Toyota Avensis through the years

Rumours have emerged that Toyota is planning to remove the Avensis from its new car range by the end of the decade. According to sources at BusinessDay, the Japanese car maker looks set to call time on the Avensis by 2020, switching attention to launching a new vehicle into the mid-sized car market. While no official announcement has been made by Toyota yet, the news provides the perfect opportunity to summarise what has made the Avensis so memorable over the last 17 years. Here’s a look at the Toyota Avensis story to date:

The early days

The Toyota Avensis raced onto the scene back in 1997 as a reliable and exceptionally designed alternative to the popular Ford Mondeo. Available as a hatchback, a saloon and an estate, the car caught the eye because of its appealing emissions rating and standout level of performance. Families found plenty to love about the original Avensis, not least the spacious interior that enabled parents and children to be comfortable throughout their ride from A to B. On top of all of this, there was plenty of joy to be had while driving the first generation Avensis. This is because a smooth clutch combined with a light gear change kept stress levels at a minimum for those behind the steering wheel.

The (not-so) difficult second chapter

Toyota was always going to face a challenge when it came to providing a sequel to the original Avensis. However, the Japanese manufacturer passed the test with flying colours. Launched in 2003 (source), one of the main selling points about the second generation Toyota Avensis was just how at ease it made drivers feel. This was epitomised by the fact the vehicle came equipped with nine airbags as standard — making it among the safest family cars on the market at the time. Those who opted for a second generation Avensis with a T180 diesel engine also enjoyed the additional benefit of a nimble drive.

The here and now

How could Toyota top a car that is reliable and a successor which is incredibly safe? The solution is simple; go for the economical approach. Unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motor Show before going on sale the following year, every third generation Toyota Avensis other than those with D-4D 150 auto and 180 T-Spirit Tourer engines were able to keep CO2 emissions below 160g/km (Source). The newest variety also captures plenty of attention thanks to its elegant exterior design.

Who knows what the next 6 years holds for the Avensis, we’re excited to see what future models will feature!


When big boys roll, they roll heavily.

The Mark X is the car from the oriental coast that has made the whole of Europe run Berserk. On its launch, the German's from Mercedes-ville were in court crying foul that their compressor design had been copy-pasted.

Reports from Japan show that the limousine feature of the Mark X makes it sell more than the power under the bonnet. It is this same sleek design that has made the Toyota Mark X to take the parking lot for the big boys like Audi, BMW and Mercedes.


If you woke up in a Mark X and someone told you that you were in a Bentley, you would believe unless you saw the label on the steering. This car's interior has been awarded all the space that was taken from your corollas. If you are a boss, this is the car that you should sit in the passenger seat and let your bodyguards stay in the back seat. You will enjoy a thickly padded arm rest, A clear view of a 10 inch DVD screen, enough leg room to comfortably host a cask of wine and if you decide to drive yourself, you will be spoiled with steering controls.

The person that steers a Toyota mark X is definitely a pilot. With buttons all the way from the gear lever through the nose of the dashboard, you will have so many of them, you will feel like you are flying. For the seats, you get to choose between Black and Cream soft leather interiors.

Along with the Toyota Mark X shapely body, you get a 2362cc engine that does not rev when you step on the accelerator peddle. It hums gently. Its like the purr of a cat that is full. This 2.5G is not the ordinary engine. It will do 0 to 100mph in less than 100 seconds. The consumption is economical bearing in mind its competitors are the German guzzlers.

The engine is 6 cylinders just like the BMW 3 series. In fact, if you know how to toe your gas pedal, the BMW will never catch you on a drag race. Its too heavy for the Mark X.

When you buy one, please warn your dog not to sleep under it. This thing and the ground are neighbors. This assures you that you can stunt at full-speed and the worst you will get is a skid back to where you were coming from. Don't quote me on that one though.

Please don't buy this car if you write every cost your car incurs on a paper and calculate the expenses at the end of the month. This car needs to be loved the same way you would go out of your way while dating the most beautiful lady in the hood.

