. Extremely reliable. Economical to run and maintain.
Disadvantages A bit sluggish. Lot of road noise. VERY intrusive seat belt warning.
~ ~ Toyota, and one of their main Japanese competitors Nissan, have been the most popular choice of vehicle for the Irish taxi-driving fraternity for about the past 15 years.
The main reason for taxi driver’s fondness for vehicles from the land of the Rising Sun is fairly simple to understand. They are reasonably priced, economical to run and maintain, spacious, and last virtually forever without breaking down. For a taxi driver, their trouble free record is one of their most important attributes. Time spent off the road can be irritating and inconvenient for the average motorist; for a taxi driver it’s disastrous, as it means a total loss of income!
~ ~ But while the old Avensis was/is a favourite buy of taxi drivers and cost conscious motorists alike, one area where Toyota could never boast of being market leaders was in styling. In the past, Toyota cars (with the notable exception of their luxury Lexus marque) have been bland to the point of being positively boring. They simply didn’t turn heads when you were stopped at the traffic lights, or draw admiring glances when parked in the supermarket or company car park. Reliable but non-descript would sum up their cars to a tee.
But with the new model Avensis, Toyota is in danger of challenging even Ford’s stylish Mondeo when it comes to good looks. They have taken the best design features of two of their main competitors, the Volkswagen Passat and the Ford Mondeo, and, in effect, created a “European” version of what was in the past an atypical, bland Japanese saloon car.
In recent years the Japanese have cleverly attempted to design their cars to cater for local tastes in different countries and regions. Hence the new “European” style Avensis, which will not, incidentally, be sold on either the Japanese or American markets. (at least not in this guise)
The new Avensis has far more “presence” on the road than any of its predecessors, and the back end has been both raised and made far larger, giving the car a far more substantial and bulky feel when driving.
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