1.8L Design VVT-h
The Toyota Auris is one of those cars that appeals more to the head than the heart. But what it lacks in pizazz it more than makes up for in terms of dependability, value, practicality and affordability.
One of the Auris’ biggest selling points is the eco-friendly petrol-electric hybrid model, which gives you impressive fuel economy and low CO2 emissions. It’s very easy on your wallet and the environment.
Every version is effortless to drive and comfortable, while the Touring Sports estate model is very roomy yet still compact and easy to park.
Getting comfortable behind the wheel is straightforward, the driving position is excellent and visibility is good. The interior of the Toyota Auris has been designed to be functional above all else. The shiny plastics and hard-wearing seat trim aren’t as tactile or attractive as those in rivals such as the VW Golf, but they feel as if they’ve been chosen with durability in mind and Toyota’s cars tend to be very robust and long-lasting.
Passengers in the back of the Auris get lots of leg and headroom and there’s the added bonus of a completely flat floor – most rivals have a raised section running through the middle. The 340-litre boot capacity is similar to rivals’ and is easily big enough for two medium-sized suitcases. Lowering the back seats increases the boot space to 1,176 litres and there’s a useful 60/40 split/folding seat back that boosts versatility.
If you need more space you should consider the Touring Sports estate version, which has a massive 507-litre boot that’s large enough for four medium-sized suitcases, increasing to a huge 1,635 litres with the back seats folded down. It’s a very spacious estate car, yet it's still comparatively short and easy to fit into tight parking spaces.
With its light controls and compact dimensions, the Toyota Auris is very undemanding to drive. It’s quiet on the move and the soft suspension takes bumps in its stride. If you’re looking for something fun then a Ford Focus or BMW 1 Series might be more your thing, but if you just want an effortless ride the Auris fits the bill.
The most popular Auris model is the hybrid, which combines a 1.8-litre petrol engine with a small electric motor, giving you good performance, very impressive fuel economy and the ability to travel short distances in zero-emissions electric mode. There’s no need to plug it in and it has a smooth CVT automatic gearbox that adds to the Auris’ easygoing vibe.
The Auris is an affordable and cost-effective used family car. For low running costs the Hybrid is hard to beat thanks to an official average of nearly 80mpg.
The petrol and diesel models are efficient nonetheless, with an average of about 60mpg. Tax costs are low as a result, and insurance costs are very competitive.
Toyota scores extremely highly in customer satisfaction surveys, with its cars being well rated by owners for durability and dependability. Toyota dealers also receive good feedback for their service. New Toyota cars are covered by a standard five-year, 100,000-mile warranty, so if you’re buying a used Auris that’s less than five years old you’ll have the balance of that left to enjoy.
The Auris scores highly for safety, with a five-star rating from safety organisation Euro NCAP. All cars have seven airbags.
Best for economy - Hybrid
Best for families - Hybrid Sport Tourer
Best for fun - 1.2 T
The Auris is well equipped and the most affordable Design model comes with all the essentials and more. Move further up the range and you’ll benefit from leather trim, cruise control and sat nav. Sport adds sports seats and larger alloy wheels, but is only available with the 1.2 and 1.6-litre petrol engines.
As for engines, it’s hard to look past the Hybrid model, which delivers strong economy and low emissions. Don’t rule out the excellent 1.2-litre petrol, however, which is good to drive and won’t break the bank when it comes to fuel costs.