Maintenance is relatively pricey since a big engine needs a big glass of Arabian Juice. Service depends on how you use the car. I prefer using it on smooth roads. If you want a rough rider, get a land cruiser.

I am short of time so I have copied the specs of the 2.5G and here they are:

Engine capacity 2,499 cc
Engine type V6 DOHC
Compression ratio 12
Bore x Stroke (83.0 x 77.0) mm
Power 203 bhp
Torque 243 Nm
Acceleration unknown
Top speed 203 km/h
Fuel consumption 13 km/L
CO2 emission unknown
Misc technical data  
Transmission 6-speed (A)
Drive type RWD
Vehicle type Luxury Sedan
Dimensions (L x W x H) (4730 x 1795 x 1435) mm
Wheelbase 2,850 mm
Min turning radius 5,200 mm
Kerb weight 1,520 kg
Fuel tank capacity 71 L
Brakes (Front) Ventilated disc
Brakes (Rear) Disc
Suspension (Front) Double Wishbone
Suspension (Rear) Multi-link
Early this year I went to see what China was making as an imitation of the Mark X. They had just computerized the design and they were still trying to re-engineer the Cat eyes of the X to make them a little different. They were also still arguing whether to name it in Cantonese or Mandarin when I got a call from +81 (Toyota Rumor Division). THE MARK X 350S HAD BEEN RELEASED.
The 350S is like the S-Class of the Toyota. A standard and trend setter. A higher price and more luxury. It will most likely arrive in Kenya when drug dealers realize it can pass all road blocks without being waved to the side or when the Governors get permission to fly flags. Getting this animal to Kenya will cost you between 5 to 8 million Ksh. Unfortunately, the orders for custom-made in Japan is too high, they won't take any more from Plainsview estate in South B. Wait for the Japs to use it then you can buy if from IBC after it has been reduced to grade 4. Us Kenyans are really good at buying second hands.

So I went to see the 350S. It has a super facelift. The nose looks like a big X. This machine is aimed at giving the Lexus GS 450S a run for its money. 

 The 350S has been given a sportier design and you have a choice of a standard version, a sport version and a premium version. All have the Bi-Xenon clearance lamps and the combined rear lamps. The double exhaust on either side remains and you can get a 2 or 4 wheel drive.

I have driven the 350S and it gives a better feel than the Lexus GS450. The sport version makes you feel like racing to Nakuru every Friday evening. Its less business and more pleasure with more libido(Engine Power).

Toyota Caldina

A famous quote states that "Art is uncompromising and life is full of compromises." The Toyota Caldina is definitely a piece of art with no compromise. It was first manufactured for the mass market in 1992. The Toyota Motor corporation intended it to be a replacement of the Toyota Carina Surf. It has always been a wagon even with the continuous changes that have taken place on the model.

The first generation vehicle was a 5-door with rear suspension that was independent strut oriented. The commercial wagon had semi-independent leaf springs and this made it ideal for heavy load carriage. The first generation was manufactured up to 1997.

The second generation Caldina was manufactured from 1998 to 2002. This car was in the same class as the premio and the carina. It weighs 1470kgs.

The Toyota Caldinas' that were made at this time were inspired by the Toyota Avensis station wagon. This release had 4-wheel drive models that had 3s-GE Engines. They were called ST215. The active sport version of the Caldina was artistic in the sense that the GT-T was equipped with a turbo-charger that exuded 256hp/191kW. This GT Caldina with 260 Horsepower had a 4th generation engine that was the 3S-GTE. The 4-drive system of this car is similar to that the the Toyota Celica GT-4. The models that did not have turbo and 4 wheel driver were made either with the 7A-FE for the 1800cc model and the 3S-FE engine for the 2000cc model. The 7A and 3S engines are petrol propelled. The diesel version of this caldina ran on a 3C-TE Engine and it was a 2000cc model.

