Toyota

The new Avensis was unveiled at Paris. The MkIII model is due on sale in January in both saloon and estate body styles. It comes with a diesel automatic variant for the first time. There are also new variably valve timed (VVT ) engines with emissions cut by 10 to 26 per cent and horsepower boosted by between three to 20 percent.

Also attracting much attention was the Urban Cruiser compact SUV that will sit below the RAV4. It’s on sale from May and is based on the xB from Toyota’s US brand Scion. Engines include a new 1.3 VVT-i petrol and a revised 1.4 diesel. The all-wheel drive 1.4D is said to be the world’s most economical 4x4 with emissions of 133g/km, and returning 53.3mpg. A 4x4 transmission is optional. A minus point, by a colleague - the rear seats don’t fold flat.

Toyota also had its iQ on the stand. It is a unique small car. Despite measuring up at less than three metres long, it is both wider and with a longer cabin than the Toyota Yaris supermini. It can also carry up to three adults and a child in a unique 3+1 seating layout.

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