Ask The Best and Brightest: Would You Pay $22,000 For This Toyota Wagon?

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

Toyota doesn’t sell the Camry in most European markets; it’s wayyy too big and powerful to find favor with our Continental betters. Instead, they offer the Avensis, which was rumored to debut a complete redesign at Frankfurt but instead only showed a minor facelift. It would be overly simplistic to call the Avensis a “Scion tC sedan or wagon” but that does more or less capture the approximate size and nature of the vehicle. The Avensis platform is normally sold with a choice of two-liter, four-cylinder diesel, turbodiesel, and gasoline engines. The 2.5, 180-horsepower four-cylinder from the tC would fit, however.

The Avensis sedan wouldn’t find too many customers Stateside; very few people want to pay Camry money and get less car in return. This little wagon, on the other hand…

What’s the difference between this Avensis wagon, sold with a Scion tC nose, and the Acura TSX Sportwagon? Oh, gosh, I don’t know. Let’s call it twenty horsepower and eight thousand dollars. No, it’s not much of a niche, but it is one where Toyota could find a little bit of volume, perhaps capture the occasional hipster and/or Outback Sport buyer, and earn a touch of enthusiast cred. Most interestingly, it would exist in a more or less uncontested market segment. Who else makes a small wagon? Don’t say Mazda; this vehicle neatly splits the difference between Mazda3 and Mazda5.

There would be no reason for it to cost more than a similarly-equipped Scion tC coupe. The question becomes: Would you buy it? Do you know anybody who would?

Jack Baruth
Jack Baruth

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  • Dave W Dave W on Sep 16, 2011

    I would consider it. Just as well it's not here as I'm no longer in the market. I looked at the Soul, Elantra Touring, Vibe, Matrix, Jetta wagon, and Mazda 3. The Soul isn't really a wagon, like lots of cuv's its inside is smaller then the outside would lead you to believe, and as I need to carry long handled tools I didn't even need to drive it to take it off the list. The Elantra Touring was too hard to find as a stick, too low of mileage for it's lack of power, and too expensive to get even mildly well equipped. Vibe and Matrix, Don't like the looks of the (old or new) Matrix, or the new Vibe, but for my utilitarian needs definitely something to consider. The Jetta too spendy, etc. The Mazda has low clearance and fat tires, both problematic in a winter driver. I also need to haul a half ton of trailer periodically, a no no for a Mazda under warranty. I wound up getting a 2005 Focus wagon when the dealer offered us about $1500 more for our rusty, 140k Elantra hatchback then I would dare ask for it. Only had the wagon two weeks so far but had liked the car when it came out and it is less cramped when loaded then the Hyundai was.

  • CRConrad CRConrad on Oct 06, 2011

    Heck yes! First, it seems mr Baruth is as mistaken about the size of the Avensis as most of the commenters are, thinking it is much smaller than it actually is. I don't get that "this vehicle neatly splits the difference between Mazda3 and Mazda5" bit; it's just simply a direct competitor to the Mazda 6. Anyway, on http://www.toyota.fi/cars/new_cars/avensis/avensis_hinnat.aspx , between the "stripper" 1.6 Valvematic 6 M/T Terra(*) at 24912.83€ (32775$US) and the top-of-the-range 2.2 D-CAT 177 6 M/T Premium at 43952.78€ (57824$US), we find things like the 2.0 Valvematic 6 M/T Sol Edition, 30874.19€ (40618$US), and the 1.8 Valvematic Multidrive S Sol Plus, 34172.86€ (44957.8$US). (*): The trim levels seem to go Terra, Sol Edition, Sol Plus, Premium. So for 22000$US (16722.4€)??? HEEELLLL YEAH I would!

  • MaintenanceCosts "But your author does wonder what the maintenance routine is going to be like on an Italian-German supercar that plays host to a high-revving engine, battery pack, and several electric motors."Probably not much different from the maintenance routine of any other Italian-German supercar with a high-revving engine.
  • 28-Cars-Later "The unions" need to not be the UAW and maybe there's a shot. Maybe.
  • 2manyvettes I had a Cougar of similar vintage that I bought from my late mother in law. It did not suffer the issues mentioned in this article, but being a Minnesota car it did have some weird issues, like a rusted brake line.(!) I do not remember the mileage of the vehicle, but it left my driveway when the transmission started making unwelcome noises. I traded it for a much newer Ford Fusion that served my daughter well until she finished college.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Couple of questions: 1) who will be the service partner for these when Rivian goes Tits Up? 2) What happens with software/operating system support when Rivia goes Tits Up? 3) What happens to the lease when Rivian goes Tits up?
  • Richard I loved these cars, I was blessed to own three. My first a red beauty 86. My second was an 87, 2+2, with digital everything. My third an 87, it had been ridden pretty hard when I got it but it served me well for several years. The first two I loved so much. Unfortunately they had fuel injection issue causing them to basically burst into flames. My son was with me at 10 years old when first one went up. I'm holding no grudges. Nissan gave me 1600$ for first one after jumping thru hoops for 3 years. I didn't bother trying with the second. Just wondering if anyone else had similar experience. I still love those cars.
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