The second generation Caldina has an optional stability control (VSC). In addition to the electronic control, there car matches the acceleration speed of the Subaru WRX and it can move from 0-100km/h within 7 seconds.

In 2000, this 2nd generation Caldina got spice up with a new bumper and longer headlamps.

In 2002, the Caldina ZT was released. Inspired by greater speed, aerodynamic enhancement and a sleek shape, this model has taken the market by storm. There are nine modifications of this car. All of them are wagons that are gasoline propelled.

The following is a breakdown of the modifications:
GT Editions
  1. GT-Four N Edition - 3S-GTE Engine, 2000cc - Turbo Charged.
  2. GT-Four - 3S-GTE Engine, 2000cc
  3. GT-Four C Edition - 3S-GTE Engine, 2000cc

Specs of the 3S-GTE Engine:

1.998 liter I-4 Turbo/Intercooled (3S-GTE)
Power: 191kW / 6200rpms
(256hp / 6200rps)

: 324Nm / 4400rpms
(239 ft-lbs / 4400rps)

: 10.6 km/liter (24.9 m/g)

ZT Editions

  1. ZT (4WD) - 1AZ-FSE (D-4) Engine, 2000cc
  2. ZT (Front WD) - 1AZ-FSE (D-4) Engin, 2000cc

Z Editions

  1. Z (4WD) - 1AZ-FSE (D-4) Engine, 2000cc
  2. Z (Front WD) - 1AZ-FSE (D-4) Engine, 2000 cc
  3. Z (Front WD) - 1ZZ-FE, 1800cc
Engine: 1AZ-FSE
Fuel Cycle 4GR Power Output (kw(ps)/rpm) 110(150)/6000
Cylinder L4 Torque (Nm(kgm)/rpm) 198(20.2)/4000
Valve DOHC
Fuel Tank (L)
Turbo -

Displacement 1998

Bore Stroke (mm) 86x86

Steering RP

X Edition

  1. X (Front WD) - 1ZZ-FE Engine, 1800cc


The Kenya Toyota Club has chosen the Toyota Ist as the car of the year 2011.

The Toyota Ist was first released by the Toyota Motor Corporation in 2002. It was an improved hatchback than the Vitz with more space and a better shape.
The car has enough legroom for the passengers too.However, there are no leather seats for this model.
There is also enough space in the boot.

The Toyota Ist is the same car that sells in America as the Scion.

The car is usually released in F and E editions.

It works on an NZ-FE engine. Toyota Motor have however improved this engine from the original 2NZ-FE engine to a stronger 1NZ-FE engine. The 2NZ-FE engine had a displacement of 1298(1300)cc and the newer engine has a displacement if 1496(1500)cc.

These engines are VVTi technology. All the car engines are 4-cylinder Double Overhead Camshafts(DOHC).


The car is not a guzzler. It is an ideal car for a first car owner in Kenya.

It has a fuel tank with a maximum capacity of 42 liters and so with 4500, you have a full-tank and some loose change. The car rolls for 18 kilometers with a liter of Petrol and this means you can move from any corner of Nairobi to town and back with a budget of ksh200.

Service does not cost much and the car will run for long without needing any mechanical check.

The car exudes a power of 109bhp and it has a torque of 138nm for most of the 1500cc engine propelled. The car has a compression ration of 10.5 and its gears are automatic. The transmission technology applied on this car is CVTi.

The car has a wheel base of 2460mm, a turning radius of 5500mm and a kerb weight of 1150kg. At the front, the car uses ventilated disc brakes while at the rear it uses drum brakes. It uses coil spring suspension with strut type springs in front and torsion beam coil springs in the rear.

The car has 6 airbags and it uses ABS control. It has electrical retractable side mirrors which have indicators and auto-climate air-conditioner. The back seats can be knocked down.

