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Toyota Avensis

ACM20R Avensis Verso

Toyota logo1 Dec 2001

By CHRIS HARRIS

TOYOTA weighed into the growing compact people-mover market with its new Avensis Verso, which offers seven seats in a vehicle smaller than a Camry.

Launched in late 2001, the Japanese built Honda Odyssey rival was initially offered in two spec levels - GLX and top-line Ultima.

Replacing the unrefined van-like Spacia, the Avensis Verso is a part-time seven-seater - with the third-row seats intended for occasional use.

Its role was to fill in the gap that was to be left when the 1998-2002 Camry wagon went out of production.

Although 125mm shorter than a Camry, its wheelbase is 155mm longer, to maximise interior space.

A 2.0-litre twin-cam 16-valve VVTi powers the front wheels via a five-speed manual (GLX only) or four-speed automatic gearbox, generating 110kW at 6000rpm and 192Nm at 4000rpm.

Fuel consumption is quoted at 9.0 litres/100km around town and 6.2 litres/100km on the highway.

Stopping power comes from four-wheel disc brakes equipped with an anti-lock system with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist. No other vehicle in its class is so equipped.

Dual airbags are standard in the GLX while the Ultima also has side-impact bags and curtain shield bags.

Other standard features across the range include dual air-conditioning, keyless entry, power windows and mirrors, and a six-speaker stereo with CD player.

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