Some of the important specs missing from this masterpiece are traction control, steering controls, push start engine button and rain sensing wipers. The car does not have a sunroof but there is a new version of the scion that is set to be released with a convertible top.
The car has a sports shape and it can easily be modified into a aero or any other design. TRD works perfectly on this model.

The cars has a rear wiper and a sleek door on the rear.

The Toyota Probox and Toyota Succeed

The Toyota Probox/Succeed is the new Toyota Kid on the Block in Kenya. It is the predecessor of Toyota 102/103. It is quite a common car around Eastleigh in Nairobi, South C and Meru. It has also started reaching Garissa and Wajir.
Toyota Probox
The Kenya Toyota Club thinks that this is a good car for a starter businessman. The rear seats can be removed to create more carriage space. This could make a good car for selling eggs, pharmaceuticals and such light merchandise.

The Toyota Probox has only one shortcoming. It does not have leaf springs. It has coil springs. However, it is still a strong car though it is much lighter.

The car seats are mainly fabric. There are no leather seats for this model. This makes it more of a factory car than a luxury car. However, you can still spruce it up into a hotter version.

The probox and the succeed are mainly automatic gear transmitted but there are a number of them that are manual gears. They were released by the Toyota Motor Corporation in 2002 and they have recorded great sales within Asia and Africa in the last 3 years. It has a simple dashboard with basic features like the speedometer, a digital odometer, the air conditioning system and the radio.

Toyota Probox has a simple engine. They are mostly 1500 cc engines. There are a few that are 1300 cc. Most of the probox models have VVTI engines.

The Toyota Probox Engines

Difference between Probox and Succeed

Toyota Probox has a more serious look. The Succeed assumes a sporty look.
Toyota Succeed
The Toyota Succeed look has lights bordering the number plate area. The Probox has no lights on the rear door.

Toyota Succeed Rear
Toyota Probox Rear

Toyota Voxy and Toyota Noah-

The Toyota Motor Corporation is full of surprises. That's the least the Kenya Toyota Club can say about the Toyota Noah and Toyota Voxy minivans.


The first edition of this Multi Purpose Van (MPV) was released in the 90s'. This was the Noah Liteace and the Townace. It was an EFI engine and it had features like rear sliding doors and a sunroof. It had plenty of space although the shape was still conceptual.
The Older Version of the Noah

The Toyota Noah Liteace graduated to a bigger and better version in 2001.
The Front View of the Noah. Notice the N Badge
The Rear View of the Noah

This is a 2000cc minivan that is similar to the new model Toyota Noah.
Older Model

Newer Model
The Voxy can be modified by giving it a sporty look and TRD also looks great on the motor.
Sporty VOXY


These cars are twins in many ways. They both have the following features:
  • Valvematic engine technology with the 3ZR-FAE Engine. Both are medium duty vans powered by the 152bhp 2.0 D-4 direct injection I4 engine - This engine is designed for maximum fuel economy and outstanding vehicle performance.
  • CVT (Continously Variable transmission) technology - This technology is designed to give the car more power, smooth steering while consuming the least fuel. It changes the distances between belts creating better acceleration and lower RPM hence using less fuel. With this technology, you can't hear the change in gear selection and it is capable of accelerating from 0 - 100 mph in 9.6 seconds.
  • Steering-assisted Vehicle Stability Control System
  • Electric Power Steering System
  • Anti-lock Brake System
  • Traction Control System
  • Hill Start Assist Control respectively.
  • 4 wheel drives
  • Both have seats with one-touch folding" third-row seats and second-row "long-slide multi-use rotating" seats with a child seat mode.

The main difference between these cars is the Badge and the outer shape. The Toyota Voxy has a more sporty look than the Toyota Noah that looks more appealing to the mother's for shopping and driving the kids to school, picnic and weekend outings.

The Badge in the Noah shows a nicely defined N while the badge on the Voxy shows a bold V. These are the only features that you can use to differentiate these two vans from the front view.

The Toyota Voxy has a sharper exterior while the Noah
Rear View of the Voxy
Front View of the Voxy